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This pandemic is really changing so many things in the world, isn’t it? Zoom meetings and calls, missing those close to us as we see them less than usual and insecurity with work for the majority of people. Single people have a whole different set of difficulties. Where they may previously have sent a few messages then gone to the pub for a drink to meet a date now that is out of the question while pubs are closed. I chatted to a single friend for some advice to bring you some tips about dating safely.

Person holding phone in their left hand

5 safety tips for online dating

Stay on the site/app

Where possible stay on the app or website. If you choose to communicate away from that then find a way which discloses very little about you.

Avoiding communicating on things like your Facebook account is important. If this potential date turns out to have the wrong intentions do you want him/her to know who your family are, where you live and work? This is key to dating safely.

Never give money or vouchers for anything

So many people at the moment are short of money and going through tough times. This means that it is a scammers paradise.

By simply telling you they have been furloughed or lost their job and are struggling to feed their children would you send them £20? It is easy to say yes, it isn’t much and no one wants kids to go hungry, do they?

Imagine that scam being done on 100 people a day? It wouldn’t be too hard to do but the scammer would be £2000 richer.

Keep your personal information secret

It is easy to remember that you shouldn’t give out contact details unless you are sure you know someone well enough but this is also important with things link disabilities.

Whilst there are deaf dating sites there is no reason you have to only use those sites and anyone, disability or not has the right to date anyone they choose and use any site they wish. An amputee dating for example does not mean they can not use Tinder for example.

Whatever the site or app you are on these personal details of yours not only help to identify you but also show any vulnerabilities you have. Scammers prey on peoples vulnerabilities, the less you disclose the less likely you are to fall victim of this. A survivor of domestic abuse like myself should never disclose that, I have heard of so many people like me being subject to scams because they are just trying to help others flea abuse. Dating safely is important do not overlook it.

Watch out for inaccuracies

Do they tell you that they live in the same town as you but seem to be unclear as to an area or use a vague term like the north? This could be a sign they are being cautious too but if there are inaccuracies this could also be that they are being deceitful.

Another inaccuracy could be telling you they do one job but then seemingly knowing very little about it, claiming to have been to university but have very poor sentence structure.

Check their photo

Many catfish scams involve using images that are simply not the person on the other hand of the phone or computer. By running a simple reverse image search you can see where on the internet that image has been. The image below, for example, is a stock photo I found in a couple of minutes, he looks like a nice chap doesn’t he. A quick search shows these results of where else this image has appeared. To run a reverse image search go to image.google.com and upload the photo you wish to search.

Man to the right of the image leaning against blue wall with arms folded and a smile

Most of these things alone would not necessarily tell you it is a scam but all are hints that you should be questioning things. Keep an eye on what you share and be safe when dating.

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