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Do Sexual Predators Target Those Dating Online?

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According to Joe Tracy, Publisher of Online Dating Magazine which is a consumer watchdog for online dating, "there are some sexual predators and sex offenders who specifically use online dating services to target single parents who are dating online in order to get to their kids. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen."

Paul Falzone, CEO of Together Dating, says that for most of the 40 million people dating online, a disastrous 15 minutes over coffee at Starbucks is the worst they will suffer. Falzone’s dating site performs background checks on all members and results in 10% of applicants being rejected.

But Dr. James Houran, a spokesperson and feature columnist at Online Dating Magazine, says we should never rely on dating sites that say they screen out predators. It is our responsibility to protect our and our family’s safety.

"The best protection is to use your head in matters of the heart," says Houran. "Do not get so caught up in the excitement of online dating that you are not constantly alert. Instead, assume everyone online is a potential predator."

The following online tips to single parents are recommended by Online Dating Magazine:

  • Never post photos of your children in your profile or anywhere online.

  • Don’t talk about your children in your profile.

  • Don’t mention what gender your children are.

  • If you’re dating someone, wait several months – until you are more serious – before introducing your date to your children.

  • Run a background and sex offender check on the person you’re dating before introducing them to your children.

    Below is a link to the Federal Bureau of Investigation State Sex Offender Registry and individual state registries. If you are going to be dating online don’t you think you should play it safe by first checking to make sure you aren’t about to fall victim to a registered sex offender?

    Federal and State Sex Offender Registries

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