Meeting someone for the first time in person is exciting, however, always take precautions and use the following guidelines.
Get to know the other person before meeting them offline
We don't conduct criminal background checks on our users, so if you would like more information about someone before meeting them in person, we recommend using the Internet and government resources available to everyone. This can include typing the person's name into a search engine and social media, reviewing public information made available by government offices, or using a paid service to obtain a full background report.
Always meet in public
Meet for the first time in a populated, public location – never in a private or remote location, and never at your date's home, or at a hotel.
Stay in a public place
It is best not to go back to your date's home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you or you feel uncomfortable at any time, do not hesitate to end the date and leave at once.
Share your plans
Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you're going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it fully charged and with you.
Have a backup plan
Always have a backup plan in case things do not go the way you expected on your date. For example, tell a friend to call or text you half an hour into your date to check up on you.
Keep a clear mind and avoid doing anything that could impair your judgement. When you’re fully alert, you’re better equipped to make decisions. Why not go out for coffee together?
Drive yourself to and from the first meeting
Just in case things don't work out, you need to be in control of your own ride – even if that means taking a taxi or Uber.
Keep personal items with you at all times
You don't want to risk having personal belongings stolen. If you're drinking, keep your drink with you at all times so it can't be tampered with.
Long Distance Meetings
Long distance meetings pose special safety concerns to take into account. Keep these tips in mind.
- Stay in a hotel. Check into your own room and avoid staying in the other person's home. If you can't afford a hotel, you shouldn't go.
- Use a taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. Securing your own ride is important. Even if the person you're meeting volunteers to pick you up from the airport, do not get into a personal vehicle with someone you've never met.
- Keep your hotel location confidential. The person you're meeting should respect your privacy until you know each other better.
- Remember to keep your family and friends posted. Tell someone who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will return.
Protect your finances
Ignore any request to send money, especially overseas or by wire transfer, and report it to us immediately – even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss and it's nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money.
Do not share financial information (such as you social security number, credit card number or any bank information) with people you don't know or you haven't met in person.
Guard your personal and online access information
Be cautious when giving out personal information such as your full name, phone number, place of work, email and address. You are in control of your online dating experience at all times, so remain anonymous until you feel totally comfortable. We recommend leaving any personal contact information out of your profile or username.
Use vigilance when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information. If you share your computer with others, disable the auto login feature to your account and clear all saved passwords.
PlentyOfFish will never ask you for your password through the site or via email, and we won’t send your password over email either. However, we will provide you with instructions to reset your password should you need help doing so. If you receive a message or email asking you to share your password, do not share this private information. Contact us and we will look into it for you.
Be Web Wise
Be wary of communications that ask you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information. Always trust your instinct. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
There are certain red flags to watch for that may indicate you're dealing with a scammer. Be aware of anyone who…
- Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
- Refuses to meet in person or speak over the phone
- Claims to be from U.S. but is currently travelling, living or working abroad
- Asks you for money
- Offers you a job
- Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
- Talks about "destiny" or "fate"
- Claims to be recently widowed
- Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
- Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
- Sends you emails containing strange links to third-party websites
- Provides a link asking you to log in with your PlentyOfFish username or password. Your PlentyOfFish username and password only works on PlentyOfFish, and you should never click on a link or log in to see anything (like more photos.) If you’re unsure, it's best to contact us and ask.
If personal details provided by another person don't seem to add up, they behave suspiciously or pressure you for personal or financial information – block communications with that person and report them to us immediately.
Block and report suspicious users
If a user is interfering with your experience on the site, do not hesitate to report them.
You can block someone from messaging you again by opening a message from the user and clicking on the "Block User" link which is directly under the message text. (Or, if using one of the apps, open the message and click the menu icon at the top right of the screen to find the "Block User" option.)
If you do not have a message from the user in your inbox, your other options are to hide your profile, change your username (if you're an Upgraded member), or hide your images by marking them "Private".
- Asking you for money or donations
- Married people or minors using the service
- Members sending harassing or offensive emails/IMs
- Members behaving inappropriately after meeting in person
- Fraudulent registration, images or profiles
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or services
- Suspect communication asking you to click on links or log in somewhere with your PlentyOfFish username and password
We value your participation in helping to keep the PlentyOfFish community safe and enjoyable for everyone.