Trust & Safety

Trade Me's blog on Trust and Safety issues.

A guide to dating safely online

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FindSomeone, owned by Trade Me, is a fun way to meet new people and the team is proud to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience.

As with any interaction (online and offline), there are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself.

Here are some basic safety tips that can help you on your dating adventure:

  1.   Never send money or financial information!

Never send money to people you meet online via a dating site.

This is always a scam and you will never see that money again. Scammers will attempt to gain your trust by sharing an emotional story of a sick relative or financial difficulty.

Do not send money under any circumstances, no matter how convincing they sound.

Please alert us immediately through Community Watch if anyone asks you for money.

  1.   Protect your personal information

Be careful about what details you include in your dating profile.

Any information included in your dating profile is visible to other members and could be used to identify you.

Your profile nickname should never include your surname or any other identifiers.

You should also avoid including contact details, such as your home or email address, work information or contact phone numbers.

During the registration process, you are asked to enter your full name, email address and date of birth. This information is completely private to your and Trade Me, and is not visible to other members.

  1.   Messaging anonymously is the safest start

Messaging through FindSomeone is entirely anonymous.

Your privacy is protected and you can get to know people at your own pace. You should still be cautious about how much information you share and always trust your instincts.

Be wary of attempts to immediately move the conversation offsite, such as email or other messaging services.

Scammers will opt to take the conversation away from the safety of the site as quickly as possible.

  1.   Always read profiles carefully

While the vast majority of members are honest and sincere, there can be exceptions in the form of dating scammers.

Dating scammers have one purpose financial gain. They will attempt to take advantage of our generally trusting nature.

There are a number of indicators that can help to identify behaviour that is typical of dating scammers:

  • Language is often a good indicator as most dating scammers are based overseas. Be wary of profiles that have a number of spelling mistakes and grammar errors, especially if the person claims to be well educated.
  • Photos can provide some insight as to who you are messaging and where they’re based. Does the photo look like it is taken in New Zealand? Has it been copied from the internet?
  • Immediate requests to move the conversation offsite. The intention is to move the conversation away from the safety of the site to other messaging services.
  • Overly affectionate communication very early into the conversation.
  • Intent on progressing the relationship very quickly.
  1.   Use Community Watch to report suspicious or inappropriate behaviour

Community Watch is a feature that allows you to report a profile to our team for further investigation. If you have experienced inappropriate behaviour or you are uncomfortable about an interaction, please report the member via the Community Watch link located at the bottom of each profile.

  1.   Trust your instincts

Common sense is your best friend. If something feels ‘off’, or there are regular inconsistencies, stop contact with them immediately. Remember that you have control over the situation and can report the behaviour through Community Watch for further investigation.

Check out FindSomeone’s comprehensive safety guide which has more tips for online safety, phone calls, meetings and general health and well-being.

By heeding the above advice you’ll be even better placed to have a great experience on the site.