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8 Online Dating Safety Tips

Dating Safety (2)

 

These dating tips will help you feel more prepared when meeting new people. A new relationship and the possibilities are exciting. Headlines of romance scammers, stolen identities, catfish, and imposters the fear of being duped by someone you meet online.

  Here are 8 online dating safety tips to keep you safe.

  1. Tell someone where you are going. Have a trusted friend or family member you check in with where you are going and when you plan to be back. Even though you are meeting them online it is a good idea to go slow, keep your guard up and don’t get swept by the initial feelings of a new relationship. We recommend that you download the Noonlight App. Being safe is smart. Noonlight is your silent bodyguard. If you have an emergency call 911.
  2. Meet in Public. It’s a good idea to meet in a public place! Especially with meeting someone new. Don’t have them come to your house and pick you up. Meet in a mutually agreed on location like a coffee or ice cream shop.
  3. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your drink and don’t leave it unattended. If you are drinking alcohol make sure you know your limit. If you feel uncomfortable at any time during the date, get up and leave. A new helpful trend at a bar could save you by ordering an Angel Shot. If you need an “emergency” excuse to walk out the door.
  4. Be honest with yourself, trust your gut. Date smart. Date safe. It’s a good idea to meet up as soon as possible and see if there is a connection. We recommend Skype or a face time phone call. If the person you met online is hesitant to meet you in person, face time, or makes excuses as to why they can’t Skype or Face Time with you something sketchy might be going on. It’s better to walk away. Always trust your gut.
  5. Don’t be afraid to fact check someone. Google has a reverse image search, “search by image” feature. Check for multiple Facebook profiles using the same photo. Do your homework, check to see if it’s a fake account. Verify their phone number, search online: Facebook, Instagram and or LinkedIn. Check facts. Talk to mutual friends, if you have any.
  6. Protect Yourself! Check out: DateSafelyOnline.Org. Establish an in-person relationship first. Take time to get to know them! Learn to protect yourself. Don’t divulge too much information about yourself. Never send money to someone you do not know!
  7. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is! People create dream personas online. AKA ‘Catfish’ Definition: CATFISH – is someone who creates a false online identity. Sometimes a catfish’s sole purpose is to engage in a fantasy or has an intent to defraud a victim, seek revenge or commit identity theft. do not engage with them if this is the case, block and report them! 

    If your online date boasts about their luxury lifestyle, luxury cars, or yachts most likely they’re probably lying. If anything sounds unbelievable, strange or seems weird ask questions. If the person is defensive, you’re likely on to something. See our blog on  Military Ruse – How To Spot a Catfish! or a person working, living or being out of the country. Do not send money!!!! I repeat DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY! Report them! Do not give out your bank account information, social security numbers, address or birthday. If you do feel like you have been scammed please reach out to the ODA (Online Dating Association).  

  8. The RED FLAGS to look for. Recovering from a devastating break up is similar to a community recovering from a natural disaster. Don’t ignore feelings of hesitancy or discomfort. You do a lot of looking back and analyzing—trying to understand how you missed the signs and how you allowed yourself to be so unprepared for the imminent destruction that was headed your way. You are paralyzed with guilt for being so stupid and gullible. If only I had seen the red flags you yell at yourself! Here’s a list of RED FLAGS to watch out for. 

Please Date safe and responsible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry always! 

Visit us at DatingSafe.Com to find out more about us and why we’re different! Know you’re meeting online is who they say they are! #datingsafe

 

To read more visit: DatingSafe.Blog

6 Tips for better relationships – The Dance of Dating

5 Signs you’re with the wrong person – Mr. Right Now

Profile Picture Perfection is Possible 

Healthy Relationship Habits 

8 Tips for Surviving Divorce

15 Types of Verbal & Emotional Abuse 

 

Written by: Tracy Peart– Founder of DatingSafe & HolyShift Masterclass, Entrepreneur, and Widowed Single Mom on a mission to create change in the dating industry!

