After my semester of research on this topic of online dating and apps, I feel like it is important that I leave you in one of my final posts with some context about the dangers of online dating. As for dating in general, the safety of all persons- any gender, age or identity- is crucial and needs to be acknowledged.
With the accessibility of online dating also brings about new dangers and risks. Before you begin dating online, it is important to remember these things as they apply to all subcultures and identities.
Catfishing is a term used to describe when someone creates a fake identity online to deceive people. Catfishing is usually used to describe some sort of deception in a romantic relationship. These people can change their name, age, gender, looks and photos with just the click of a button.
Catfishers can prey on users who become too trusting. There are many ways to spot a catfish before they trick you.
Predators use websites and apps to find their victims. LGBTQ+ users tend to make their profiles more anonymous, which can leave them more of a target to predators.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune “Students make online connections with a higher degree of anonymity so the people behind the profiles don't risk exposure, he said. Longing for connection but facing the risk of expulsion, they meet dates in person, possibly without exchanging even basic personal details, such as ages and last names.” Predators know this.
Scammers can try to manipulate you into giving them money and personal information. They can build trust over time, and then ask you for money, often for emergency situations. Consumer Reports said “According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.”
Rule of thumb- don’t fully trust anyone you meet online.