Las Vegas, NV and Washington D.C. –Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love for some and a time to look for that special someone for others. Americans are increasingly looking for love online, which makes Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for The National Crime Prevention Council (Home to McGruff the Crime Dog®) and AlertID to share useful tips about online dating that will help keep people safe when looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

The National Crime Prevention Council (Home to McGruff the Crime Dog®) is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. “Criminals and con artists do not take a holiday, even for Valentine’s Day, so it is important to be safe, be smart, and learn how to protect yourself,” said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC President and CEO.

AlertID, your neighborhood safety network, encourages people to be proactive about safety. “Taking a few extra steps to make your first date, and every one after that, safer will give you peace of mind and ensure a Happy Valentine’s Day,” said AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson.

Please take a moment to review these important tips before going online:

1.      Protect Yourself: Use a disposable email account for contact purposes. Don’t give out your home phone number or address.

2.      Personal information: Keep personal information personal. It’s ok to list the city you live in but it’s not ok to list the street you live on.

3.      Don’t be fooled: Although it seems like an obvious rule, genuine daters who are looking for romance and companionship are not likely to ask someone they have just met for money.

4.      Meeting in person: Meet your new match in a public setting for the first time. Try to make your first meeting during the day, use the AlertID crime map to find a safe place to meet, and never agree to meet your date at his or her home. Also, stay safe by providing a friend with as much information as possible regarding the person you’re meeting.

5.      Trust your gut: If you have a suspicious feeling about someone, follow your instincts. Stop all communications with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re uncomfortable on a date, cut the date short and call a friend to let them know the date is over. Additionally, you can block the person’s telephone number if you want to terminate the relationship.

Article via AlertID and McGruff the Crime Dog