Online Dating: Security Tips for Single Moms
By Robert Siciliano
(Continued from Online Dating for Single Women: Are You Safe?) First make sure you have a healthy strong mind and your self esteem is in order. Read as many self help books as possible, go to weekend empowerment retreats, associate with friends that are goal oriented and have their life in order, shred any baggage you may have and most importantly, “know thyself”; which means to understand oneself is to understand others as well.
Security Tips. Now that we’ve walked through the conscious, loving, self help side of what personal security means to me, we will now review the punch’em in the face, poke’em in the eyes, side of me. Some of this may seem a tad over the top, but if you were my daughter, sister or single mom, you would have already heard this.
1. Look for red flags. If you are contacted online and they make no reference to you or your name, it may be a “broadcast” scam going to others. If they immediately start talking about marriage and love and showing immediate affection run really fast. Anyone asking for money for any reason is a con-man. When communicating with someone online and it seems it takes days for them to respond, this may be a sign they are married.
2. When communicating with a potential mate via online dating or even in the physical world, please do not give up all your information to them until you are entirely sure they are “good”. That can take weeks, but it’s worth the wait. Bad guys lie, a lot. And they will keep up the ruse until they have what they need or until you are in a vulnerable place. So be discreet and keep your personal information private.
3. Read books on self defense and personal security. Watch instructional videos on self defense techniques. Take a self defense course. The single most effective self defense offering on the planet is a program called “Impact Model Mugging”. Search it online and find one near you. Drive 500 miles if you have to, but take this course and bring your sons and daughters with you. In this case knowledge certainly is power.
4. You’ve heard this before and it requires revisiting: meet your date in a populated place and drive yourself. And do it at least the first 5 times. The goal here is you want to get to know the energy of this person and what makes them tick. If simple stuff irritates them or they make racist or offensive jokes or exhibit behaviors not conducive to “healthy”, move on.
5. Do not consume alcohol when meeting, even with food. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and makes us accept behaviors that aren’t appropriate. Don’t accept drinks from anyone under any condition unless you see the drink being poured and it goes straight to your hands. Slipping drugs in drinks happens every day.
6. Be direct about going ‘dutch’ in regards to paying for dinner. While this may seem extreme to some, studies show an large percentage of males still believe that when they buy a woman dinner that she “owes” him sex.
7. Take lots of pictures of them with your mobile phone and tell them you are emailing everyone in your life to show them who you are with and where you are.
8. Get as much information about them. You ask all the questions. Get their name, address, previous address, home phone, cell phone, place of birth, birthdate, where they work, license plate and if you can squeeze it out of them, and I kid you not, get their Social Security number.
9. Go online to iSearch.com and Google and search every bit of information about them you have acquired. You want to know as much about this person as possible. Search name, phone, email and screen name. As you “mine” this data, the deeper you dig the more you will find. The goal is to look for truth and lies. If you see inconsistencies, or red flags that can’t be easily explained, run really fast.
10. Go online to Intelius.com and perform a “Date Check”. With a name and birth date you can do a comprehensive background check that will tell you if they have been convicted of a crime, gone bankrupt, are being sued and if they are married.
A background check is an entirely necessary tool that alerts you to any red flags or inconsistencies in their dialog with you. Performing a background check is inexpensive, quick and smart.
We all have aphorisms we recite to ourselves to help us get through the day or propel us into prosperity. One in particular I have always liked is “We become what we think about”. If you think about food all day, you’re going to be overweight. But if you think about being better, stronger, and making smarter decisions, chances are you’ll achieve that. And my favorite, which has rang true in my life, “If you settle for nothing but the best, that’s what you get.”
Other SMW Articles on Dating & Single Moms
Robert Siciliano is a Security Consultant to Intelius.com. He has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Early Show, Montel, Tyra, Maury and on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News. See Robert in action on E! True Hollywood Stories Investigates “Dating Nightmares” HERE . He can be reached at Robert@IDTheftSecurity.com