Online Dating Safety
2 March 2010
At JWMatch we work hard to provide a safe environment for our members so you can focus on the fun part of dating. The vast majority of people are here for the same reasons as you and are honest and genuine, however, please be aware that there is always the possibility that you could be contacted by dishonest people.
Dating on-line is no different to doing it off-line, just a lot safer and easier if you do it right. Most of the 'rules' are common sense but here are a few practical guidelines to think about.
The "Financial Scam"
Financial Scammers may put up fake pictures, indicate living in one country and claim to be vacationing or working in another. After some lovely correspondence, they may ask for money due to an "emergency", financial trouble, a sick relative, or funds required enabling them to visit you.
If you would like to assist another member in buying an air-ticket, book and buy the flight in an office in the country you live and make sure it is refundable to only you. Your friend can later pick up the ticket in the nearest city or airport where she/he lives.
* Never send money to other members!
- Member is not in the location as stated in the profile.
- Member may ask for financial assistance due to an "emergency" or funds for a possible visit.
- Member does not want to communicate via JWMatch, wants your private email right away.
- Member wants exclusive contact with you and ask you not to talk to anyone else on the site.
Remember to Use common sense. Online dating isn't really all that different from meeting people in the real world. Used wisely, it is in fact the best possible way to meet people who share your interests and passions. Ten thousands of people are making new friends and many of them are getting married as a result of meeting on JWMatch every year. The key thing to remember is that your personal safety is paramount so trust yourself. If you're at all unsure about a person however, then don't take a risk.
Create The Right Impression
Make sure your profile is not misleading. Give the wrong idea and you'll be sure to get the wrong response or no responses at all.
Be honest, people can feel betrayed if the perfect match they've been talking to on the site turns out to have lied about their age and situation. Keep it honest from the start and you'll have a better chance of meeting the right one for you.
Think About What You Say
When contacting another member for the first time or responding to a message, think about it. Be responsible and do not include your personal contact information in the initial messages to another member.
The greatest thing about being online is the safety and privacy it affords you. Just be careful! When you start corresponding with people don't give out your personal details too early. Build up a sense of mutual trust first. Keep your last name, telephone number, email address, place of work and exact family details private until you are ready to share them.
You wouldn't ordinarily give your address to a stranger you meet in the park whom you have never seen or spoken to before. Similarly you wouldn't become heavily involved with this person after only a few short days and knowing nothing about the person other than the basic information such as name, age, and profession. The same applies for online-dating. Take all the time you need to get familiar with the person on the other end.
Don't be Pushed - Be in control
JWMatch allows you to start communication with other members anonymously. When it's time to move to the next level of communication provide a cell phone number until you get to know the person better. As you chat on the phone you may be able to pick out characteristics of the other person.
Ask questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. Do they avoid some of your questions? These can be questionable characteristics that tell you it's time to move on.
If you like someone you'll eventually want to swap numbers, email addresses or even meet up but make sure you're totally comfortable before you do. If another member is going faster than you feel happy with, just tell them - you're all in the same boat and they'll understand.
Keep an eye out for changes in content and style in the messages you receive. If Mr Loving Kindness suddenly starts sounding like Carlos the Jackal on testosterone it may be an idea to back off or move on.
Be aware. If you feel that another member is being inappropriate, you can block that member from contacting you. If you feel that a member is using the site inappropriately, contact Support to allow us to take the appropriate action.
In the real world - Meeting Off-Line
This is the big one! You mailed each other, chatted and are ready to take the plunge and meet for real.
- Meet in public. Keep your first dates in places where other people are around, consider Kingdom Halls and Conventions for first meetings.
- Tell a friend. Tell at least one friend or family members where and who you are going to meet and when you expect to return. Let your date know the meeting is not a secret and take your mobile phone with you.
- Make your own way. Take your own transport to and from the date and never accept an offer to be picked up at your house.
- Keep some mystery. Keep details of where you live or where you're staying to yourself until you're totally sure of the person.
- For long distance lovers. Pay double attention to the tips above and never stay at the person's house on your first visit.
And guys, all this applies to you too. The chances of being taken for a ride by women may be less, but don't discount it.
Most importantly, relax, have fun and keep things safe.