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“Some questions seem innocent, like asking what your mother’s name is or what your parents do for a living.
They may ask for your home or work address to send you a gift.” Such tidbits are invaluable currency for identity thieves.
A prevalent problem Connecting with prospective matches electronically is a thrill, but hope and excitement can supersede sound judgment and fact checking.
A study about online dating and credit habits by Protect My ID.com, Experian’s identity theft protection program, found that nearly half of the respondents never verify the authenticity of their chat mates, and nearly 10 percent actually sent them their Social Security numbers or bank account information.
The applicant then enters his Social Security number and other personal and financial data, which the thief uses to open new credit and loan accounts.
Here’s how to protect more than just your heart when seeking a mate via the Internet The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars.
Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert and consultant for the security company Intelius, has posted fictitious profiles on dating websites for his job and says it’s never long before a potential thief is in contact and professing love. They tell me how much they miss me and think about me.” Then, says Siciliano, “they are in your home, rifling through your drawers, getting your account information.”Dating services efforts Of course, online dating companies strive for customer protection.
For instance, Pasadena, Calif.-based dating site e Harmony’s publishes safety tips on their home page, in “5 Dating Rules You Should Never Break,” including “if a potential date’s actions or words set off an internal alarm system, you owe it to yourself to pay attention and act accordingly.”Encounter a con?
Before getting the company’s seal of approval, participating daters must physically go to one of their more than 50 locations and get checked, screened and cleared.
Still, says Falzone, “It’s an ongoing fight that doesn’t end.”What’s a dater to do?