Safety Tips from The LDS Matchmaker
First meetings/introductions are exciting! During this exciting time, it is still extremely important to take adequate precautions to ensure you are not endangering your safety. Below are some suggestions that The LDS Matchmaker, LLC (“TLM”) has found effective to keep initial meetings/introductions comfortable and safe for everyone involved. Please understand that these are merely suggestions and you should always assess your individual situation and exercise good judgment to make sure you are adequately protected.
1. Get to know the other person before meeting them in person
Use the phone, email, text messaging, etc. to get to know someone before disclosing personal information or meeting in person. TLM strongly encourages you to be cautious when sharing personal information that could reveal your identity during this “getting to know each other” phase. Never include your last name, home address, place of work or any other identifying information in your initial communications. TLM does not presently conduct criminal background checks on our users, so if you would like more information about someone, TLM recommends using the Internet and government resources available to everyone. This can include typing the person’s name into a search engine, reviewing public information made available by government offices, or using a paid service to obtain a full background report. Be cautious and use common sense. Trust your instincts and remember that you have control over the situation. If you’re talking to someone online or by phone and they say things that raise your suspicions, consider ending the conversation.
b. A good resource for advice on how to avoid online romance scams is available through the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at: http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams
2. Always meet in public
Choose a time and place of your date wisely. Meet for the first time in a populated, public location at a decent hour when lots of people will be around – never in a private or remote location, and never at your or your date’s home or apartment.
3. Stay in a public place
It is best not to go back to your date’s home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
4. Tell a friend/family member
Inform a friend or a family member of your plans and when and where you’re going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it with you.
5. Stay alert
Keep a clear mind and avoid doing anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.
6. Drive yourself to and from the first meeting
Just in case things don’t work out, you need to be in control of your own ride – even if you take a taxi.
7. Keep personal items with you at all times
You don’t want to risk having personal information stolen. Don’t leave unattended personal belongings such as purses, wallets, or jackets with pockets that may contain items that could reveal personal information about you, such as a driver’s license, credit cards and ATM receipts. Similarly keep your beverage with you at all times so it can’t be tampered with.
8. Long Distance Meetings
Long distance meetings pose special safety concerns to take into account. Keep these tips in mind.
a. Stay in a hotel. Check into your own room and avoid staying in the other person’s home. If you can’t afford a hotel, you shouldn’t go.
b. Use a taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. Securing your own ride is important. Even if the person you’re meeting volunteers to pick you up from the airport, do not get into a personal vehicle with someone you’ve never met.
c. Keep your hotel location confidential. The person you’re meeting should respect your privacy until you know each other.
d. Remember to keep your family and friends posted. Tell someone who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will return.