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Let’s be frank: this time of year is peak online dating season. All singles have just experienced the ever-depressing Valentine’s Day, and to top it all off, the weather is borderline freezing – with warm cuddles the only solution in our love-lost hearts. As the stigma surrounding online dating begins to fade, it seems the only solution for much-needed romance, however users of the 2 billion-dollar market are exposing themselves to more than just a bad date… with identity-theft raising its head as a serious issue in 2016.

According to Pew Research, 38% of singles in the United States had a profile on a dating site or app. This means that these online dating sites have a huge amount of personal information, with each site collecting a significant amount of data from its users.  

When it comes to scamming, the most common targets are women over the age of 40, with offenders using information on profiles as well as personal information discovered by interacting with users to take advantage and monetize. A scary little fact – security company Iovation found that the most online dating fraud in 2015 occurred in the United States.

How can you protect yourself? Be smart, people. Use dating websites that ask a lot of questions about your personality, rather than your private information. Be web-wise! Check a possible dates background, and be careful not to give out your bank or credit card info. It sounds simple, but it happens to the best of us – and it would NOT be a nice way to settle your Valentine’s Day woes.

For more safety tips while navigating the world of online dating click here