Is dating sites dangerous?

Overall, 55% of online daters have experienced some type of threat or problem, ranging from IT security incidents to meetings with people who didn't turn out to be who they said, or getting rejected by potential matches. Data suggest men are more at risk than women. The number one danger of online dating is being tricked into sending money or giving up your financial information. Scammers want you to send them cash and gift cards, or give them information they can use to commit financial fraud.

Are Young People Prepared to Face the Risks of Online Dating?. Still, around four in ten online daters (42%) describe their personal experience with dating sites or apps as at least somewhat negative. Bumble, a dating app based on putting women in charge of online interaction, states on its site that “Hooking up has never been more fun, safe, or awesome. About 30% of Americans used a dating app or site, but female users reported being harassed or sent explicit messages in many cases.

There are substantial gender differences in the amount of attention online daters say they received on dating sites or apps. About half or more of 18-29 year olds (48%) and LGB adults (55%) say they have ever used a dating site or app, while about 20% of each group say they have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through these platforms. Some 12% of adults say they have married or entered into a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app. Just over half of Americans (54%) say relationships in which couples meet through a dating site or app are as successful as those that start in person, 38% believe these relationships are less successful, while 5% consider them more successful.

Fully 56% of LGB users say someone on a dating site or app has sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn't ask for, compared to about a third of heterosexual users (32%). These patterns are consistent regardless of each group's personal experience with using dating sites or apps. LGB users are also more likely than heterosexual users to say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they were told they weren't interested, called them an offensive name, or threatened to physically harm them. Don't be embarrassed if you've been scammed on an online dating site or app, it happens to thousands of online daters.

Smaller but still substantial actions of online daters believe people create fake accounts to scam others (50%) or people who receive sexually explicit messages or images they didn't ask for (48%) are very common on dating sites and apps. Usually a male, other sex offenders are less likely to have committed any type of crime before, but rather exploits the “ease of access and armchair approach to meeting people that dating sites allow. People who have ever used a dating site or app also have a more positive assessment of relationships forged online. Some 53% of Americans overall (including those who have and haven't dated online) agree that dating sites and apps are a very or somewhat safe way to meet people, while a somewhat smaller share (46%) believe that these platforms are not too or not at all safe a way to meet people.