Online Dating Safety Tips
As more and more people are finding love online, even more people are finding losers, catfish, and frauds. Finding personal information on the internet is very simple, so there is really no excuse for not pre-vetting the person on the other end of your swiping screen unless your swiping was fueled by a few glasses of Chardonnay and you're willing to forgo the risks in place of the rewards. That being said, anyone can make a dating profile and find a connection. If my ex was able to meet women on the internet while I was at home pregnant with his babies, you better believe that plenty of other two-faced guys are available for the next 45 minutes or so. It's possible that you don't care if he's married, jobless, or wanted in another state, BUT if anything on that list sounds like a turnoff, follow these steps to find out the dirty deets before getting dirrrty.
Start with your personal defense.
1.) Share his picture, name, or phone number with a close friend
2.) Get in the habit of letting a friend know your meeting plans before dates and check in after
3.) Protect your own identity- only share information that you are comfortable with the whole world knowing online
Now for the detective work...
4.) Save his profile picture to your phone, then upload it to a reverse google image search
What to look for: check for the source on pictures to verify they are originals
Here's why: One time I connected with a guy who had multiple profiles in a few states with different ages. Pretty sure that he was a catfish.Then he sent me a dick pic from a porn site and confirmed that I needed to unmatch.
5.) Scroll his instagram pics
What to look for: verify his age, scan comments for any recent mushy stuff
Here's why: One very handsome instagram user invited me to "his" home for a dip in the hot tub. I clicked on a pic of him with a woman a little older than me and read the caption- he had just celebrated his 21st birthday with his Mom. Conveniently she left the nest for him to find a cradle robber that weekend, but it wasn't me!
5.) Google his phone number
What to look for: You might be able to get his last name, if you don't already have it, which opens your search options
Here's why: sometimes the red flags are small, like the name on his phone account seems like it might be a parent, but you should never ignore your gut. I almost confirmed a date with a guy in this category who told me he wanted to lick my asshole. I declined.
6.) Type his phone number in a Facebook search
What to look for: again, use the account to verify his name or age, scan pics, confirm he's not a Trump supporter
Here's why: Even though we didn't meet online, I still used this tactic on a guy who told me he was 26. I found out he was only 23 and that he graduated from my high school 9 years after me. I'm not looking to date a kid since I have plenty of my own.
7.) Search LinkedIn for his name, title and workplace
What to look for: confirm his details and note the number of contacts for authenticity.
Here's why: I almost skipped a date because the google search on his name turned up some fraud stuff, but he had a common name so I took this route and decided to go for it. He was a great catch, but he ghosted me (presumably because I have three kids). He's still out there, so swipe away ladies!
8.) Scan the state docket lists for police public records
What to look for: criminal records don't go away. These aren't just speeding tickets, you'll find DUI, domestic abuse, and a host of other serious offenses.
Here's why: take my word for it- history repeats itself.
Nothing beats an in person meeting for really getting to know someone, but these are some good strategies for shedding the fear of the unknown. We can't always count on the losers to disqualify themselves after only a few texts. I'm forever grateful to my first connection on Tinder. He texted me a video of himself having sex with another woman and quickly set the mark that I would need to be on my guard on these sites, even though I have no idea how he didn't completely turn me off of the entire concept of online dating. I guess I'm not afraid of a challenge ;)