Internet dating services are nothing new. They have been around as long as the internet has existed. However, with the evolution of technologies, they have become increasingly common, or even a compulsory step to establish an offline relationship.
Two basic rules: Do not believe everything people say on profiles, especially those which appear “too good to be true” and be very cautious in your exchanges until you have been able to check the person's real identity.
In real life, a sensible person would never send you a nude photograph of herself after just a few minutes of conversation. Nor would she ask you to send her one of you in a state of undress or to pose on a webcam. The same applies to all aspects of your private life. Finally, if someone asks you to lend them money (for example to take the bus to meet you), take care, because often you will never see that person, never mind your money. Always bear in mind that someone you don't know may have malicious intentions: do not fall into the trap.
If the person appears to you to be ok and you arrange an offline meeting, let your friends and if possible your family know. Set up this first meeting in a public place and in the daytime. If possible, try to go with someone else, at least for the first few minutes.
- On the internet, when you discuss with strangers, do not give anything away about your private life, do not transfer money and do not send "suggestive" photographs before you have at least met the person in real life and are sure of their intentions.
- If you have the impression that the person you are communicating with has bad intentions, leave the discussion immediately – don’t bother to be polite.
- Search engines can be useful for checking user profiles. (Is the person on other social networks? Are there any complaints about them by other users? Etc.).