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Personals Safety Tips

  • Deal locally with guys you can meet in person.
  • Don’t pursue a long-distance relationship with a stranger online.
  • Never reveal personal data to someone until you meet face-to-face and develop a level of trust. While it’s tempting to share every detail of your life with a person you think you could be in love with, that’s exactly what the scammer is counting on.
  • Your date posts an online picture that is very dark and makes it difficult to pick her out of a crowd. Most married people do not want their picture out there for everyone to see, risking the chance that someone they know could recognize them.
  • Pay attention to language. If their command of English is fuzzy, that’s a "big red flag"
  • Be suspicious if someone wants to immediately start communicating through IM and e-mail. They may want access to your computer in order to steal information.
  • Ditto someone who claims to be a soldier. There are an increasing number of scams in which con artists take photos of soldiers from social networking sites and then pretend to be trustworthy members of the military. They’ll ask potential dates for money to buy special papers they claim are needed to come home or talk to family.
  • Don’t open attachments from a stranger. If someone sends you a photo in an attachment and you open it, you may have unwittingly allowed a virus to infect your computer.
  • Don’t fall for a sob story. Many scammers claim to have lost a spouse, child, or parent in an accident or say they have a relative who is very ill.
  • Dial up your date ASAP. Someone who sounds plausible online may be an obvious fraud on the phone.
  • Never, ever wire money to a stranger.
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