Safety Tips for Online Dating

Online Dating Safety U of M's Division of Public Safety and Security

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Before swiping right, follow these important tips to keep yourself safe online.

Avoid connecting with suspicious profiles. If a profile has a no image or a single, non-descriptive image, it may either be a fake account or an account with malicious intent. 

Do research before meeting in person. In order to legitimize the connection and avoid being catfished, or lured into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona, try to find (or ask for) social media accounts connected with that person. Having mutual friends also is a good sign that the profile is legitimate. 

Block and report suspicious activity. If another user is sending harassing messages or making you feel uncomfortable, utilize the feature to block and anonymously report the user. Additionally, if you suspect a scam, such as another user asking for money or financial assistance, be sure to promptly utilize the report feature on the app or report it to the police. DO NOT RELEASE PERSONAL INFORMATION OR PROVIDE MONEY OR GIFT CARDS. 

Do not give out personal information to someone you have not met. Personal information includes work or home addresses, passwords, personal finances, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity. 

Try meeting in a digital space first. During the pandemic, Zoom dates have become increasingly popular. A low stakes way to meet someone where you can be sure to not come in contact with COVID-19 and confirm they are the same person in their posted photographs. 

Trust your instincts. Always tell a friend or relative where you are going and who you will be meeting with before you meet for the first time. If you are uncomfortable, do not worry about appearing rude. Call 911 if you feel you are in danger.

While online dating is a fun way to connect with new people, it is important to stay safe while doing so. 

It is also important to remember that if you do experience concerning behavior, sexual assault, or violence while dating or any other time, it is not your fault. U-M has resources and is here to help. The DPSS Special Victims Unit (SVU) can assist with addressing any concerns you may have related to your safety, whether a crime has been committed or not. Additionally, the DPSS SVU partners with confidential and free advocacy groups, such as U-M’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) and SafeHouse Center.

Contact DPSS 24/7 at (734) 763-1132 or 911 in an emergency.