Online Dating Safety Tips

By: CBS
By: CBS

With more sex offenders using matchmaking websites to find victims, some legislators want online daters to be more aware.

Ilana Angel knows a lot about online dating. She writes a blog about it, but even she has had some bad experiences

Angel recently connected with a man on a popular website, and after days of talking online decided to meet him at a restaurant. She immediately started feeling uncomfortable.

"We were there for maybe 30 seconds, and he said that he didn't like it, he knew some place better, we should go somewhere else and we could leave my car and go in his."

Angel decided to end date right away after hearing stories about online dates gone wrong.

The internet has become a popular way to meet romantic partners, but it has also become a way for sexual predators to find victims.

In January, police arrested Wade Ridley in Las Vegas. He told detectives he stabbed a woman he met just 10 days earlier through an online dating website.

And in 2009 Jeffery Marsalis was sentenced to life in prison after sexually assaulting women he met online.

Because of cases like these some states are working on legislation that would force dating websites to make changes to help keep users safe.

Connecticut and Texas are considering bills that would require dating services to give users clear advice on how to protect themselves from violence. New York and New Jersey already have similar laws.

"Unfortunately online dating websites are often used by predators, people who misrepresent who they are in order to take advantage of people," said Rep. Mae Flexer, D-Conn.

This week one of the most popular sites, Match.com, said it will begin screening users against a national sex offender registry. The announcement came after a California woman sued the site saying she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on match.com.

Experts also warn: don't give out your address, meet in public places, stay alert and trust your instincts.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Daniel Location: Utah on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:50 AM
    I've had plenty of luck dating people I've met online... you just have to follow some common sense rules like these: Smart Tips for safe Online Dating
  • by Dawn Location: Florida on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    I have been scared to meet people in person that I meet online. I may be meeting the 'craiglist killer', who knows, so, I am now a member of a company who screen people that I want to meet off-line after I meet them online. For your safety give check out this company.
  • by robin on Apr 22, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    Meeting people anywhere has its risk. Bars, malls etc...If you havent ever known or met the person and you leave to go somewhere private with them, thats a potential danger you are putting yourself in. I do think its a good idea and good business practice for online dating sites to scan for predators as to protect their clients. However I dont think they should be held responsible when something bad happens. There are evil people in the world with ill intentions all around us. Anyone entering a dating site knows the risk. Same as if you were to leave the bar with a stranger, should the bar owner be liable if you are assaulted?
  • by Versie Location: New York on Apr 22, 2011 at 04:30 AM
    Online dating has grown very big and it might have it's ups and downs, just like any other thing, but in this case, online dating has a lot more positive points than negative. There are millions of couples who found their significant other on online dating websites so it definitely works. Click here to read tips on online dating.
  • by Jasper Location: Bonifay on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:17 PM
    My cousin met his wife on line. They met each other for the first time in a public restaurant.Had lunch went for a walk around the mall. They both said it was like meeting a old freind. They were both smitten with each other.Dated about 5 months, got married, have 3 'rug rats' going on 5 years now. There are happy every afters on line, but there are Jack the rippers out there. You have got to be real careful.
  • by chris on Apr 21, 2011 at 08:41 PM
    What about people asking for money to pay for a plane ticket to come meet you?
  • by chris on Apr 21, 2011 at 08:40 PM
    What about people asking for money to pay for a plane ticket to come meet you?
    • reply
      by Jasper on Apr 22, 2011 at 05:13 AM in reply to chris
      If they are so poor they can't afford a plane ticket,you don't want to meet them. Go tie a cement block around your neck if you want burden. These people are not worth meeting. Don't do it, is all I can say.
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