The Better Business Bureau refers to cases involving dating sites as ‘romance scams’.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As people begin to settle into the new year, some may be looking for love.
Dating apps have skyrocketed in popularity, especially with streaming services like Netflix, creating documentaries on real testimonies of scams online. You may have heard of the ‘Tinder Swindler’.
There’s another aspect when it comes to dating online, and that’s safety. Whether you’re looking for love or even a like-minded companion, the Corpus Christi Police Department is urging residents to be cautious.
Senior CCPD officer Travis Pace said he does not want people to throw caution to the wind.
“You have to be your own detective to ensure that this individual is who they say they are,” said Pace.
With the popularity of dating apps, Pace said people use these platforms to fool those who are eager to find love.
“They’re using these platforms to victimize people,” Pace said. “So that’s why it’s very, very important to be suspicious and don’t be so forthcoming with information right off the bat.”
Don’t make yourself a victim.
“Research. Get on social media, research this individual,” Pace said. “If you have a site that has very limited information, then it’s probably not a real site.”
Morea Daley-Fischer is a community educator with The Purple Door.
“Unfortunately, while the Internet has made it easier for people to meet and start relationships,” Daley-Fischer said. “It’s also made it easier for predators to find and take advantage of you.”
The Purple Door is an organization that works to educate the community on the prevention of sexual and physical violence.
“A red flag that not everyone may think of is the pace,” Daley-Fischer said. “Like if they’re starting to say things like, ‘I love you’, ‘I can’t live without you’, ‘I think you’re the one for me’, and let’s say it’s only been like a week of you two talking, that’s a bit of a red flag.”
Pace said that not everyone who moves quickly, is a predator.
“If you decide, ok, now you take things to the next level, and you want to meet in person, set up a Zoom meeting first,” Pace said.
If residents decide to meet-up in person, they’re reminded to let family and friends know where they’re going.
“Meet them at a place, don’t let them pick you up,” Pace said. “Don’t have them drive you. So that way you have an out.”
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