To help protect you from falling victim to fraudulent activity, we believe it is important that you know what to look for and what to do if you suspect you are dealing with a scammer.
The same rules must apply to meeting people online, as meeting people offline. Trust your instincts, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and never get financially involved.
So we invite you to take 5 minutes to explore our safe dating section, and familiarise yourself with some common warning signs, and what to do if you see anything suspicious.
- Keep your personal info private
Don't rush! Only swap your personal details when you feel ready to. Interracial dating sites will offer you a safe mailing system so that you don't have to swap personal email addresses or phone numbers until you are ready. Keep your correspondence within their systems until you feel comfortable to share your personal email address. Be suspicious if someone immediately wants to take the conversation off the site.
If you do decide to share any contact details, we suggest you use Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail or another free email service provider. We suggest you don't share your work email address or your surname, as it makes it easy for someone to find out more about you via Facebook or possibly through your place of work.
- Meet when you are ready
Remember, you're never obliged to meet anyone so don't feel pressured, regardless of how much communication you've had online.
Ask questions via email and take all the time you need to become comfortable with someone before giving them your contact info.
There's no need to jump straight from online to a face-to-face meeting. It's a good idea to also have a chat on the phone before you meet. We suggest you stick to calling mobiles rather than swapping home or work numbers first.
- Choose a safe place for your first date
Choose somewhere casual and relaxed, preferably somewhere that's easy to get to and where you feel comfortable.
It's a good idea to drive on your first date and have your own transport. Don't agree to be picked up (even if it sounds like good manners to accept or offer).
On your first date, let a friend know where you are going and give them your date's number and name.
You may want to ask someone to call you at a pre-determined time. You can use the call as an excuse to end the date if it's not going well.
Don't go home with your date or invite them back to your place or accept a lift. Don't get worried about thinking that this is old fashioned - it's just good common sense.
- Trust your instincts
If it's too good to be true - it probably is! And if you feel uneasy about someone, online or offline, there's probably a good reason. Don't tell yourself you're being anxious.
- Don't get financially involved
Play it safe when it comes to money. Never send money or offer financial assistance to someone you're just getting to know - even if they claim it's an emergency or they'll pay you back.