See Tracy’s Story on YouTube

DatingSafe Founder Tracy

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The Military Ruse

 

 

The Military Ruse

“You don’t know me, but I stumbled across your picture, and I couldn’t look away. You’re just stunning!”

Not many of us wouldn’t be intrigued if we saw this in our inbox on Instagram.  It is the hook that many scammers use to catch the attention of women all around the world. Sometimes the writing is less articulate and full of grammar errors, but the message is the same: I don’t know you, but you’re beautiful!

The military ruse follows a very predictable pattern. They always message a potential victim through Instagram. They pour on the flattery like hot butter over popcorn. Sometimes they may send you poetry.  They will call you “babe, sweetie, and love.” They are always in the US military. Almost always they are deployed overseas in Africa. Often they have a dead wife or they have been hurt by their previous girlfriend. They will often send you pictures of them in their uniform. However, an astute observer might notice that the name on their uniform doesn’t match what they say their name is, or they claim they’re in the navy but send you a picture of a man in an air force uniform. They may even send you a picture of their military ID, but if you look closely it is obvious it has been photo shopped. They will try to get you to chat with them on Google Hangouts, their preferred method of communication because they cannot be traced. Sometimes they will call you on the phone, but they will never video call you.

They will then begin to create intimacy with you as they confide that they can’t stop thinking about you. They will reveal that they have never met anyone like you before, and usually within just a few short days they will confess their undying love. Usually within 24 to 48 hours after that declaration of love, they will ask for money or gift cards. Sometimes they will slow down a bit if they sense their potential victim is getting wary, but almost always the “relationship” progresses very fast.

These scammers are individuals in third world countries who have used this ruse, and many others, to successfully take hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting, eager-for-love victims. They use every social media site including creating fake profiles to infiltrate dating apps. It is very important to keep your mind in full gear while you are looking for love. Each scammer has several ruses he/she uses, but the military ruse is quite popular on Instagram. So, if you see any of the telltale signs of the ruse, here is what you can do:

  1. Remember that Instagram is NOT a dating app. If someone approaches you on this app and tries to start a relationship with you out of thin air, be very wary.
  2. Do a reverse Google search on their pictures. Most scammers have stolen pictures off of Facebook or other sites. There’s a good chance you will find out who the image belongs to by doing a reverse image search.
  3. Ask the person to video call you or Face Time you. If they’re a scammer, they will give you an excuse as to why they can’t. With the military ruse, they will usually say it’s because they are deploying soon so they are too busy or they aren’t allowed to because they are on a secret mission.
  4. Remember, real love and emotion takes time to develop. If they are professing love after knowing very little about you, it’s not love—it’s a lure.
  5. Learn to be skeptical of everyone! When you are honestly searching for a relationship, it is hard to engage your brain once your heart gets put into gear. Scammers know this. They send you sweet messages. They flatter you. They know if they can get your heart involved, you will likely turn off your brain. That’s when they start asking for things. Don’t get tricked. At the first sign of trouble, block the person.

 

Some scammers are a little more sophisticated and they start with something that looks legitimate, but they all will ultimately follow the same pattern: get their victim onto Google Hangouts, profess love, and ask for money. Don’t fall prey to these schemes. They continue to use this ruse because it works! It’s time for the singles of the world to shut these pathetic scammers down.

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Profile Picture Perfection is Possible!

ProfilePicCollageYou’re ready. The idea of dating no longer causes you to break out into a cold sweat and head for the bathroom with stomach pains. You feel confident, secure, and stable. You want to increase your chances of meeting someone you can share your life with, so you decide to leverage the power of online dating. Last year, 46% of people met their current partner online. You take a deep breath, grab your laptop, curl up in your favorite chair, and begin to carefully craft your online dating profile.

