Date Safe – Tips for Safer Online Dating in Canada

February 20 2024

With a total of 2,500+ available dating sites, it’s pretty convenient for those looking to find love. But in the middle of these love-filled dreams, we often forget that these platforms, when accessible, are also extremely dangerous. Of course, some people would say that it depends on the users, but any person can become a victim of these romance scams. An alarming incident that occurred recently in Calgary showed how a woman was swindled out of almost $500,000 through an online dating scam. That is why below are some methods to make sure you stay farther away from dating scams when online dating in Canada.

1.  Share Minimal Personal Details

As exciting as it might be to share your life story with a charming stranger, doing so may set you up as a target for scams. Using sob stories and tragedies, scammers can end up asking you for money. Sharing personal information with an unknown individual can increase feelings of uneasiness, considering that now the individual has access to your personal details.

It is important to build trust gradually when online dating in Canada. In fact, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre believes that protecting personal information can help you stay away from online scams. Until you fully trust someone, keep your information private.

2.  Don’t Link Your Social Media Profiles

Because it’s easy and fun, many people link their social media profiles with their dating apps. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. However, this way, you could end up revealing sensitive and personal information about yourself, your family, your friends, and your relationships without knowing. The Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario says that when personal information is shared on social media platforms, it could lead to identity theft and online stalking. It’s safe to say that you must avoid sharing personal information on social media profiles, especially if you’re linking them to other dating apps.

3.  Video Chat Before Meeting in Person

While meeting someone for the first time can be thrilling, it comes with its own set of risks. To ensure the person is genuine, consider video chatting into your online dating routine. During a real-time video chat, take the time to assess the person’s looks and behaviour. Even a brief 5-minute video call is enough to vet a person and help assess if they can be a potential risk in the future. According to metro.co.uk magazine, using a dating app’s video call feature is a wise move to meet someone before meeting in real life.

4.  Research Your Soon-To-Be Date

Researching your potential date’s online presence is another important step. There is more than one method to search for someone. You can search about the person’s background, behaviour, and interests using search engines and social media platforms.

You can also turn to deep research, for example, through social media background checks. Using such checks will help unveil people with a history of dishonest or dangerous behaviour, according to Forbes.

The statistics are clear: Romance scams are a common issue. Taking precautions beforehand can save you from becoming a victim of such scams and issues. If someone asks you for a finance request, consult with a trusted friend or family member before taking any action.