There have been over 600 reports of romance scams per month made to Action Fraud throughout June, July and August, with criminals exploiting online daters loneliness during the lockdown.
Police forces and other organisations are set to run a campaign throughout October in order to raise awareness of romance fraud, after a 26% increase in reports of fraud to Action Fraud during the past year.
The fraudsters gain victims trust over weeks then exploit their victim by conducting a story which often leads their victims to part with their hard-earned cash
Online Dating Fraud is also known as Romance Fraud and Romance scams are a growing issue. This type of scenario can be avoided by ensuring that you only date a Safe Dates Verified User. All of our verified Safe Dates members have been identity checked and criminal background check offering you peace of mind when looking for love online.
Don’t get caught out by an online dating fraudster – ensure your date has been verified by Safe Dates.Learn More
Even though online dating is rapidly gaining popularity as a result of an increasing number of online users, there are still serious concerns about the safety of online dating. Online Dating poses many dangers which is why ensuring you date only Safe Date’s Verified users is essential. An example of the risks involved when dating an unverified individual was published in a recent article in the National Press where a woman named Chantelle Curry from Middlesbrough was beaten by a man she met when looking for love online.
Chantelle claims to have met Jason Driver on a popular dating site in October 2019 and had told the court that she was communicating with him for months before they finally met in January 2020. The woman reportedly missed a red flag when the man confessed to having been using a fake name and pictures for his profile. The couple continued to communicate and meet, but the relationship took a turn for the worst when her partner started complaining about her spending too much time with her friends.
One evening the couple had been arguing when Driver suddenly got violent.
Jason Driver put his belt around Chantelle Curry’s neck, leaned on her windpipe and pushed his thumbs into her lips to stop her screaming..
Chantelle, 38, pushed him off but Driver, 40, continued to torment her through the night while her two young children were asleep in the house.
He hit Chantelle with a belt, chased her, pinned her down, twisted her neck and grabbed her throat and hair, Teesside Live reports.
The trial also revealed that Driver had other 38 previous convictions for offences including domestic violence, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.
He was jailed for a year at Teesside Crown Court in May and was released last month, due to the time he had already served on remand.
Chantelle said she would never have met up with Driver if she had been aware of his previous convictions.
The above story shows the dangers of meeting people you meet online before verifying if they are safe to date. Below are some ways in which people using dating sites can ensure their safety.
Make use of Safe Dates
People looking for love online should without a doubt use our service. Safe Dates uses industry-leading identity checking software to conduct identity checks for its members in addition to conducting identity checks we also ensure that the individuals do not have any convictions of a Sexual, Violent, Stalking or Harassing nature. Ensuring that your online date is Safe Dates Verified is essential.
Keep Your Contact Information Private
You will be safer when using online dating sites if you don’t post any identifying details like your phone number and address on your user profile. You should also avoid using your full name because it is also easy to get your private data using your name even if you did not post them on the site.
Choose Your Dating Sites Wisely
Once you decide to use dating sites, go through reviews to find out what others are saying about the available dating sites. You can also check the features that the app has employed to endure users’ security before to sign up. Secure apps will verify each user’s details like the email address and phone numbers to ensure that they are legit.
Ask Your Online Date To Become Safe Dates Verified
Once you have connected with a potential date and are looking to meet up then we would recommend that if the subject hasn’t been verified by Safe Dates already that they do. Once they have been verified by us you can feel at ease knowing the subject is who they say they are and that they have no convictions of a Sexual, Violent, Stalking or Harassing nature.
Follow Your Gut
You should not ignore any feeling of discomfort, even if you are not quite sure what it is all about. If your gut tells that the person is not honest, you should keep distance by avoiding any further communication. It doesn’t matter if you have met with the person before or you have been communicating for months.
Stay Safe.Learn More
New stats have revealed that Dating Fraud has risen 26% in the last year. The report suggests that the average victim of romance fraud loses over £10,000. The reported losses reported by the victims between August 2019 and August 2020 total a huge £66,335,239.
The Police refer to the crime as a sophisticated crime with up to 70 per cent of it originating from overseas, often with organised teams of people researching potential victims. The Police and other organisations are running a campaign throughout October to help raise awareness of online dating fraud.
