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Lawsuits around the country have sought to hold internet dating sites responsible for negligence in cases where users have been attacked by individuals they met on those sites.

A recent lawsuit, in California against serves as an example. The suit was prompted by a woman who allegedly suffered a sexual attack after a second date with a man whom she met through the site. She subsequently sued calling for the site to employ basic background checks on all users since her alleged assailant had previously been charged for sex crimes.

The injunction also requested the site be prohibited from accepting new users until the company implemented sex offender screening. Match agreed to comply. You can read more about the case on the HuffPost Los Angeles site.

The above case is one of several horrifying stories involving online dating sites. What can users do to protect themselves?

Below are some safety tips recommended by authorities that should be followed when interacting with dating sites.

? If you decide to take the plunge and meet someone in person, that you’ve met online, agree to meet in a public place (such as a restaurant or coffee shop). This is first and foremost the most important safety rule of internet dating.

? Use an anonymous email, such a Yahoo or Gmail when using a dating site so you don’t have to use your real name. Keep in mind, these sites have thousands of users and having your name and information out there isn’t only unsafe, it’s not smart.

? When you are first getting to know someone via the computer (and in person), do not give out sensitive information such as your home address or even your home phone number which can easily help someone find your address. If you have decided you are have reached a point that to want give out your number, it is safer to give out your cell phone number. It goes without saying that you should never give out your social security number, credit card information or send anyone cash. While these may sound like common sense, you would be surprised to know how many times these suggestions are ignored.

? There are a few red flags that you should look for while taking to someone over the computer. He/she should not appear too concerned about what you are doing and where you are. Do they seem possessive? Have you noticed they have given you inconsistent information only to have a perfect answer when asked about it? Avoid phone contact or pushes to meet in person too quickly. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes some basic red flags to watch out for.

? Last and most important, tell a friend or family member about your date, including what time you are meeting and where. It’s always a good idea to have someone know where you are at all times should you need help or feel uncomfortable.

Your safety is most important at all times, especially during the initial stages of dating and online dating, while you are still getting to know someone that you don’t know very much about.that

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Dr. Michael Nuccitelli
    Dr. Michael Nuccitelli

    I received your post to my Google alerts; the article was informative and I am always available for consultation, media and/or volunteer services when covering criminal justice and/or internet predators.

    My name is Dr. Michael Nuccitelli and I am a New York State licensed psychologist and forensic consultant. My expertise and present research endeavors are investigating theoretical criminology and internet predators. I am focused on finalizing my theory I call iPredator. The definition is as follows:

    iPredator™: A person(s) who engages in victimizing others using digital communications technology the internet. Cyberstalkers, cyberbullies, cyberterrorists, cybercriminals, sexual predators and white-collar criminals all use "Cyberstealth" afforded by the internet and social media to stalk their prey.

    Malignant in intent, the iPredator relies heavily on their capacity to deceive others using internet technology. iPredators are motivated by deviant sexual fantasies, aggressive needs for power and control, retribution, religious/political reprisal, psychiatric/psychological manifestations or personal/financial gain.

    I've been fortunate to trademark my theoretical framework and now working with the American College of Forensic Examiners (ACFEI) to educate the country on developing internet safety, cyber security, and victimization reduction strategies. You can contact the organization at (800) 423-9737 to verify my identity.

    Dr. Robert O'Block is the Founder and Publisher. Under the American College of Forensic Examiners umbrella is training and certification in many areas including, forensics, cybercrime, homeland security, psychotherapy, integrative medicine, investigation, national security and threat analysis. Their Web site is

    If ACFEI or I may ever be of assistance, feel free to contact me via email at


    Dr. Michael Nuccitelli

    Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C.

    NYS Licensed Psychologist




    Facebook: The iPredator

    Supporting Organization:

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