We are in a fun and exciting age where we can enjoy our choices and lifestyle more than ever. Whether that's going out for coffee, food, friends, travel, adventure or something else.
While we enjoy everything life has to offer, we need to be smart, aware and stay safe.
We do everything we can to keep you safe by recording details about the people who use our services and keeping an eye on things for all of our users.
On rare occasions, just like anywhere in life, there are some people who are not so nice and who will try to take advantage of others.
Our best defence to avoid these rare situations is to maintain self awareness and be smart!.
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Most people are awesome and are great fun. Very occasionally some people are not so nice. So it makes sense that when you are getting to know someone that you be smart and keep yourself and your friends safe.
Here are some practical tips to help keep you safe. Remember, the less you know about someone the more precautions you should take.
General Tips When Meeting New People
- Do you know anyone who knows the person you are going to meet? What type of reputation do they have?
- When you are getting to know someone, be aware of where you are. Do you feel comfortable and safe? Are there people around? Are you near help? Do you feel like you want to be there?
- Always trust your gut instinct!! If something doesn't feel safe or right, it probably isn't. In this case, decide immediately to remove yourself from the situation and take immediate action. Don't wait for another second!!
- Only meet someone in a public place where there are lots of people around while you are getting to know them.
- Always know where you are. If you are going to someone's house remember the street address. If you are going to a restaurant, a night club look or some other place, look up the street address and memorise it before you go.
- Always tell other people where you are and when you are expected to return. Ask someone to call you at a certain time so you can give them a quick update. Agree on an emergency code phrase like "the service here is the worst" so they know if you are in trouble and need help.
- Have an escape plan. It never hurts to glance around and check your surroundings. Take a mental note, where are the exits? How can you leave quickly if you want to? If you are at someone's house pay attention to how the door locks work. Where are the front and back doors. Where are the keys? If you needed to separate yourself from someone, does the bathroom or another room have a lock? Could your protect yourself if you needed to?
- If you are stuck or someone is acting strangely or makes you uncomfortable or begins to be forceful or if you are in a bad situation, do not wait, find somewhere safe and call the police immediately.
- Never give someone your home address if you don't know them.
- Be smart about what information you give out initially. If you tell someone where you work and what time you will be finishing tonight and they have your photo, it would not be hard for them to find you.
- Always take your mobile phone with you when going out and make sure it's fully charged. If you are going away for a few days, take a "battery pack" charger with you. They are very cheap these days.
- If you broke your phone or the battery ran out, do you remember the numbers to call? We have become so reliant on our mobile phones that few people remember their emergency numbers. Write down your emergency numbers and put them in your purse or wallet. Better yet, try to memorise your top 5 emergency numbers every day for 30 days.
- Are they driving? The answer should always be No! Never let someone you don't know well pick you up or drive you around. Not only will you have to tell them where you live, but, they could drive you somewhere you don't want to be or try to prevent your from leaving their vehicle. Always make your own way when going on a date or meeting someone you don't know well. Drive yourself (this is a great excuse to keep drinking alcohol to a minimum), take a cab or take public transport.
- Are you drinking alcohol? Do you know how many drinks you've had? Are you becoming inebriated (drunk)? If so, you are putting yourself at risk? Your senses are greatly reduced when you are drinking alcohol and it's easier for a predator to take advantage of you. If you are drinking, set a limit to the number of drinks or don't drink anymore than 1 drink every 2 hours. For each alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water. If your date is drinking, have some excuses why you cannot drink or cannot drink as much. Tell them you have a early day tomorrow or get sick easily when drinking.
- Do you do drugs? We hope not, but, if you do remember drugs effect your senses and allow predators to take advantage of you. Don't ever do drugs with someone you don't know be effected by drugs with people you don't know.
Double Dates and Being Around Friends
- It's great fun to go out on double dates or do activities and adventures with your friends and it helps to keep you safe too. Ask your friends and find out who is interested and keep them in mind for a double date or when planning your next adventure.
- If you want to go on a date, find out if a friend or group of friends are going somewhere and go there with your date. Then you can introduce your date to your friends and then do your own thing. You'll look super popular while keeping safe.
Accepting Beverages, Drinks and Food
- These days most people are aware of drink spiking where someone spikes your drink with a drug at a nightclub so they can take advantage of you. This can lead to rape or robbery and is applicable to both females and males.
- Remember, a person can spike your drink anywhere. They can also spike your food too. It could be at a nightclub when they disappear to buy you a drink, but, it could also be at their home when they bring you a drink or at a public park when you are having a picnic or many other places.
- Never accept a drink unless you saw it being poured from the bottle. Are they drinking the same drink from the same bottle? Did they spike the bottle? Cocktails are more risky as they take longer to make and present more opportunities for spiking.
- If you are unsure, take very small sips of your drink to start with. Remember though, a very small amount might be enough to make you drowsy and lose your senses and some drugs can effect you over time.
