The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new warning to be on the lookout for online dating frauds and cons.
Every year, thousands of people sit down at a computer and they log on to dating sites. They're looking for love, but is that what they find? Experts say not always.
Dr. Shelly Allen is a psychologist at Xavier University, and she sees more and more people experimenting with the idea of internet dating - especially young people.
"It's a very attractive option. It's a lot of fun - social networking right now is a major craze with Facebook and Twitter, and it's just easier to meet people," says Allen.
But she adds as alluring as dating sites may be, there are things people need to do to protect themselves.
The major tips Allen has for online daters are:
- use an anonymous email
- only give out a cell phone number, not a home phone number
- make sure your computer is secure
- meet in a public place
- limit alcohol when you are meeting a date for the first time
"Really the main tool, the best tool you could ever have would be trusting your gut. Just like any behavior there are always going to be risks associated with it, and as log as you protect yourself and take the necessary precautions, you can minimize those risks," says Allen.
And last but certainly not least - experts say keep track of any conversations you have with someone in a chartroom or on an online dating site.
Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.
2362 U.S. Hwy 11