Miss Natasha Ngonyama. Your Tango May 16th 2012.
Online dating is generally safe but beware of the hidden dangers…
Online dating is generally safe, and most people you find will be normal, good-natured men and women who are simply looking for love.
You may bump into a small number of strange people (e.g. men who show up on a date with their wedding rings on, or the supposed-to-be Brad Pitt look-a-like who shows up looking a little bit aged and 100lbs heavier than his photo suggested) but they will probably be harmless. BUT, criminals are around and the Internet is open to them to use and abuse, too. And unfortunately, we can’t do background checks on the people we agree to go on a date with. Nothing is ever 100% fool proof but these seven tips should definitely help you spot a criminal more easily when dating.
1) He has more than two phones – Two phones is usually okay as one may be for work and the other may be for personal reasons. More than two phones should make you suspicious. If you’re on a date with a man who has more than two phones, acts like a switchboard operator and seems to answer the phones a lot, chances are he’s up to something and you may not like what it is.
2) He Uses Coded Language – As if answering the phone during dinner wasn’t bad enough, if he uses coded language or his conversations don’t seem normal, he’s keeping a secret and there’s a good chance he’s involved in criminal activity. If not that, he’s just plain rude!
3) You’re Unsure Of His Job Title – In these difficult times, some people have had to accept jobs they’re less than proud of. He may not want to be completely honest about his job title if he’s embarrassed by it. But be cautious of confusing job titles. If he says he’s a ‘street pharmacist’, run!
4) His Income Doesn’t Make Sense – he claims he’s unemployed yet seems to be able to afford a flashy Rolex, designer clothes and expensive meals and drinks. Maybe he has wealthy parents to fund his lifestyle (lucky guy) or maybe, he’s using his illegal proceeds to live a lavish life that he shouldn’t be able to afford.
5) He Has a Bad Temper – if he’s snappy, often irate, and is mean to waitresses and always looking for a fight, chances are he has a history of violent behavior and may even be abusing drugs. This is probably the most dangerous sort of criminal and if he displays any signs of an anger problem, I would definitely recommend you run a mile!
6) He Frequently Breaks the Speed Limit – it may not be obvious, but if he drives like he’s Michael Schumacher and frequently breaks speed limits, he clearly has no respect for the law, his life, your life and the life of other road users. Plus, how did he learn to drive so fast? Maybe he used to be a car racer, or, maybe he’s had a lot of practice
from being chased by police. Think about it.
7) He Says All the Right Things – this is a tricky one, only Mr Right would say all the right things, right? Well, not necessarily. Domestic abusers are known for their initial charm: their great way with words, their romantic behavior and their chivalry. But be careful of someone who seems too good to be true, there’s a small chance they just may be untrue. And, if you haven’t yet met him, and you’ve spent three months messaging him online, and he keeps failing to meet you but somehow seems to always be running into some kind of financial difficulty, block him before you end up selling your house for a man that never was.
Online dating is generally safe, fun and exciting and you have a very good chance of meeting The One. But be cautious and alert, you want The ‘Good’ One, not The ‘Bad’ One! (Unless that’s your thing of course…)