How to Date Safely:
- Finance: Protect Your Finances & Never Send Money or Financial Information
Never respond to any request to send money, especially overseas or by wire transfer, and report it to us immediately – even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss and it's nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. For more information, click on the video below to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's advice to avoid online romance scams, also available here: http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams.
- Protect Your Personal Information
Never give personal information, such as: your social security number, credit card number or bank information, or your work or home address to people you don't know or haven't met in person.
Note: OurTime will never send you an email asking for your username and password information. Any such communications should be reported immediately.
- Be Web Wise
Block and report suspicious users. You can block and report concerns about any suspicious user anonymously from any profile page, email or messaging window. Keep conversations on the platform. Bad actors will try to move the conversation to text, personal email or phone conversations.
- Report All Suspicious Behavior
- Asking you for money or donations.
- Requesting photographs.
- Minors using the platform.
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages or emails.
- Members behaving inappropriately during or after meeting in person.
- Fraudulent registration or profiles.
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or service.
- Get to Know the Other Person
Keep your communications on the platform and really get to know users online/using the app before meeting them in person. Bad actors often push people to communicate off the platform immediately. It's up to you to research and do your due diligence.
- Always Meet and Stay in Public
Meet for the first few times in a populated, public place – never in a private or remote location and never at your date's home or apartment. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
- Tell Your Friends and Family Members of Your Plans
Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you're going. Make sure you have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
- Transport Yourself to and from the Meeting
You need to be independent and in control of your own transportation, especially in case things don't work out.
- Stay Sober
Consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs can impair your judgment and potentially put you in danger. It's important to keep a clear mind and avoid anything that might place you at risk. Be aware that bad actors might try to take advantage of you by altering your beverage(s) with synthetic substances.
- Protect Yourself
You and your partner should use proper protection. Condoms and other mechanisms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting or passing on an STI, such as HIV. However, you can still get certain STI's, like herpes or HPV from contact with your partner's skin even when using a condom. To be effective, however, protective measures must be used consistently.
- Be Open and Honest
It is completely reasonable to have a conversation with your partner regarding sex and sexual contact before actually having it. All issues ranging from the number of partners each of you has had, to the last time each of you was tested for STI's are fair game. Many STI's are curable or treatable. If either you or your partner has an STI that is curable, you both need to start treatment to avoid becoming re-infected. It is important to be completely honest in these conversations.
The risk of contracting some STI's can be reduced through vaccination. Talk to your doctor or a professional at a sexual health clinic to learn more.
- Know Your Status
Know your status. Some STI's don't show symptoms. Regular testing is critical to staying on top of your health and helping prevent the spread of STI's After testing, always ask for a copy of your test results so you are sure of your status.
For Further Help, Support or Advice:
1-800-656-HOPE | www.rainn.org
1-800-230-7526 | www.plannedparenthood.org
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 | www.thehotline.org
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