You can do a lot of things using the internet. You can reach out to friends from the other side of the world, learn about amazing cultures in overseas locations, and maybe, with Lady Luck on your side, find true love. The internet paved the way for online dating. It is now mainstream and has normalized a virtual way of finding a significant other. People turn to dating websites to find love and form long-lasting relationships. While this strategy could be the answer to one’s dating problems, it may also be the beginning of another, which is why safety precautions are necessary.
With millions of individuals using apps to find love, online dating is unsurprisingly one of the most recent trends that connect our world. People even use famous dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and eHarmony to meet people who share their interests and to date safely online.
On the other hand, online dating has its drawbacks. First of all, you are talking to someone you have never met before. Second, this stranger only delivers you facts that you are likely interested in hearing. Finally, because dating apps do not typically provide background checks (such as criminal histories or other information), it is impossible to learn much about their past. Therefore, it boils down to trusting what the other person shares with you.
Therefore it becomes your responsibility to conduct research on the person you have just met online. It is the most effective way to really know who you are dealing with. It can also help uncover red flags if there are any.
Spot Online Dating Red Flags
Be wary of the following red flags when dating online:
1. Incomplete profiles
An incomplete dating profile can indicate that they are trying to hide something. It can also be an effort to dupe you into believing something that is not true. It can include having only a few photos or never fully revealing themselves in the photos. A vague profile is also something to be cautious about. Keep in mind that the profile should have enough information to paint a picture of the person you are trying to get to know.
2. Asking for money
It is a big red flag if someone you just met online tries to borrow money. You should never ignore it. One of the clearest signals that someone is talking to you for all the wrong reasons is when you get this request. Never give money to someone you have just met even if they make it seem urgent. It makes no difference how much you have in common or how close you are. There are people who will take advantage of your generosity. You may wish to believe that everyone is decent and would only ask for money in an emergency. However, it might be a con, and they have done this to others before and will continue to do so.
3. Love bombing
You may come across someone who expresses love feelings almost instantly on the internet. It has been a common approach to get your attention and affection quickly so they can take advantage of you later. Love bombing is a type of emotional manipulation to be wary of.
They may continuously compliment you on how attractive, intelligent, and unique you are. After only a few conversations, they could act as if you’re the most amazing person they have ever encountered. Someone who behaves this way is likely not looking out for your best interests. You might enjoy hearing these things, but keep in mind that this person is a stranger. They will not stop complimenting you, which could be an attempt to entice you into a bad relationship.
You can’t tell if someone loves you in a matter of days or even weeks. It is a huge red flag if someone declares their love for you but appears to be more concerned with feelings rather than getting to know you.
4. Demand that you reply quickly and all the time
Be wary of someone who messages a lot and demands you reply almost instantly. While this could be a sign of excitement, it could also be an indication of something more serious. If they use guilt or manipulation to get you to respond, it is a clear sign that they don’t value your time or respect your boundaries. They want to be in charge of the relationship so they can select when and how you connect with them. If you are not careful about this, it could lead to online harassment and abuse.
5. No respect for online boundaries
If they try to coerce you to do something that you’re not comfortable with, that is a massive red flag. They might ask you to move the conversation outside of the dating app or send a racy photo of yourself. Don’t do anything that feels off for you. If they continue to pressure you or get mad then they have zero respect for your online boundaries. If they don’t respect your boundaries online, they won’t respect boundaries throughout the relationship.
Protecting Yourself When Dating Online
It is possible to find love online. Starting a relationship online might be exciting and fun, but it should always be safe. Here are some ways you can protect yourself when trying to find love while swiping right.
1. Use a trustworthy dating app
There are countless dating apps but not all of them are reliable. While some of them are genuinely interested in connecting you with people who share your interests, others might just be linking you with scammers and hackers. Never use a dating service that asks for sensitive personal information like bank account numbers or Social Security Numbers (SSN).
