At first, your experience on Tinder is only digital, but eventually, the prospect of meeting in person comes up. Then, it’s a whole different story. You’re meeting a virtual stranger, the connection to whom extends to a number of texts and maybe emojis.
Don’t Share Personal Info
Don’t share your workplace, home address, day-to-day life details, or any other personal information with them. Don’t meet at a place where you hang out regularly because you don’t want them to know where you go if you don’t hit it off.
If you have children, limit what you share about them in early chats and on your profile. Don’t tell them anything about your children, especially where they go to school.
Don’t Send Money
The good folks over at Tinder themselves warn users never to send money, particularly over wire transfer. Don’t believe people who claim they have an emergency. You can’t trace the money or reverse transactions when you wire funds. Don’t provide any details they can use to access your bank accounts. Report anyone who asks you for money to Tinder.
Watch out for Users Abroad
Some scammers will claim to be from North America or Western Europe, but they’re stuck in another region and might ask for money to come back home and meet you. People who refuse to take a video call or don’t want to meet in real life might not be who they say they are. A typical red flag is someone who skirts your questions or pushes your boundaries.
Stay on Tinder
In the early stage of communication, don’t take your conversations off Tinder. Ill-meant users often try to move exchanges to phone, email, text, or other messaging apps because they are subject to Tinder’s Safe Message Filters.
Other Safety Features to Know About
Due to rising concerns, the dating app is paying more attention to vetting and safety features. You can run a background check on your matches in the US via a unique feature created in partnership with Garbo, a non-profit platform. This feature was introduced by Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, to improve women’s protection. Other reputable and reliable background check services will also help you find people online and learn more about them.
Report Someone When They Cross the Line
Tinder encourages users to report people who violate their terms. The following are examples of violations, among others:
- Underage users
- Requests for money or donations
- Harassment, threats, and offensive messages
- Inappropriate behavior during a date or after meeting IRL
- Attempts to sell products or services
- Links to commercial websites
- Fraudulent profiles
Concerns related to red flags can be reported from any profile page.
Does This Bother You?
“Does This Bother You?” is another feature that can help keep you safe. It asks users if they’ve received an offensive message and can report the sender if so. After Tinder introduced this feature, harassment reporting increased by almost 50 percent. The platform also offers photo verification, which you can use to confirm the person’s profile is authentic.
Before You Meet
A video call will paint a clearer picture of your prospective date regardless of whether you call via Tinder or another app. It’s almost like meeting the person in real life and more genuine than sending messages.
Once both sides tap the video icon on Tinder, the video feature is enabled. You can also disable face-to-face chatting.
The First Date(s)
Now that you’ve decided to meet, do so in a public and well-lit place. Don’t meet in your home or theirs for the first few dates to minimize risk or avoid a disappointing experience.
Throughout the dates, don’t leave your bag and drink unattended. Keep anything that contains your personal data safe.
Let at least one person know you’re going on a date. Be in control of your transport so you can leave whenever you want. If you’re driving, have a backup plan, like someone to pick you up or a ride-sharing app.
Finally, don’t drink too much, use an app to track your location, and don’t be afraid to leave early if the date isn’t going well. Setting and sticking to your boundaries will help build a healthy foundation for any dating experience.