Monday, January 24, 2011

Be Safe ->Meeting Offline

I read a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today about a lady who met her online acquaintance and was robbed of cash. Apparently, she stopped by her credit union to cash a check and the person then stole the money and jumped out of the car. I was puzzled because the story mentioned that the two of them were driving around in her car. This is clearly a no-no when meeting someone for the first time. It's always best to let them drive their own car to the meeting place. Never agree to pick them up in your own vehicle. If they can't get to and from the meeting location, this is clearly a red flag no matter what excuse they give for not having a car. Always meet during daylight hours and never in any secluded location. The excitement of finally meeting the person you have been communicating with online might make you let down your guard a bit on safety. The fact is, you don't know this person aside from your online chatting which is the way that a lot of people are meeting up these days. The many social media and matchmaking sites have probably increased the way people are meeting new friends too. I am not knocking these ways because you can meet some very nice and interesting people.

The bottom line is that we all have to be extra careful and safe when deciding to finally meet that person you have been chatting with online. When you decide to set up meeting, never let them pick you up at your residence. Be prepared to drive yourself to wherever you plan to meet. I would suggest meeting for coffee or lunch in places where there are plenty of people and daylight hours left in the day. A dinner date might seem romantic, but it's usually dark by that time unless you make it a super early dinner.

Please be safe when you finally set up that meeting offline. He or she may be charming and trusting, but you just never know their intentions.

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