Lockdown has lead to increasing cases of romance fraud due to the fact that restrictions meant people could no longer meet face to face which led to many turning to online dating to form new relationships. The fraudsters used and played upon the fact that due to covid they could not meet in person due to the restrictions in place therefore providing a legitimate reason why they would be unable to meet.
The internet is without a doubt a great way to socialise, interact, meet new people and form relationships however without ensuring that your date has been verified by Safe Dates there is a huge risk of being lured into a romance scam
Police said popular platforms where victims reported first interacting with criminals committing romance fraud were Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Instagram, Tinder and Match.com.
Safe Dates completely minimises all risks of Online Dating Fraud and we would recommend that anyone looking for love online ensures their potential date is Safe Dates Verified!Learn More
Since the 1990s, online dating has grown from a niche way of meeting new people to the digital juggernaut it is today. Each day, millions of people ‘meet’ new matches in the hopes of starting a relationship – yet many are unaware of the dangers they face.
As the new platform Safe Dates proves, digital dating can be a safety minefield, so it is crucial to take as many precautions as you can. Here are a few key red flags to look out for.
- An empty profile
You don’t necessarily expect your potential date to write an essay on their online dating profile, but empty space can be disconcerting. The dating profile is where most people try and present themselves in the best possible light – much as online businesses do when organising their website or shopfront. If someone has not put any effort into their own profile, it could signify they are either hiding something or simply not interested in attracting anyone. Steer clear of profiles which signify nothing at all.
- Unclear photographs
This is another red flag which you should always watch out for, as users could easily have taken their photo from elsewhere or be trying to obscure their identity so you can’t see who they truly are. Small photographs are another sign that there may be a problem, for many of the same reasons. A photograph which has been stolen from another place and quickly copy-pasted onto a dating profile may signify trouble ahead, as this individual is hiding something.
- Possessive language
An online dating profile (and your initial communication) should not have any hints of possessiveness. Watch out for declarations about what an individual will ‘tolerate’, or people who seem to have a long laundry list of what they don’t want rather than any real information about themselves.
- Aggressive language
If you find someone’s communication with you to be aggressive, do not ignore your own instincts. Be sure to trust yourself and do not be forced or coerced into doing or saying anything which you are not comfortable with. Should your potential date start to become possessive with you, then simply stop speaking with them.
- Asking for money
This might seem like an obvious one, but it is easy enough to be conned into parting with your hard-earned cash by someone who says they need it for an emergency, or to meet you, or any other number of reasons. Once someone starts asking for cash, get out of that conversation right away. Your relationship should be one of equals – and demands or requests for money are signs of a potential scammer.Learn More
Dating can be nerve-wracking enough as it is, without worrying that you might be meeting someone who isn’t quite who they say they are. Yet instances of online dating fraud continue to escalate, as more and more of us look for love on the web.
Until the launch of new service Safe Dates, there’s been no real way to check whether your date is who they say they are, or for you to prove the same to a potential date. Let’s take a quick look at how to verify your own ‘safe date’.
- Meet in public
It’s always advisable to meet your date in a public area where you know people will be around. With so many opportunities for catfishing, this is a great way to ensure that you meet someone who is the person from their online dating profile photographs
2. Tell people where you are
As another layer of safety, we strongly recommend daters tell someone close to them where they are going and who they are meeting. This will help add more safety and gives you someone to check-in with during the date. It also means that if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to get help from somebody you trust.
3.Trust your instincts
Sometimes, our gut instinct about a person proves to be right. Never feel pressured into meeting in person if you don’t want to do so, no matter how guilty the other person may try and make you feel for ducking out of the date. Likewise, if you’re on a date and feel uncomfortable, then feel free to leave at any time.
4.Use Safe Dates
Online dating platforms are under no obligation to identity check their users, which means they have become playgrounds for abusers, kidnappers and scammers. The statistics on the thousands of crimes related to online dating speak for themselves and help showcase how important it is to always take the appropriate safety measures during your online dating life. Running an identity and criminal check using Safe Dates is the perfect way to check your date is being honest about who they are, while also enabling you to do the same for them.
