Online dating has become quite popular since its development in the early 2000s. People are starting to use these dating apps more and more. With the rise of users also comes the increase of abusers, people who are using these sites for the wrong reasons; luckily, there are some things we can do to make sure we don’t fall prey to the abusers of online dating. This leads us to our next question – are dating apps dangerous?
There are dangers when using dating apps. 10% of sex offenders use dating sites, and 11% of online daters are already married. However, there is also proof that dating sites can be safe and work, in that 13% of dating site users are engaged or married to a person they met online.
Statistics show that dating apps can be hazardous, but so can meeting people in person. The key to being safe when meeting new people is getting to know them and making sure of what their intentions are.
Using dating apps can be a bit easier to navigate as there are many red flags to look out for and some tips daters need to know to stay safe. These tips can be a guide to using dating apps.
How To Avoid The Dangers Of Online Dating
Online dating can sometimes be hazardous, with some people using online dating apps for the wrong reasons. It is easy to get tricked by these scammers and end up in a dangerous situation.
Dating apps are great to find someone you wouldn’t typically meet. Online dating has become the norm when trying to find a boyfriend or girlfriend.
However, there are some things one can look out for to ensure your safety while using online dating apps.
Scammers On Dating Sites
Many dating app users use these sites to scam people out of money. In fact, in 2011, more than $50 million was stolen from innocent dating app users. One can avoid falling victim to one of these scams by looking out for the following:
- These scammers prey on people over 40 years old who are divorced, widowed, or disabled.
- Scammers will often send you gifts and flowers to soften you up.
- They will tell you sad stories about their lives and how they are going through tough times.
- Scammers might also claim that they are suffering from an illness.
To ensure you don’t fall prey to this kind of money-grabbing scam, ensure you never send money to anyone, no matter the reasons they give. These scams can go on for years, they will try to get close to you and earn your trust before asking for money, so it is essential to always be vigilant regarding money requests.
Make sure you have met your date IRL (in real life). If the person always gives an excuse as to why you can’t meet, this should then already be a red flag to you. Lastly, you should always check the socials of the person you are talking to. Try to find them on Facebook and Instagram to make sure they are who they say they are.
Our best advice would be to make sure the other user has social media accounts so you can try to find them. Click on their profile and do a reverse image search to see if they appear in multiple photos on Google.
Dating app companies like Tinder have made it their mission to make sure you feel safe on your first date. They have built-in safety features to help you out if you feel uncomfortable on your first date.
Sexual Predators On Online Dating Sites
Online sexual predators commit 16 000 abductions and thousands of rapes each year. This is a terrifying statistic and makes one cautious about online dating sites. Although there are many online predators, there are ways of identifying these predators:
- Predators will want to meet in private spaces with no one around.
- They will ask personal and confidential questions about your address and whether you live alone.
- They will spy on all your social media platforms and maybe say something about you that you haven’t told them yet.
- Predators will always agree with you and never have a differing opinion.
- Predators will insist that you send them provocative pictures.
- They will pressure you to meet them in person.
The key to staying safe and avoiding falling victim to sexual predators is to ensure you do not fall for any of their tricks and ask your friends and family’s opinions on certain aspects of your online date.
We recommend doing a video chat early on to see if they are real.
You can use the points mentioned above to identify possible predators; if you suspect you are talking to a predator, you shouldn’t take any chances, delete their contact immediately, and report the account.
Red Flags To Look For When Online Dating
Firstly, let’s look at a red flag; a red flag indicates that something isn’t right or that the person you are communicating with isn’t the right kind of person. A red flag can be actions, or it can be the way they portray themselves with the kinds of questions they ask. As online daters, you should always be aware of these red flags.
Your Online Match Wants To Meet In A Private Space
This is the first and biggest red flag. You should never under any circumstances meet your online date in a private space. Even if it’s at their home. People will typically mark their profile with FWB if they want to meet privately.
Always meet at a very public place until you both feel comfortable enough to start meeting in more private spaces, but never feel pressured to do so. Only do so when you are ready and feel safe and comfortable with your date.
Your Online Match Asks You For Money Or Favors
These kinds of matches are very common and should never be trusted or believed. Whenever you come across a match that in some way asks you for favors or money, simply delete their profile and report them. Never fall for a sad story that ends up with them asking for money or favors. They are all just clever scammers.
Your Online Match Doesn’t Appear On Any Social Media Platforms
Researching your Online match is important to find out what kind of person they are, but what happens when you search for their name on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and nothing comes up?
This should be a red flag indicating something isn’t right. This might not always be the case, but odds are if you can’t find any proof of their existence, then they probably can’t be trusted, and you should proceed with extreme caution.
Online dating can be fun, rewarding, and life-changing. The only negative aspect of online dating is that many people use it for the wrong reasons. It is, however, easy to stay safe and not fall prey to any of these platform abusers if you keep in mind everything mentioned in this article and also remember, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”