Online Dating Safety Guide
Tips to help you make your dating experience safe, fun, and comfortable
When you begin dating online, it's a good time to think about what you want from a relationship. It's also a good time to think about how to safely meet and interact with new people. Remember, MatchMate doesn't provide background checks on our members or subscribers and though we take steps to protect our members, ultimately, your online and offline safety is your responsibility and should be your top priority. Use these tips and common sense practices to help you look for a fulfilling relationship.
Creating Your Profile
Protect your identity and personal information
- Be Anonymous
- Don't include your last name or any other identifying information such as your place of work in your profile or initial communications.
- Don't Use Contact Information
- Don't include your contact information such as your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile or initial communications.
- Protect Your Password
- Use caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.
Report All Suspicious Behavior
- Asking you for money or donations.
- Requesting photographs.
- Minors using the platform.
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages or emails.
- Members behaving inappropriately during or after meeting in person.
- Fraudulent registration or profiles.
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or service.
- Asking for your address and personal information
Get to know people and evaluate your relationships
- Communicate through MatchMate
- Act with caution and learn more about someone and evaluate the relationship before contacting him or her outside of MAtchMate on the phone or through your personal email or social media accounts. Also, consider using an anonymous email address for contacting people outside of MatchMate.
- Take Your Time
- Sometimes when you're excited about someone, your instincts can be confused by strong feelings. Take your time to get to know someone before sharing your full identity or personal information.
- Do Your Own Research
- Don't get a false sense of security because you're on a dating site; do your own research to learn more about someone and make informed decisions before you meet. Check to see if the person you're interested in is on other social networking sites like Facebook, do a web search to see if there are other records of the person online, and use government resources that are publicly available and paid services. MatchMate DOES NOT ROUTINELY SCREEN OUR MEMBERS, INQUIRE INTO
- THE BACKGROUND OF OUR MEMBERS, ATTEMPT TO VERIFY INFORMATION PROVIDED BY OUR MEMBERS, OR CONDUCT CRIMINAL SCREENINGS OF OUR MEMBERS.
- Never Send Money
- There is no reason for anyone to ask you for money or your financial information. Always keep your bank and account information private.
- Report Suspicious Behaviour
Be smart and take precautions
Going on a date with someone new is an exciting step in a relationship, but continue being careful. When meeting someone in person for the first time, take precautions and consider these dos and don'ts.
- Let friends or family members know where you're going and when you'll be home
- Meet in a public place with lots of people around
- Use your own transportation to get to and from the date
- Watch your alcohol intake
- Keep your wallet, phone, and personal items with you
- Leave at any time you feel uncomfortable
- Bring your cell phone with you
- Arrange to contact a friend when the date is over
- Go on your date without telling anyone
- Meet somewhere isolated or at your or someone else's home
- Allow your date to pick you up at your home or place of work
- Leave your drink unattended
- Leave your personal items unattended
- Feel pressured to stay or do anything
- Go to a place where you can't contact anyone
- Return from your date alone, without telling anyone
Report suspicious behaviour right away
Remember that people aren't always what they seem. If you suspect that someone you're talking to may be a scammer, stop your communications and immediately report him or her. To report and block a member, visit his or her profile and select the grey arrow or "..." button.
A few examples of common scammer behaviours to report immediately include:
- asking you for money or financial information—especially to help pay for travel expenses or medical bills
- contacting you from another country (or claiming to be from your country but stuck in a foreign country)
- refusing to meet in person or talk on the phone
- claiming to love you right away or pushing for a serious relationship without getting to know you or meeting in person first
- pressuring you for your phone number, email, or other personal or financial information right away
- asking to communicate through a channel other than MatchMate right away (e.g., texting, calling, using another site, etc.)
- often repeating things or seeming disconnected from communications
- dodging your questions without providing answers, or replies to your messages seem off-topic, trying to sell you products or services
- offering you a job opportunity
- directing you to other websites or a pornographic site
For Further Help, Support or Advice
In the case that something has happened, immediately call 911. Emergency situations include a recent threat of violence or sexual violence, recent act of violence or sexual violence or if your health or someone else’s is in danger.
If something has happened and you’re in need of help, support or advice pertaining to physical or sexual assault, please call the below 24hr hotlines.
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE | www.rainn.org
1-800-230-7526 | www.plannedparenthood.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 | www.thehotline.org
To learn more details about ways to help you stay safe while dating online visit the Federal Trade Commission's Online Dating Scams site at http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams.