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.