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The Key To Online Dating Safety

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The Key To Online Dating Safety

In today’s increasingly fast-paced world, it’s harder than ever to attend to our most basic needs. There’s an app to order your groceries, or you can even just have your meals brought to you prepared with another app. Order your coffee via the app before you get there so you don’t have to wait around. Order your car so you don’t have to wait for a taxi. All this convenience is great for our productivity, but what does it do to our interpersonal relationships? How are we supposed to meet people if we can’t even wait in line for coffee?

This fast-paced world has given rise to dating apps, and the most popular ones skip the deep connections and go straight for the swipe left or swipe right knee-jerk reaction. It’s a sign of the times where our jobs require more and more of our attention both in and out of the office. 85% of Millennials have experienced burnout due to overwork, and this leaves little left for social activities at the end of the day.

But there are some things you don’t want to cut corners on. When dating online, there can be serious consequences to a lack of attention to detail. 

Online scams are rampant, but online dating scams cost on average seven times more than regular online scams. The older you get, the more expensive these scams become. For people over the age of 70, the average cost of an online dating scam is $10,000. But there have been scams that have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, bankrupting people and leaving them destitute in their late middle age or beyond. 

In 2018, the FBI indicted 80 people for stealing more than $46 million after they targeted online dating apps with money-making schemes. In 2016, one Japanese woman sent her entire life savings as well as some of her parents’ money to a man she thought was a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria, but which turned out to be a network of 14 cyber-scammers from Los Angeles to Nigeria.

It sure sounds as though online dating is completely unsafe and no one should ever try it, right? Take comfort in the fact that fewer than half of a percent of people who use online dating fall victim to scams. When done correctly, this modern-day version of a pickup bar is completely safe.

Some of the things scammers will do are work overtime to gain trust and then share a story of financial hardship due to medical bills or personal debts, or they will ask for money to travel to visit their intended target. 

In order to ensure you don’t fall victim to an online dating scam:

  • Ensure your social media profiles are set to the most private settings possible
  • Limit what you share to social media
  • Don’t include any personally identifying information on your dating profile
  • Use only trusted dating sites and apps
  • Verify the person is who they say they are by cross-checking photos with a reverse image search
  • Perform a background check with any potential matches before things get serious

Learn more about online dating safety from the infographic below by Our Dating Journey.

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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