2. Perform a background search
Be vigilant of what the other person tells you. Try not to believe things immediately. It is smart to do your own background search. Remember, people will say anything to achieve what they want, even if it means deceiving you into believing they are who they claim to be.
A simple way is to Google them. You can also use Google Image Search Tool to look for their pictures on different sites. Search for them on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is an effortless way of trying to verify their identity and what they share with you.
If you can’t find any information about them or you notice red flags, bow out.
3. Don’t give out private information immediately
Never give someone you just met online your private contact information. Your home address and phone number are some of the basic information that should never be shared unless you feel safe doing so. And of course, you should never give out information about your finances such as your bank accounts or SSN.
4. If you decide to meet, do it in public
Meet up with someone for the first time at a public venue with a lot of other people present. Good options include restaurants, bars, movie theaters, coffee shops, and parks.
5. Report anything suspicious
To keep and promote the safety of the online dating app that you are using, be committed to report any shady activities. For instance, report any suspicious behavior you may have observed or experienced. As a result, the app can take the necessary actions to maintain its platform’s safety and security for you and other users.
6. Meet via video chat
Video chats provide a thorough visual representation of a person’s appearance. It can help you avoid getting “catfished,” which is a dishonest practice where someone develops a fictional or false identity online usually with the intention of luring a specific victim. The technique could be carried out for monetary gain, to compromise a victim in some way, to upset a victim purposely, or to satisfy a dream.
7. End the conversation
Don’t be afraid to leave if you are uncomfortable at any point in your conversation, or even if it has just started. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, you are under no obligation to stay with them. When it comes to online dating, safety should always come first!
Searchbug Services to Date Safely Online
Searchbug has reliable services that can help you date safely online. Here are the services that you can use if you want to dig a little deeper about someone you just met online.
1. Background Check
Advanced Background Check provides a list of both the current (or last reported) and previous address history as well as phone numbers for your subject (the person you’re running the background check on).
The complete background report includes data from multiple data partners, searching billions of records which includes public, civil and criminal records.
Typically, the report includes a list of names, addresses and phone numbers. A more comprehensive check can yield a report that has the following:
– Names, aliases, date of birth, SSN status, ethnicity, occupation type, marital status, gender, neighbors, relatives, current (or last reported) and previous address history, phone numbers, email addresses, property details, vehicles, and other details.
– A criminal background check report with case details and dates, the charge, probation, conviction, and sentence information when applicable.
– Any reported bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens (city, county, state and federal), tax warrants, civil and federal judgments, notice of default, small claims, or suits filed.
Take note, not all information is available for all records. Reports will include everything found.
2. Criminal Records Check
Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Traffic Offenses
Our Criminal Records Search connects you directly to one of the largest databases of over 200 million court records.
If a felony or misdemeanor offense record is available, your report may include precise information about the crime, the date, state, county, and city where the crime was committed.
If the person you are searching for was arrested and convicted of a crime involving an accident, auto collision, or other traffic violation felony, it could be published on their record in other states.
Sexual Offenders, Court Information, and Detailed Personal Information
A Criminal Records search can also help you find out if there are sex offenders in your neighborhood. You will get detailed information about the sex offender when available. Reports may include a photo of the offender, their registered address as well as specifics surrounding the sexual offense. A Criminal Records search can provide critical information about a person with a history of sexual offense records.
Criminal Records Searches typically return information regarding the court and jurisdiction where charged. When available criminal records can include the charge, offense, disposition type, sentence, probation, and conviction.
Criminal records often include the person’s full name and any aliases. And when available can include age, race, eye and hair color, weight and height.
3. Marriage and Divorce Records
Search current and historical marriage and divorce records for California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. Marriage Record results typically include bride and groom names, ages, county, and date of marriage. Divorce records generally show petitioner and respondent names, county of divorce and date of divorce.
Need to do more research about someone you just met online? Hire an investigator to run a Professional Background Check.