Good Advice—Safety Tips to Follow
As a leader in online dating, OkCupid recommends that its members follow a few basic tips while dating—both online and offline. Take a few minutes to read the following safety tips to keep your dating experience enjoyable and secure.
NEVER share your personal or financial information with people you don’t know. Make sure to follow these guidelines at all times when meeting new people online:
- DON’T ever send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer. Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss. Scammers often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers or to someone who claims to be in an emergency (and wants to keep the request a secret).
- Don’t give out your credit card number or bank info.
- Don’t share your personal info, such as SSN, address, phone number, etc.
There are certain red flags to watch for that may indicate you’re dealing with a scammer. Be aware of anyone who…
- Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
- Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
- Talks about “destiny” or “fate”
- Claims to be recently widowed
- Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
- Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
- Claims to be from U.S. but currently traveling, living or working abroad
- Asks you for money
At OkCupid we care very much about our community and invest in fraud detection systems to protect you. However, even with these measures, we also need your help!
Report any suspicious activity or behavior to our support team via the feedback form immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your money.
Practical Tips for Dating Online and Off
There is no substitute for acting with caution when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet you. You are in control of your online dating experience at all times—remain anonymous until you feel ready. Remember to always trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or threatened, cease communication and report any misbehavior immediately using the feedback form.
- Guard your identity. Don’t share your real name, personal phone numbers, email address, home address, place of work or any other identifying information while IMing or messaging until you have established a reasonable level of trust with the other party. Do not post personal contact information in your profile or username.
- Protect your online access information. Use caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information. If you share your computer with others, consider disabling your auto-sign in feature if you have linked an auto log-in program or feature to your OkCupid account.
- Remain anonymous until you feel comfortable. Take advantage of the member-to-member technology utilized on OkCupid that protects your identity until YOU choose to reveal it. This technology works on all messages and IM.
- Get to know the other person online before meeting them offline. Use the tools available through OkCupid that protect your anonymity to get to know someone before meeting them in person. If you would like more information about someone, we recommend using the internet and government resources available to everyone.
- Minors using the service
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages/IMs
- Members asking you for money or donations
- Members behaving inappropriately after meeting in person
- Fraudulent registration or profiles
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or services
- Copyright infringement
- Any other violation of OkCupid's policies
Safety Tips for Meeting Offline
First meetings are exciting, however, always take precautions and use the following guidelines.
- Always meet in public. Meet for the first time in a populated, public location—never in a private or remote location.
- Tell a friend. Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you’re going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it with you.
- Stay sober. Do not do anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.
- Drive yourself to and from the first meeting. Just in case things don’t work out, you need to be in control of your own ride—even if you take a taxi.
- Don’t leave personal items unattended. You don’t want to risk having personal information stolen. If you’re drinking, keep your drink with you at all times so it can’t be tampered with.
- Stay in a public place. It is best not to go back to your date’s home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
Long Distance Meetings—5 Safety Suggestions
Long distance meetings pose special safety concerns to take into account. Keep these tips in mind.
- Stay in a hotel. If you can’t afford a hotel, don’t go. DO NOT stay in the other person’s home.
- Use a taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. Even if the person you’re meeting volunteers to pick you up from the airport, do not get into a personal vehicle with someone you’ve never met.
- Keep your hotel location confidential. The person you’re meeting should respect your privacy until you know each other.
- Remember to keep your family and friends posted. Tell someone who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will return.
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