Online dating is here to stay as a way to find that special someone – whether it’s Mr Right or Mr Right Now – but there are some little niggling worries that many people have about the safety of using dating sites to connect with people that are essentially strangers.
For the most part, these dating sites are reasonably safe, though everyone does tend to keep in mind that you could almost literally be talking to anyone at the other end of the computer, as you don’t need to provide any sort of proof of identity before you sign up with one one of these dating sites. There’s always the danger of being targeted by a fraudster, and one Leicester University study released last year indicated that as many as 200,000 people were victimised in 2010 by scammers using false identities that persuaded their witless prospective mates to give them money.
It’s not just financial misery but psychological and emotional pain as well, one relationship site expert, Sharon Kell said in a recent interview, adding that something clearly needs to be done to curb such behaviour. If you’re worried about such events occurring, you should steer clear of the larger dating sites that use impersonal computerised algorithms to determine matches; a smaller site, said Ms Kell, will offer a human touch that can help weed out undesirables and make it much less likely that you’ll be the victim of a fraudster.
Most of the time, the experiences you can have in an online dating environment can be positive ones, as long as you simply keep your head about you and use common sense, experts say.