First and foremost.. NO! they’re not. They’re as safe as you are.
There are many people who have tried online dating and they have ended up in very bad situations which make them feel apprehensive about online dating sites in general. When you go into a dating site, you need to remember that you are dealing with the same risks that people deal with in the real world. This means that you need to consider that there will be honest people and dishonest people just like it happens outside of the internet. So just always take the same precautionary measures online as you would if you were out at a bar talking to strangers.. But realize, that online, people can be different than what they say they are. Games can be played. And if you are easily convinced to meet up for real, then that’s on you. Be smarter than that.
Check out these statistics for example:
Dating online has always been something that has had mixed results for people. There are some people who create fake profiles and they get away with this until someone actually meets up with them and they are then reported by a member of the community and in other cases they will be reported by the actual people that own the photos they use. There is no doubt that dating sites provide a perfect platform for people to steal identities and pretend to be someone they are not, but there are also plenty of people who are genuinely interested in meeting someone they could date.
At Hey There, we are building artificial intelligence engines to identify fakes, and remove them from the platform. We even review accounts manually to ensure people are legit. This is one of the reasons we only allow people to log into our app with Facebook credentials. We want to leverage Facebook’s constant attempts to make sure everyone on their platform is real to our advantage. That coupled with additional tech to notice patterns that match normal fake/bot/scammer behavior and we’ve got you pretty well covered. Add verified badges into the mix and you’re really well covered if you only go for the users who have a verified badge on their profile.
But even still.. we can’t catch everyone that puts up a fake profile.. it’s impossible. So you have to be smart too.
If you want to be able to make sure that you are not being catfished, you need to do certain things to find out if you are not going to end up disappointed. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a catfish is a person who goes on the internet and pretends to be someone else for a large number of reasons. Some people do it because they have nothing else to do. Others do it because they want to scam people out of their money, in any case, this is something that no one should ever have to experience.
When you go on a free dating site and you find someone that you might be interested in, we suggest that you chat with them a few minutes and then request a live camera conversation. If they say they don’t have a webcam, this is a red flag and you should never buy into it. Anyone should have a webcam at this point and if they don’t and they really want to prove they are who they say they are, they will find a way to prove it to you. If they’re full of crap, they’re not going to look for a way to prove it to you. It’s that simple.
If they still insist they can’t have a webcam conversation, you should ask them to record a video to say hi and say that date. Anything that will prove to you that they are not using someone else’s image and pretending to be someone else. This is going to be very important if you want to avoid engaging in long conversations with someone for days and even months just to find out they are not who they claim to be. Some people have spent years in this situation without knowing that they are being lied to.
If you want to enjoy the free online dating sites that offer a lot of opportunities to meet someone, just try to avoid falling in love with someone until you know for sure they are whey say they are.