Safe secure online dating

Action Fraud and the City of London Police have launched a new initiative that aims to separate cybercrime and fraud facts from fiction.

Dubbed “Urban Fraud Myths,” the thirteen day campaign kicked off with a look at online dating, a crime which swindled 3543 Brits out of £33.65 million ( million) in the last year.

Perhaps influenced by the approaching Halloween, the first in a scary-looking series of images puts forward one of the key myths about signing up to a dating site: Always be cautious about the people you meet online, especially if they start asking for money to help a family member, to visit you or pay medical bills etc.

That is sound advice, but we have more tips for staying safe when you use online dating sites. Probably not, and so you shouldn’t give away such information on a dating site, or anywhere else on the web for that matter.

The same goes for your phone number, full name and even your Facebook profile which can, of course, give away a huge amount of personal information to anyone who cares to take a look at it (also read our 5 tips to make your Facebook account safer).

Of course there may come a time when you decide to meet in real life someone that you’ve chatted to online.

Even then, it pays to be cautious about giving out personal information, at least at the beginning of your new friendship/relationship.

It’s possible that this could be the riskiest part of the process by far.

Even though you think you know someone from chatting to them online, be aware that they may be completely different in real life.As Action Fraud says, “Dating fraudsters are often particularly convincing.” So don’t take any unnecessary risks.Meet in a public place where there are plenty of people around who could come to your aid should things turn sour.A lot of people take their time getting to really get to know a prospective partner before beginning a romantic relationship.For others, it can happen much quicker than that, but be wary of people on dating sites who say they are “in love” after just a few days of chatting.If someone seems too keen, too soon, they may have an ulterior motive.

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