The process is simple and inexpensive – users need only sign up, upload their identity documents and pay a small fee for investigative checks Thereafter, they’ll be issued with a unique verification code, which can be searched for on Safe Dates to prove authenticity.Learn More
Online dating has now become the norm, which is fantastic news for people who are serious about wanting to meet someone new. However, the online dating space is also rife with exploitation and scams. Some of the statistics surrounding this area of the dating world are downright terrifying – and could leave you out of pocket, in unsafe situations or even fighting for your life. Here are a few facts and figures around online dating safety.
A playground for abusers
It is estimated that 1/10 sex offenders use dating profiles to find their next victim, according to Phactual. This statistic is scary enough, as it suggests that a large proportion of online daters have interacted with someone truly dangerous, unknowingly.
In addition, the same source states that so-called ‘online predators’ commit a multitude of crimes after sourcing their new victims, including thousands of rapes, 16,000 abductions and 100 murders every year.
Opportunities for scamming
Online scamming is also big business. Asking for money directly or accessing the finances of an individual is commonplace in the online dating world, and there are many opportunities for exploitation. The latest figures state that around 10% of all online dating profiles aren’t real – meaning they have been created under a false identity. This will come as scary news for anyone who has ‘met’ someone great on the web, but has yet to meet up in person.
Lying about relationship status
Unfortunately, the ability to hide behind a computer means many users are dishonest in other ways, too. Even if they’re not an abuser and they are who they say they are, their relationship status may not be all it seems. In fact, it appears that up to 62% of online daters lie about their relationship status, and approximately half are already in long-term relationships (or relationships of some kind) when they browse for a new partner. Dishonesty and intent to harm comes in many different forms, and for those seeking something real this could be truly devastating.
What can I do?
Until recently, there have only been limited methods of finding out the true identity of an online dater – but Safe Dates provides a pioneering new take on the dating process. By carefully vetting the identity of users, utilising the latest in high-tech investigative software, it provides a great new way for people to verify themselves online or check someone else is telling the truth.
As finding love continues to go digital, this is a great way to protect yourself and others from danger.Learn More
Online dating is now a mainstream way of meeting new people, but many of us are unaware of the dangers we face each time we log-on. With no way of telling whether people are who they say they are, catfishing continues to grow more and more commonplace – but what is it, and how can you avoid some of the dangers of online dating?
What is catfishing?
Put simply, catfishing is the term used to describe someone who creates a fake profile and identity for themselves. This is usually done to con others into believing they truly are this new ‘person’, either to extract money or otherwise cause harm to the people they meet on the web.
Catfishers are sometimes quite detailed in their construction of these new identities, which can make it difficult to tell fact from fiction. While some simply steal a photograph or a name, others will carefully construct an alternate life story which makes them sound more ‘impressive’ or attractive than they would otherwise.
In online dating, this can be catastrophic for a victim, as it may lead them to interact with this individual in a way which they would not do if they knew who was really behind the screen. This could include sending money, intimate or suggestive photographs, or even agreeing to meet, only to be conned (or in some instances, physically harmed) in person.
Examples of catfishing
There have been several high-profile examples of catfishing, such as the event in 2016 when a man was conned into believing he was online dating the popstar Katy Perry. Such high profile examples of identity theft can also have a damaging impact upon the life of the person who has their photographs or identity stolen, such as in the case of Karen Danczuk, who had her photograph plastered across online dating profiles in 2017 and had to manage numerous attempts at contact from men who thought she had been ‘dating’ them.
How do I stay safe when online dating?
Online dating platforms are currently under no real legal pressure to keep their users safe, particularly in the area of vetting identities. This is where we come in. Safe Dates provides a trustworthy, effective service where users of online dating can have their identities verified (or check someone else’s providing they are already a member of Safe Dates), proving their trustworthiness and helping to make online dating less toxic, far safer and all in all a happier experience for online daters.
If you would like to sign up for Safe Dates please click here.
If you are already a member of Safe Dates and would like to invite a potential new date to sign up and become a Safe Dates Verified Member please click here.Learn More