Online Dating Dangers: Statistics Show Daters are taking Safety Precautions

66% of online daters have seen at least one fake dating profile online of online daters have seen at least one fake dating profile online.
Source: A National Cellular Directory survey of 305 U.S. adults aged 18-65.
Wyatt Doolittle - CEO at National Cellular Directory
The digital era is here and growing fast. Our goal is to make the online dating world fully transparent.

-Wyatt Doolittle (CEO National Cellular Directory)

Thanks to predators and scammers, online daters are becoming more weary than ever when making new connections. With fake dating profiles being on the rise, it's obvious to see why someone would be cautious when building new relationships through a screen.

With this in mind, our company decided to explore the topic of safety in relation to online daters. We surveyed 200 people that were interested in online dating.

Our study found that many online daters place feelings of mistrust towards the people that they meet on dating websites.

Our study also found that verifying a person’s online dating profile was a huge factor in determining how much an online dater trusted the person that they were communicating with.


The increasing danger of online scammers

Cyber scammers are increasingly using online dating websites to lie and steal their way into wealth. In 2016, there were almost 15,000 complaints of romance scams reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (nearly 2,500 more than in 2015). Additionally, the losses associated with those complaints added up to more than $230 million.
Source: The FBI

Why are scammers increasingly using dating websites to steal versus other avenues?

Scammers find it much easier to steal from vulnerable people when they are behind a screen concealing their true identity Additionally, they can scam anyone around the world, no matter where they are from.

Almost every victim of an online dating scam shares the same story; their scammer worked into their heart and used their capacity to love as their advantage to easily lie and steal.

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Each of these scammers will make up a story to try to obtain money; either demanding their victim’s credit card number so they can purchase a plane ride to finally see them or asking for a visa gift card so they can buy time on their phones. Fraudulent online daters are always in a financial pickle and will need money to make the relationship work (or so they say).

Unfortunately, If the victim doesn't figure out their love interest isn’t more than a backstabbing con-artist after their main demand for money, the crook will keep using his/her victim as much as possible until the money runs or out the victim catches on. They will make up more stories and pull the heartstrings of the victim that they are conning. A scammer will also more than likely be trying to con multiple people at the same time.

Once the victim catches on, the perpetrator will disappear without a trace because they actually never gave their victim any real information about themselves.

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Dangerous online predators

If scamming isn’t already a big enough worry for online daters, there’s also the possibility of encountering a predator while trying to find love. Sexual predators use online dating to pick their prey, and you can even get in a sticky situation with a thief or even murderer when meeting new people online.

Online dating has become dangerous to the point where people actually fear for their lives, with good reason. A recent murder case involving a man named Danueal Drayton and the women (yes, plural) he found online dating resulted in rape, murder, and holding a woman captive. The odd thing is, Drayton has a strong string of arrest records starting all the way back in 2011.
Source: CNN
Sexual assault cases that originate from an online encounter continue grow throughout the world. In the U.K., the number of sexual assault crimes that have been linked to online dating has increased by over 450% in the previous six years, as per an ongoing report by the U.K's National Crime Agency (NCA).
Source: Safer America
It is important to note that sexual assaults happen even more often that reported as it is estimated that 63% of all sexual assault crimes never get reported.

How do online daters protect themselves when meeting new people?

Our research found that:

84% of online daters verify a person’s profile before going on a date with them. of online daters verify a person’s profile before going on a date with them.
Source: A National Cellular Directory survey of 305 U.S. adults aged 18-65.

Research shows that an overwhelming percentage of people lookup before they hookup. Online daters do not rely on dating sites to protect them from scammers and predators. Most online daters also choose not to trust the person that they are getting to know until they verify their identity.


51% of online daters verify a user’s profile using People Search or Background check website
of online daters verify a user’s profile using People Search or Background check website.

Source: A National Cellular Directory survey of 305 U.S. adults aged 18-65.

Half of all online daters use a people search and or a background check website to verify the person's identity. Most people search sites offer background checks, which offer important information about the person that they are looking up. This information can include arrest and court records as well as social media information as well as their full legal name.

Other ways that online daters verify a person’s identity before going on a date with them:

  • 37% use People/Phone Search Service
  • 25% use Facebook
  • 14% use Background Check Service
  • 11% use Google Search
  • 2% use LinkedIn
  • 11% use “other” or another method

With the dangers that come with cyber dating, it’s understandable that a lot of online daters would want to verify a person's identity before going on a date with them ( especially when there is so much you can learn about a person by performing a simple background check).

88% of online daters feel safer going on a date after they verify the dating profile.
of online daters feel safer going on a date after they verify the dating profile.

Source: A National Cellular Directory survey of 305 U.S. adults aged 18-65.

It’s important to feel safe and have fun when you’re going on a first date. It makes sense why people feel a lot safer once verifying the identity of the person that they are going on a date with.

It’s always important to be safe when going on your first date with someone, even if their story checks out. A person who cares about their safety on the first date and wouldn’t meet somewhere that isn’t a public place. Additionally, a safe dater never hookup on a first date as this is can lead to some serious consequences.


43% of people do not trust the Online Dating Profile Name of people do not trust the Online Dating Profile Name
Source: A National Cellular Directory survey of 305 U.S. adults aged 18-65.

It is recommended by many dating experts that people use a fake name until they get to know someone. While this makes sense for safety purposes, it’s really hard for anyone to pinpoint who the person they are talking to really is and if they should trust them.

Unfortunately, predators and scammers also use fake names to make their online dating profile. For them, it’s also about security so they don’t get caught. It’s easy for online criminals to remain anonymous on online dating sites as most of them don’t really require any sort of authentication.

Other parts of online dating profiles that people don’t trust:

  • 17% Photos
  • 14% Social Profiles
  • 14% Marital Status
  • 12% Age


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Survey Summary

The people have spoken and have determined (rightfully) that online dating sites are not safe. Consequently, because of this fear of online dating, most people verify their date’s identity before getting to know them further.

Online dating has become increasingly dangerous as scammers, hackers, catfishers, and predators use online dating websites to lure their victims. Online daters are often vulnerable as there using these websites to find love.

Unfortunately, predators and scammers will use online dating websites because most online dating websites do very little too sure the safety of their users.

We are foreseeing in the future that online dating websites will step up and make sure that they protect their users as otherwise, people will stop joining these dating websites. Until then, it’s best to play it safe and verify a person's identity before continuing to speak to them and definitely before going on a date with them.

About The Study:

This study was conducted by us (National Cellular Directory) in the form of a survey through our website. The people who visited our website clicked on an online dating article and opted-in to be a part of our study. Their interest in online dating was determined by them clicking our online dating article and participating in our online survey.

Access to the Full Study is available here: Online Dating Dangers Statistics.