What the people who sign up for these dating personals services are getting, essentially, is a way to have complete strangers contact them. But what most singles don't realize is that dating personals sites don't screen their 'free' membership - they offer a trial to anyone who decides to stop in. Users could be sexual predators, convicted criminals, or dating scam artists just waiting to meet the right person to be taken advantage of.
Here are some points to consider when signing up at a dating personals site, so that you don't get burned by someone with less-than-reputable intentions.
Some dating personals sites now check singles' names against legal documents to see if they are married, incarcerated or have a criminal record. True is the most notable and largest of this safety-conscious group. They've gone so far as suing convicted sex offenders for attempting to sign up at their dating personals site.
Copyright is Current?
A simple way to check the age and veracity of any dating personals website is to look for the copyright date. If it's older than the current year, you may want to look elsewhere.
Layout Looks Lovely?
Browse around the dating personals site as much as you can without actually signing up. Is the site clean, easy to navigate and clear of any annoying pop-ups, advertisements or missing graphics? A poorly developed dating personals site usually means poorly managed information - something that you can't afford to risk. Surf elsewhere if this is the case.
There are some exceptions to this rule, mostly totally free dating personals sites looking to create an income from Google ads, like OkCupid and PlentyOfFish. You'll have to use your judgment in these kinds of situations, or look at the other safety tips to assist in the decision making process.
Search for Some Sample Singles
Review the people that fit your dating criteria; are the dating personals profiles well-written, or do they seem nonsensical? Are all of the users model-like, or are there real looking people in the smorgasbord?
Chances are, if it's a newer dating personals site with few members, they've padded the user base with fake people just to get the ball rolling. Alternatively, if you find a lot of profiles in the dating personals site that just smack of ridiculousness, it shows that the management team doesn't review their users at all. Find another, more reputable site if this happens to you.