You struggle through draft after draft of usernames and clever headlines. With 59 million users, it’s an enormous challenge to find something that is unique and hasn’t been overdone. After what seems like days, you feel like you have climbed Mt. Everest, and you have just one step left . . . pictures. This is perhaps the most daunting aspect of creating an online dating profile. Research has shown that people will form an opinion of you in 1/10 of a second. That’s it! That’s all you get before someone decides to like your picture, send you a message, or move on to another profile. Talk about pressure! It’s almost enough to make anyone climb back into their pajamas, grab a quart of Ben and Jerry’s, and decide to try online dating next year.

However, there are things you can do to maximize that 1/10 of a second you have. Dozens of research studies have been conducted in the last five years to uncover what men and women like and don’t like when it comes to online dating pictures. There are some clear guidelines that will help you choose the best possible pictures for your profile. Here is what you can glean from the research:

  1. No hats or sunglasses. People who had pictures of them wearing hats or sunglasses received 63% less likes or messages. Why? Eyes are one of the first things people notice about another person. Making eye contact with someone, even through a picture, seems more intimate than looking at someone’s sunglasses. In fact, 53% of men notice a woman’s eyes first in a picture. Don’t cover up those assets, show them off. What about hats? Caps and beanies can be fun and appropriate for hiking and vacationing, but often people wear them to cover up flaws. Unless you wear that hat or beanie all day, every day make sure to have a picture without it. If you’re bald or have a receding hairline, own it!
  2. Include at least one full body picture. People who had at least one on their profile got 203% more incoming messages and 33% more replies to their messages. Why is this? It has to do with transparency. Being physically attracted to someone is an important factor in dating. While it is important to put your best foot forward, it’s also important to put ALL of you forward as well.
  3. Have a niche? Include it in a picture but only if you have more than one picture. People who wore their favorite sports jersey received 32% more incoming messages than other profiles. Additionally, people who included pictures of themselves on vacation, participating in hobbies, and competing in sports received more messages than other profiles. However, this was only true if it was in addition to other pictures. This is because these are great conversation starters, but if it is the only picture on your profile, it can alienate potential partners who may be interested in you but might not share your interests.
  4. Taking a good selfie is incredibly difficult. Getting the angle right, cropping out background images, and adjusting glare are all nightmares. As it turns out, selfies are also not that effective as online dating profile pictures. In fact, for women it is a deterrent to getting messages. Women with selfies received 40% less messages than profiles without selfies. Ironically, men catch a break here but not a big one. They receive 11% more messages if they have a selfie profile picture. For both genders, though, mirror selfies are a no-no. Mirror selfie profile pictures receive fewer likes and messages across the board. The solution is to grab your best friend and have her take some pictures or get some professionally done.
  5. Filters and photoshop. You might not think so, but it is obvious if you have used a filter or photoshop on your picture. People who have profile pictures that have been edited with filters receive fewer likes and messages by 32%. This is especially true for Snap Chat filters. The only exception is the black and white filters. These pictures get 13% more messages.
  6. Expensive toys. This seems to be a common profile picture for men. Maybe she’ll send me a message if I pose with my amazing car or motorcycle? Maybe I’ll just post a picture of my car or motorcycle and she’ll be so impressed she won’t care that I’m not in the picture. Men, this is a huge turn-off for women. In fact, men who posted pictures of themselves with their toys or just their toys received far fewer likes and messages than other profiles. Save the reveal of your nice car or motorcycle for a first or second date when she can appreciate it in person.
  7. Where’s Waldo? Group photos are a nightmare for dating profiles. If you have a great picture of yourself in a small group, then include it at the end of a series of photos of you. Never have a group photo be your only profile picture. It is never obvious to anyone looking at your profile who you are in that picture.
  8. No ex’s or SOs in your picture. Never. Period.
  9. Everything matters. When someone looks at your pictures, they may notice your amazing smile and beautiful eyes, but they will also notice the dirty clothes on your bed or the hungry kids pulling at your leg. Make sure that everything in the photo tells the story you want it to because it will be judged.
  10. If your profile picture hasn’t changed but you have, it’s time for a new picture. If you recently cut off nine inches of your hair, time for a new picture. If you shaved your head, time for a new picture. If your beard has become speckled with gray hair, time for a new picture. A good rule of thumb is to update your picture every year unless you make changes to your appearance sooner than that. It’s about integrity. It’s about being authentic and confident in who you are now.

