I borrow these facts from an email I got from Mary Jo Fay who leads a MeetUp Group in Denver, “Denver’s Best Dating, Mating and Relating Group” http://www.meetup.com/singles-1560.
Mary Jo is always cautioning her group to be safe, and use common sense especial when meeting someone for the first time from an online dating website. Each month it’s a discussion where members rotate between tables of men and women and address common dating issues, asking the opposite sex their opinion.
Online dating is one of the biggest Internet booms in today’s technological world. With well in excess of 54 million adult singles out there in cyberspace, at least 40 million of whom have at least tried Internet dating, it’s definitely here to stay. Especially with an industry revenue that exceeds one billion dollars annually.
The impressive statistics that dating sites taunt us with make it easy to understand how so many singles are drawn into the fray: that one in five singles meet online and 17% of all marriages begin with folks meeting in cyberspace, for example. Yet we don’t often hear about the other statistics:
- Ten percent of sex offenders report using online dating sites to find their victims.
- In 2005 alone, twenty-five percent of rapists used online dating sites to find their victims.
- Ten percent of online dating site members are scammers.
- Thirty-three percent of men dating online are married.
- Fifty-one percent of online dating singles are already in a relationship, yet are putting themselves out there as being single.
By the time you add up these numbers, the possibility of finding a real, decent person drops dramatically.
Each year scammers prey on hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting dating “victims” for financial gain (otherwise known as “cat fishing”). They claim to be in the military or out of the country for a time (and conveniently cannot meet in person), they promise marriage, or otherwise get the online dater so emotionally attached that he or she willingly sends the scammer money for any number of fraudulent uses. In 2011 alone, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center lodged 5,600 complaints from victims of “romance scammers” with collective losses of over fifty million dollars. They believe these numbers to be a fraction of the actual losses, as they realize that many victims are too ashamed to confess exactly how much money they handed over to scammers they believed to be real potential mates. Yet many of these victims, even after discovering they were scammed, still keep the relationship going as they are convinced they have found the love of their lives.
Some of the scariest statistics of all:
Thirty-three percent of women have sex on the first dating encounter with the person they met online. And four out of five do not use protection.
If all this is not enough to make every single person on an Internet dating site stop to take just a bit longer to get to know whom they meet online, these final statistics speak for themselves:
Each year, Internet predators commit:
thousands of rapes,
and 100 murders.
Just something to think about, my friends. Let’s all be careful out there! Have a great weekend.
Mary Jo Fay