A LIST of ‘top tips’ has been drawn up to help people in Burton avoid the dangers of becoming a victim of online dating.
Staffordshire Police have created an online resource that allows people across the area to learn how to ‘stay safe’ while looking for love on the web.
Help for people navigating the hostile waters of online dating comes one year on from an incident which saw a man from the town jailed for his part in a gang which took advantage of men arranging dates via adult websites.
Andre Sinclair, of Horninglow Road, was handed a four-year prison sentence after he and the gang lured unlucky Romeos into alleways before robbing them of cash.
A spokesman for the force said: “Follow your chosen site’s instructions.
“Beware if you do meet someone online if things move very quickly. Stay in control.
“Do not move outside you site’s own messaging system.
“Always report abuse to the site administrator immediately as online dating sites take this seriously.
“If you are in any doubt about the veracity of someone you’ve met online break off contact immediately.
“We would also urge people to use a reputable site and to never reveal private or personal details.
“Make sure that you meet in a busy public place and always stay sober. Before you go out plan your route home. Make sure you use your common sense and instinct.”
Bob Champeau, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This isn’t a problem we encounter often in this area, however wherever possible when people are arranging to meet strangers they should make somebody aware of the location and exercise vigilance and extra caution.”