Dating apps are the modern way of meeting new people. Among all the success stories are also instances where things have gone horribly wrong.
The answer to “are dating apps safe?” is both yes and no. Many people using online applications are exactly who they say they are; the others, however, they’re the ones that make them unsafe.
There are things to do to ensure safety is ensured. Asking the right questions, keeping notes, video chatting, looking out for red flags, and doing an online free people search can all help.
Here’s a deeper look.
Ask Questions and Keep Notes
Questions usually fly back and forth when meeting people on a dating app. It’s the best way to get to know someone quickly. It may not sound like the most proactive activity, but keeping notes of what’s been said can help.
Here’s an example. Let’s say the person initially said they grew up in Dallas, Texas, and left when they were 17. Then in a later conversation, they mention that they went to junior high school in Austin. These two don’t match; if notes had been taken, this information could be double-checked.
One of the ways catfishers (people who disguise their true identity online) succeed in fooling people is that they never video chat.
It’s effortless for someone to appropriate photos from another site and pass them off as theirs. This charade can easily be proved via a video chat. The only way to be 100% sure the photos match the person is to see them in physical form.
Reasons suspicious people use for avoiding video chat are:
- Faulty or no camera
- Other people listening in the room
- Ultra shyness
- Not enough internet bandwidth
These excuses can be overcome if the person is genuinely who they say they are.
Watch Out for Red Flags
Apart from information not matching up — that’s why note-keeping is vital — or refusal to video chat, there are other indicators.
They Ask for Money
Most online scammers who prey upon others via dating apps are looking for a payoff. The most common is that they’re from another state and need funds to buy a bus or plane ticket. The other person sends them money; of course, they never arrive.
Too Good to Be True
Unfortunately, if someone appears too good to be true, they probably are. For example, a 29 yo lady, who looks like a model, is a neurosurgeon. Sure they exist, but if they’re that successful, would they need a dating app? If they’re local, it’s more likely they’re who they say they are, but tread carefully if they’re from another state, especially a distant one.
If something feels awry, chances are that it is. Gut feelings manifest past experiences and can be an efficient source for decision-making. They’re not always 100% accurate, but they can make a person more aware of something being wrong.
Investigate Them Online
A surefire way to confirm the person on the other side of the dating app is who they say they are is by doing a bit of online digging.
Start by doing a standard online search. With a person’s name and location, search engines can bring up a load of valuable data.
Next, try to locate any social media sites. If they haven’t provided one, use a search engine to see if they exist.
If they’ve provided school details, check on the institution’s alum section to confirm they did attend when they say they did.
Finally, free people search sites can be used to confirm an identity, even with the tiniest piece of information.
Dating Apps Can Be Safe
By taking a bit of extra care, dating apps can be an excellent way of finding a future partner. There are thousands of success stories out there, so they can work.
There are also people with sinister motives who use dating apps to extort money or steal identities.
The easiest ways to play it safe are to ask lots of questions and keep notes, participate in video chats, and be aware of red-flag behavior. Take the time to do some online checks; it’s easy to confirm a person’s true identity.
Good luck with your search.