Safety tips for online dating this Valentine’s Day

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day. But getting hit by Cupid’s arrow might not be as charming as it seems.

“So the worst-case scenario is obviously we don’t know who you’re meeting with, whether it’s friends or family or law enforcement. And that person disappears, falls off the face of the earth,” he said. said Panama City Police Detective Kenton Baker.

This is the terrifying worst-case scenario in online dating.

Swiping right into dating apps is easy. But when it comes to meeting Mr. or Mrs. in person, things can go left.

There are a few steps that the Panama City Police officers remind you to follow in case your appointment does not go as planned.

First, plan to meet in a public place.

“Well-lit areas. Obviously you don’t want to meet a stranger in an alley,” Baker said.

And be sure to tell someone.

“I’ll let your family or friends know where you’re going and what time you’ll be there,” Baker said.

But scary situations can start long before you meet someone face to face.

“They end up sending hundreds, even thousands of dollars to these people online, they’re going to wire it, they’re going to send banking information. really anything to get something back, really they never get,” Baker said.

It’s a scam. Detective Baker says he sees it happening more often to older people.

“Individuals who didn’t grow up with technology, who didn’t see the dangers,” Baker said.

Falling in love with someone you meet online is always a possibility, but safety should be the first step.

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