Staying safe on dating websites

They use disguise to appear attractive, and may do this quite innocently, because they really do think they are like their profile.

They may, however, be just really desperate to attract people or they may do it to fool others. Scammers are most likely to deceive you into helping them with a financial problem.

This can act as a background check in the first instance, but also it can verify or disprove claims and statements made at the initial meeting, or it may confirm any suspicions you might have.Avoid sharing too many of your details too soon – your address, where you work, favourite restaurants or clubs, and family life and children – until you get to know the person better.Make sure your computer has a secure password, up-to-date anti-virus and a firewall to prevent someone using the online dating site to access your personal details and computer.Find out more about computer and device security at Stay Smart Online and our page on Securing your accounts and devices.Always be careful if someone shows too much interest in your children.

Remember, if you feel uncomfortable about anyone you meet online it is time to move on. They lie about how old they are, what they look like and even their hobbies and interests.

This includes the creation and spread of malware for financial gain, hacking to steal important personal or industry data and denial of service attacks Cyber-enabled crimes – these include fraud, the purchasing of illegal drugs and child exploitation and can be conducted on or offline.

If you believe you have been a victim of any type of crime, please ensure you report it to us by calling 101 or use our online reporting form.

Their availability is often limited and they may not readily share contact details.

Again, if you are okay with this, or in a similar situation, then there is no issue, but be wary of these people if you want a monogamous, committed relationship.

That way, if you want to leave the date you can pretend the phone call is about a family member who is not well and therefore you must leave.