Online Dating Safety Issues and Solutions - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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James Houran

One thing the industry could do is have Markus Frind run security operations!! His site (Plentyoffish.com) has the grand distinction of being the only one that has definitively stopped a criminal!

Now, we just need to find Markus a nice cape and insignia :)

Thx,

James Houran, Ph.D.
Online Dating Magazine

Fernando Ardenghi

"What can the internet dating industry do to more effectively improve online dating safety? "

Senator Cropsey said in a previous interview:
http://onlinepersonalswatch.typepad.com/news/2005/08/online_personal_1.html
"Online dating companies need someone who has the authority to speak for the industry."

Who has the authority to speak for the Online Dating and Social Networking Industry?

Most probably, the Industry will urgently require Legislation, to avoid anonymity and fake profiles. *anonymity is different from privacy*
There are more than 910 "Online Dating & Social Networking Sites" at the United States and Canada. Legislation could kill most of them, specially those "free sites"!

I think Legislation and ISO 9001:2000 certification could lead to reach the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) concept for Online Dating Sites.
i.e. the probability of being scammed, raped, murdered, stalked, etc. using a specific Online Dating Site needs to be as low as comparing to the probability of being scammed, raped, murdered, stalked, etc. using real/traditional places like parks, schools, bars, libraries, discos, etc. for dating purposes.

Regards,
Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
Argentina.
[email protected]


Dee Valkerie

Prevention - Education of the problem is the scammers worst enemy!

Many websites have an “approval” period, during this time webmasters should monitor IP addresses and trace its origin. Any reflecting the high crime areas should be further investigated or blocked. If a scammer is reported the website should make every effort to remove the culprit and notify the victim of the outcome.

Constant newsletters to members notifying them of potential predators and the tell tale signs will keep the public educated. Education is an ongoing fear of the scammers, the more people that know about them the less chance they have of receiving a payoff.

Background checks can prove costly for both the site administrator and the members but by putting in tighter parameters on who can contact a member may help to deter criminal activity.

The most vulnerable to scammers are the Free dating sites and those that do charge a fee have the risk of stolen credit cards and banking information thus causing a chargeback. Chargeback, is the word that Internet merchants fear. A chargeback is what it's called when a transaction is reversed. In other words, rather than adding money to your account it is deducted. Chargebacks can occur for a wide variety of reasons, such as double-charging, credit card expiration, bank error and customer disputes.

If it is a paid site then more security measures need to be put into place:

1. IP collection and Trace on every order. Any orders that do not log a logical IP address will be flagged for further investigation.
2. Phone verification to card holder by issuing bank to confirm transaction.

The best defense is to notify the members of various dating sites of these predators. Posting disclaimers that all IP addresses are being cataloged and traced will help to deter the criminals as well as give the victims some sense of pro-activity.

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