A new study ranks Buffalo as the most dangerous city in the nation for online dating.
Data compiled by security review company SafeWise and HighSpeedInternet.com, ranked 56 cities based on two key risk factors that researchers said are relevant to people using online dating services.
“We looked at STD [sexually transmitted disease] data from the CDC and we looked at the most common STDs. And we also looked at violent crime data from the FBI and population data,” said Sage Singleton, community outreach strategist for Safewise.
Other cities identified in the study as most at-risk include Knoxville, Tennessee and Riverside, California. SafeWise determined that the safest place for singles to date online is San Antonio, Texas, followed by New York City and Portland, Oregon.
However, Singleton advised everyone to exercise caution when meeting strangers via the internet—regardless of the location.
“We always say ‘If something feels wrong in your gut, listen to it’,” Singleton said. “And always have a safety plan when you’re going on a date with someone new. Let someone know where you’re going — when you expect to be home. So if something does go wrong, other people are aware of your whereabouts.”
Online has been growing in popularity, according to researchers at SafeWise and HighSpeedInternet.net
“Even in the last decade, online dating at first was viewed as a last resort for people. But now it is becoming the norm,” Singleton told WBFO. “So I think with more and more people online dating, that just increases the pool of people potentially with STDs and violent tendencies.”
Still, Singleton doesn’t believe the study results should discourage Buffalo residents from dating online.
“Just because Buffalo is on the most dangerous list—that’s not to scare people away from online dating. Obviously, crimes happen anywhere, so just take the necessary safety precautions no matter what city you’re in.”