Online dating and chatlines are some of the most popular ways to meet people nowadays. To ensure you keep yourself safe, we’ve shared some of our tips below.
Always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut feeling. If someone is asking too many questions or asking things you aren’t comfortable with then tell them.
If someone immediately asks for your contact details or wants to meet before you’ve decided whether you might like them, this can be a red flag – if you’re not comfortable with it then don’t meet them, or tell them you would like to get to know them a little better first. If they agree then maybe they’re just a little keen, if they get aggressive or upset that you won’t then you already know you made the right decision.
If they ask you for money or want you to buy them something, they are unlikely to be genuine and just want something from you, especially if you’ve never met.
It sounds obvious but never send anyone money. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and feel like you trust someone and have a connection but always use caution when people have unusual requests.
Be cautious sending out personal information. When you’re getting to know someone, sometimes you talk about things you wouldn’t necessarily talk about with your friends. Be aware of how much detail you’re telling someone you don’t really know.
It sounds obvious but never share your bank details, card numbers, passport or ID details with anyone and be aware that if they are asking about family history and ask for your mother’s maiden name or the name of your first pet – scammers can use this information against you.
Try not to drag out how long you’re talking before you meet.
You can only get to know someone so much over the phone/online. Once you feel comfortable talking to them, arrange to meet in a busy public place and let people know where you are going.
On the other hand, you are also under no obligation to meet them, regardless of how long you’ve been chatting. If you feel they are puttin you under any sort of pressure to do so, it might be best to move on.
Scammers are unlikely to meet up with you in real life and meeting is a great way to find out if there is a spark between you and you want to continue getting to know them.
When you do arrange to meet them, make sure you meet in a busy, public place and don’t accept a lift. There’s no need to put yourself at any risk.
If your date offers to pick you up, you can politely decline. If they are genuine they will understand your reasons. Never tell your address to someone you’ve only just met and don’t know very well.
Don’t drink too much when you’re on a date, especially first date. Drinking can lower inhibitions and impair your judgement. You want to be on full alert when meeting someone for the first time and also want to set a good first impression!
Never be afraid to leave if you feel uncomfortable. You don’t owe your date anything and your safety is more important than anything else.
Never take your date back to your place or accept an invitation back to theirs. You need to get to know them and build up trust before letting them into your home or being alone with them.
Stay safe when dating with Chat2Date and report any suspicious behaviour.