Now you know a lot of what not to do, so what CAN you do to be proactive and successful with your photo selection? Here is what we know from hundreds of thousands of singles who responded to research studies. Singles are looking for someone who fits the trifecta: attractive, trustworthy, and confident. Each photo you choose to put on your profile should reveal these three items. In order to nail this trifecta, you should enlist the help of friends. It turns out you are not the best judge of your own photos. If none of your existing pictures fit this description, take some. It is perfectly acceptable to stage moments that capture your fun personality, your hobbies, and the things you are passionate about. You want the pictures you include to tell a story. You want them to start a conversation with someone and invite them to message you to know more about you. Most of all, you want to be authentic and transparent.

As you take pictures for your profile, keep several things in mind. People respond warmly to pictures where the person is smiling, where there is good lighting, and where the person is taking up most of the room in the picture. A recent analysis done by Tinder discovered that 56% of women and 72% of men wore neutral colors in their profile pictures. So, skip the neutral and wear red. Not only is it a power color that flatters almost everyone, you will automatically stand out from the majority of other profile pictures.

You should always include more than one picture on your profile. The magic number is four. Research has even shown the most effective sequence for them. Order them: (1) your very best, most attractive picture (2) picture of you participating in a hobby or event (3) possibly a small group photo or travel or vacation photo (4) full body photo. People with less than four photos receive fewer messages. Those with more do not necessarily receive more messages, so it’s up to you how many you want to put on there. One cautionary note, be careful if you choose to include pictures with your children in them. While you may want to show what a cute and adoring parent you are, you may want to keep that for a later time when you have met the person face to face and have developed a relationship of trust with them.

So, put down the Ben and Jerry’s, take a deep breath, and peruse the pictures in your phone. If there’s nothing there that matches the criteria for a perfect profile pic, then grab your bestie and have a fun impromptu photo shoot. Remember, it only takes one like, one message to change your life. So, if it takes a while to get the right kind of response to your profile, that’s ok. You are worth it!

 

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The Journey Begins

Meet Our Founder Tracy

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My Story… 2011, Tragedy strikes! Suddenly widowed with four small children. A stay at home mom with no clue about how to live life as a widow. Manual not included. A rusty resume. Then, a journey to the afterlife changed everything. The power of forgiveness and letting go. Learning to keep my sanity intact by remembering to laugh when life literally falls apart. Discovering my divine purpose. Helping others find love. How my own online dating flops, failures and mishaps led me to start Dating Safe. Leading the industry in secure online dating. Finding hope, faith, and optimism against all odds. Ultimately, learning how to tackle life events with humor, sorrow and most of all honesty.

 

About Dating Safe: 

 

IT’S NOT RIGHT THAT ONE PERSON CAN BE MASQUERADING AS 10 PEOPLE ONLINE! DATING SAFE IS TAKING STEPS TO MAKE ONLINE DATING SECURE. WE’VE TEAMED UP WITH YOTI TO VERIFY WHO A PERSON IS BY THEIR ID DRIVERS LICENSE / PASSPORT, A FACIAL SCAN, AND SELFIE. YOU WILL KNOW WHO YOU’RE MEETING ONLINE IS WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE.

While online dating continues to grow, people fall victim to dating fraud and romance scams which cost time, money, and emotional distress. Daters are required to trust that the people they meet online are who they claim to be. Yet fake profiles and bots on dating sites are not uncommon, and it’s too easy to be tricked or scammed by somebody using a false identity or hiding behind a fake profile. So, to solve that problem every member at Dating Safe is verified by government ID. We’re raising the bar by raising the barrier to entry. Thank you for joining us!