Are you single and looking for love online? Well that’s okay but Police want to remind you to use your common sense to keep yourself safe when meeting people online.
Here are a few tips that will help.
- Anyone can pretend to be someone else and post information that isn’t true. There is no way to know if someone is being honest about his or her age, or even gender.
- Don’t reveal your surname, home or email address, workplace information or any phone numbers until you completely trust the person you're communicating with. Don't feel pressured to share any details before you are ready.
- If someone is making you feel uncomfortable then stop returning messages.
- Communicate through the dating website until you're absolutely ready to move onto the next step. If you're not comfortable with the outcome of the phone calls then there is no need to take things any further.
- Do not give out your bank account details or offer your credit card numbers to anyone, no matter how good their reasons for asking might appear. Never send money to people you have met through a dating website. Alert the dating website immediately if anyone asks you for money.
- Ask to see photos - if you've been chatting with someone and they refuse to provide a picture (or the picture looks like it may have been 'borrowed' from a website), be suspicious. You have a right to ask for more than one photo.
- If you are going to meet face to face, meet in a public area, take a friend or tell someone where you are going and when to expect you home.
- Don’t feel bad about cutting the date short. If it doesn't feel right to you, make your excuses and leave.
- Sometimes a date might go further than expected. Don’t do anything you don’t want to. If you change your mind about how far you want to go with someone, you can stop what is happening at any time. You do not need to apologise. You don’t owe them anything. Be clear and insistent.
- Report any problems to the dating website and anything more serious to Police.
Remember - trust your instincts!
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before you head out.
- If you are planning on drinking, then it’s a good idea to have something substantial to eat before you start drinking.
- Plan how you're getting home at the end of your night.
- Always take cash or an eftpos card just in case you need to pay for transport home.
- Don't wander off from your friends when out and about. It’s easy to lose people in clubs so always let your friends know where you're going.
- Have a place to meet up with your friends if you get separated.
- Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks that you haven't personally seen poured, especially from strangers.
- Make sure you’re going home with the same number of people you started with. Look after your friends.
- Program a taxi number into your phone.
Running / Walking at night
- Carry a phone with you.
- Make sure you tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be.
- Stick to well-lit and busy areas.
- Avoid alleyways or shortcuts.
- Stick to areas that you are familiar with.
- It’s always safer to exercise with another person or in a group.