Safety Tips

Just to make sure you don't find yourself in an awkward, or even unsafe, situation we'd like to offer a few tips.

Don't disclose personal details too soon

Scam Lookout

We employ a vast series of scam checking systems to keep the unsavory out. However, once in a while, a bad apple slips through our net. Here are some tips to keep yourself scam-free.

CONTACT US IF YOU SUSPECT A SCAM - Use the Report Abuse on your Mailbox page or contact our support staff. We investigate and act! We want to keep our site free of scammers and we reply partly on our members to report suspicious behavior.

  1. Common SCAMs

    1. You've corresponded by e-mail a few times but certain information seems to change, such as where they live, their age, their occupation, or even the spelling of their name!
    2. Direct questions you've asked remain unanswered and you feel you're getting "canned" responses, often telling you what a wonderful unique person you are.
    3. In their first e-mail to you, they give you a heart wrenching story (usually the untimely death of their partner or both parents, leaving them as a single parent or orphan) and end the e-mail oozing with compliments, even though all they know about you is a few sentences from your profile.
    4. They claim to be well educated, yet their grammar/spelling is atrocious! Often some sentences are perfect while others are ridiculous.
    5. They live far away yet are willing to meet you (or ask you to meet them) after only a few e-mails.
    6. They are insistent about switching correspondence quickly to their personal e-mail address or Instant Messenger rather than staying on (If a member is reported for scamming, we can do nothing if we can't read their e-mails! Please keep your correspondence for this reason!)
    7. After a few e-mails your new friend mentions that they are currently out of the country feeding orphans in Africa. (If Africa appears in an e-mail, raise your suspicion level!)
    8. Their photo is breathtakingly handsome or gorgeous and they're interested in you, someone far away and a wildly different age with nothing in common. Realize that maybe it isn't really their photo. Scammers usually steal their photos from modeling sites.
    9. After corresponding, you feel there is no match whatsoever but they remain overly insistent.
    10. They ask for, or hint, for money. Never give money to another member you've never met!
    11. They ask for personal financial information. NEVER disclose your social security number, bank information, or other information that might lead to identity theft.
  3. Scam Information Resources (external web sites):
    • ScamWarners - Click on An Intro to Scams
    • OnGuard Online - Click Topics, then Email Scams. However the entire site has useful information.

Connecting Tips

  1. Go Slow
    Get to know someone on-line via several exchanges before you make any commitments to meet.
  2. Moderation
    Don't tell your whole life's story in your first e-mail. Some people can become overwhelmed with your candor. Instead, reveal a few of the most important things to you and what you're looking for in a mate. If things go well, there will be plenty of time for more details later.
  3. Don't reveal Personal Information
    Don't disclose your real name, phone number, address, or other personal information until well after you've met in person, perhaps several times, and established a trusting relationship.
  4. Look at their Photos!
    A photo reveals so much about a person. If they've chosen not to display a photo, ask them why not! Then ask your new friend to upload a photo or two of themselves. Photos can be very revealing about a person.
  5. Be Gracious
    Perhaps after your first or second correspondence, one of you feels there is no match. Be gracious! Don't express frustration or irritation to the other person. It will only reflect poorly on your character. Instead, move on. There are plenty of people in the world - and not everyone is a match for any one person.
  6. Meet in a known public place
    If you both decide to meet, make it a well known public location. A location you know nothing about might be in a poor/dangerous neighborhood and should be avoided.