The rise of dating safety concerns has been highlighted within the online dating community and we hope to shed some light on these matters in order to keep you safe!
As stated in a recent Forbes article, “The three most common problem areas, according to the research, were, (1) People lying and misrepresenting themselves, (2) People setting up spam accounts or engaging in other illicit behavior and, (3) People receiving uninvited sexually explicit messages and images.”
If you start chatting with someone who you think you would like to meet for a date, a great way to determine if they are lying or misrepresenting themselves is starting with a video date. By now we all have practice with virtual communication, and at Maclynn we often suggest initial video dates to our clients, especially to those who are not in proximity. This ensures that each party is who they say they are and, on the plus side you are saving each other’s time if there ultimately isn’t a connection! On the other hand, if you are not into video dates and confident the person you are chatting with is real – maybe you found their social accounts (we’ve all been there…), we still have simple and easy tips for you! In general, you should always inform a friend the location of the date, meet in a public place and take your own form of transportation. We strongly suggest you add these three points into your dating rule book, but as always listen to your heart and trust your instincts – you know what makes you comfortable and what doesn’t.
Unfortunately, running into spam or phishing accounts is inevitable these days, and are targeted at dating apps. The motive behind these accounts is to build conversation and trust between the person on the other end of the screen. Eventually, when the time is right, the scammer will ask for some sort of monetary compensation, the key is that these requests have stories behind them, making you feel inclined and willing to help a future “hubby.” It may seem obvious to some but to others, it is always important to remember that although vulnerability is a key aspect to dating, never share any exposing information through the phone.
When it comes to these bots, there are identifiable characteristics that you may be aware of before swiping right. Is there consistency in their pictures? Are the pictures blurry and most likely screenshotted from Google or on the other hand, suspiciously perfect…? If you have already matched, does the language seem robotic and clunky? Are they responding immediately, with messages that seem thoughtless? If you have any hesitations, go ahead and bookmark these in your dating rule book!
Similarly, there are people out there that find it acceptable to send unsolicited sexually explicit photos and messages. Not only is this an invasion of privacy, but no one also wants to be out socializing and suddenly open their phone to an unwarranted nude, God forbid you are with family or coworkers (total cringe moment!). Thankfully dating apps like Hinge, Tinder and Bumble do not allow users to send files or images through their platforms. But, if you find yourself in this situation, immediately report, un-match and block this user!
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “well, duh these are all obvious points” and have experienced these situations first-hand. Or you may be one of many that downloaded an app during the pandemic to simply connect with other life forms. Either way we want this to be your reminder to always be conscientious of the uncertainties on the internet.
Although there are many dating-app success stories out there, at Maclynn International we understand the downsides. We often hear, “there are too many profiles to look through,” “I can’t seem to find anyone exceptional,” or “there are limited users looking for something serious.” If you relate, then working with one of our dating experts could be your success story. Not only do we have matchmakers equipped with psychological fundamentals, we have certified psychologists on our team to provide you with date coaching proficiency, online dating support, webinars and much more. Get in touch today and streamline your dating experience with Maclynn International and rest easy knowing you are in professional, experienced and most importantly safe hands!