If you join a personal
introduction agency then you have the benefit of just being
introduced to people who have been interviewed and ID checked. With
Internet Dating you don't have this safeguard - so you need to assume
responsibility for your own safety. This is exactly the same
as if you met someone in a pub, winebar or
Internet Dating is no more dangerous than meeting someone in a
pub or winebar. Millions of people do this. However, it is no more
The vast majority of people who
are there will be fine - but you always need to be sensible and guard
against the unlikely event of meeting someone who isn't.
Use your common sense and follow these tips
Don't reveal personal
information about yourself (surname, address, place of work) until you
feel entirely comfortable to do so.
The idea of internet dating is
that you can remain anonymous whilst getting to know potential dates a
little better. You're welcome to exchange as many emails as you wish
through our site. However, if you do wish to exchange 'real' email
addresses then you may consider giving them a 'secondary' email address
- as opposed to your main one - particularly if your main address is a
work address e.g. "MaryBloggs@bbc.co.uk". There are many places you can
get free email addresses from and you can usually set up forwarding or
remote checking so that mail sent to this address can be read from you
main mailbox. We recommend Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail for free email
We suggest that you don't reveal
your full name or home phone number to dates - there's no reason for
them to need to know your surname or where you live.
If you are going to give a phone
number then a mobile is safer - as there is no easy way of tracing this
back to your address. You may well choose to have a cheap,
separate "Pay as you Go" mobile for Internet Dating use. That way even
if someone becomes annoying you just can buy a new SIM card for £10
If your date generously
suggests that you reverse the charges on a call (so that they
pay) - don't - as your number may well appear on their bill.
It is now easy and inexpensive to buy a CD ROM of all (non
ex-directory) telephone numbers in the UK that allows reverse lookup of
addresses from phone-numbers.
Deciding to meet in
Before you meet someone in person
you should be entirely comfortable about them and the arrangements.
Don't feel pressurised into meeting anyone. It's usually best to have a
telephone conversation with them first. Don't be rushed into a date -
if you don't fancy meeting up, then politely decline.
We suggest that you meet in a
public place with other people around.
YES: a pub, winebar, cafe, market, restaurant
NO: your/their house, your/their work, deserted park.
If you have a mobile phone then it
is a good idea to take it with you. You can also arrange for a friend
to call you during the date to check you are OK.
Don't go back to your house or
agree to go to their house until you know each other well enough to do
so. We'd suggest that this would be after at least several dates.
Always have your own
transport home and donít accept a lift.
Drinking and Dating
Don't drink too
much - it lowers the inhibitions and you may make some bad decisons
Girls: be careful
with your drinks - especially in busy bars/clubs ..i.e. that nothing
(drugs) could be slipped into them.
In recent years a
large 'Industry' has emerged of criminals manufacturing fake profiles
on dating sites. The purpose of the scam is to engage real members in a
cyber relationship over the course of some weeks (via email, instant
messenger and sometimes even phone) before asking them to
send money. On Loveandfriends we block cyber-scamming profils every
week. However, some do slip through our safety net occasionally - so
members need to be on their guard.
Tip 1: If you are suspicious about any profile or message you receive -
please contact us immediately and we will investigate and get
back to you ASAP with advice.
Tip 2: NEVER send any money to someone you have contacted on a dating
site - regardless of how desperate/genuine their story appears to be.
These criminals tend to be non UK based (e.g. Nigeria, Russia, South
Africa) in locations that are not policed as well as the UK. Most
typically they have an attractive looking photo and profile that is
totally fake (e.g. 22 year old in a cyber cafe in Lagos pretending to
be a 50 year old American engineer or soldier). They try and contact as
many people as possible and build up a rapport over days, weeks and
sometimes even months. Typically they try and get you off the dating
site asap and corresponding via email - as this puts them beyond our
Once they feel they have established a relationship the scammer will
ask for help with some "Urgent" financial need. For example:
- Living expenses due to temporary paycheck problems
- They have been robbed
- The cost of a visa or flight
- Need urgent medical attention or have been in an accident
- Have some son, daughter or other relative that urgently needs money
due to medical emergency
always the fake
profile is of someone notionally travelling or working abroad - which
gives an apparantly legitimate reason why they cannot meet up in the
short term - and so this gives the cyber-romance time to build up
via email and chat messages.
normally sensible people sometimes find themselves being hooked in to
responding to charming emails from fake profiles. Therefore please
rmember our 2 simple tips:
1: If you are
suspicious about any profile or message you receive - please contact us
immediately and we will investigate and get back to you ASAP
Tip 2: NEVER send any money to someone you have
contacted on a dating site - regardless of how desperate/genuine their
story appears to be.