- If something is wrong, tell someone immediately as soon as you feel it. If you feel woozie, drowsy or dizzy assume the worse. Don't wait for a second, tell someone other than your date immediately! Find a security guard, a waiter, manager or someone other than the person or people you are with. As soon as you have told someone, don't hesitate to call the police and give them your name, phone number and street address (which we know you memorised before you came - but if you didn't use your phone's GPS to tell you).
- Your Phone's Emergency Broadcast Function
- Often modern smart phones have a SOS or emergency button. When you press it, the phone will transmit your location to people in your emergency list. Make sure if your phone has this function that your emergency list is up to date and that you know where the emergency function is. If you in a dangerous situation, could you remember where it is?
Are you Keeping Everyone Safe?
- Are you a single parent? Think twice before inviting a stranger into your home. Could the person be a risk to your children? Predators are often charming and get along great with children.
- Do you have vulnerable house mates? If you invite a date back to your home it could be making someone else vulnerable. What if a predator knew your house mate was going to be alone next week while you are away on business? Sometimes, it's better to meet someone only in public. Remember, while we are keeping ourselves safe we need to think about others too!
Don't Get Scammed
Please see our page about scams and how to avoid them.
Scammers are experts at emotional manipulation. The risk is greater if you have not met a person before or you have only met them a few times. They will attempt to impress you and woo you and make you feel special. They might say they are developing feelings for you or that they love you. At the right time, they will tell you they have had a sudden emergency and they need your help. This is a scam.
Here are some examples of what scammers might come up with when asking you for money or help:
- They will say they are stuck overseas with their children.
- They were robbed and now they cannot make it to that important job interview they have been telling you about.
- They were robbed and now they cannot go overseas to see their dying family member that they have been telling you about.
- They need to go and visit a sick relative in hospital.
- My bank account got frozen due to identity fraud or an error at the bank. I'll send you a bank statement (which is fake) showing how much money I have. I'll repay you in a few days. I promise.
- My child (or another family member) is sick and needs urgent medication or treatment.
- I have an amazing business idea and just need a little bit of money to get it started.
- I just got offered an amazing business opportunity that will double my money.
- My car got stolen and now I'm stranded.
- I'm about to get some inheritance. If you give me some money now, I'll double it when I get my inheritance.
- I'm involved in divorce proceedings but my money will be available soon. Then I'll repay you with interest.
- I'm stuck in a legal problem but I will get money soon. Then I'll repay you with interest.
- I have been evicted from my rental property and I need some money for a bond on a new place.
- My grandmother or another family member was taken to hospital.
- A family member died and I want to pay for the funeral or travel to the funeral.
- Something went wrong and now I'm homeless (they may say that have a child as well) and living on the street.
- I was in a car accident and I'm in hospital. They might even send you a photo to try and prove it.
- I was traveling and lost my passport. Now I'm stuck in another country. Sometimes, they will try to say that their young child is with them.
The reasons are endless and very creative. The end game for these scammers is to get you to send them money. They will tell you that they will pay you back and sometimes with interest. They never will! They might send you a picture to try and prove it, get someone else to contact you to support their story (it might even be an official from a government agency of some kind), send you a legitimate looking or official looking document, a copy of their bank account with all that money that they just cannot access or a picture of them and their family members.
They will usually be good looking people who are "just down on their luck". These are scams designed to get you to hand over your money. Don't do it.
- Never give your identity documents to someone online unless you know exactly who they are and they are a trusted organisation.
- Never follow a link to a website provided to you by someone else. Go directly to the website in your web browser instead. That way you will know you have gone to the right website, and not a scam look-a-like.
- Never send someone a copy of your photo identification, a bill, your passport or citizenship documents unless you are sure who you are sending it to and there is a legitimate need to provide that information. These can be used for identity fraud.
- Some people may attempt to bribe you to keep your personal information from being made public. Never give someone a private or nude photo of yourself. If you do, never include your face in a nude photo. Some scammers might try to bribe you to keep your nude photo from being published on the Internet. Never accept this conduct. Notify us and go to the police immediately. Usually the demands for money will simply go up and be made more frequent. Deal with it. There are usually laws in place to protect you from this conduct. Swift and decisive action is required if you ever find yourself in this situation.
- If you are having an affair, some scammers might try to bribe you to keep the affair secret. Never accept this conduct. Notify us and go to the police immediately. Usually the demands for money will simply go up and be made more frequent. Deal with it. There are usually laws in place to protect you from this conduct. Swift and decisive action is required if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Go and Have Fun
The things we have mentioned above happen very rarely. They do happen and that's why we do everything we can to keep our customers prepared and safe. Once you know what to look for, you can go have some fun knowing you'll spot a safety issue or scam and take immediate action in the rare event it happens.
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