Looking for love online is fraught with risk and adventure. In a worst-case scenario, we have heard about people making an overseas journey and unwittingly becoming someone’s drug mule. There are also regular tales of people being fleeced out of their life savings. In a best-case scenario, they lived happily ever after.
After some recent feedback, we set out to look at how to identify fake friendship sites from real ones, to help men and women alike find their way around online safely when they are new to this online dating scene.
Verified dating sites
The most important fact to be aware of is that there is an enormous collection of fake identities existing online purporting to be local people seeking love, sex, or other contact with you.
Typically, if you arrive at the wrong site you will find umpteen available men or women in your ‘area’ but behind it all are a small group of (usually) men, pretending to be all those characters (men or women) at the same time and, not based in New Zealand at all. What we needed in New Zealand was a place where you could find out the names of the legitimate dating sites that had been verified as such. This will avoid most of the risk associated with using the Google search engine to find such sites.
After some research, we were very surprised to discover that local entrepreneur Sheldon Nesdale had undertaken and recorded this research some time ago and has since maintained this information up-to-date at one website since 2013.
We also discovered inside a whitepaper on Online Dating in NZ, written by Wellington Law faculty of Victoria University in 2015, where this website was acknowledged for providing a complete list of the Online Dating Sites (ODS). So, lonely date-seeking readers, we recommend Sheldon’s website: NZDatingWebsites.co.nz, where not only are the recommended sites listed but also the ones to be avoided and why.
Time for adventure
Use discernment people. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious, you don’t have to be rude, but if you are in a chat with someone, ask a question that could trip them up.
For example, “What about that Gondola up the Mount then, how many times have you been up”? Questions like this will quickly determine if you are talking to a legitimate local person. A fake personality will often take the bait and answer positively to simply carry the conversation on.
Take the time to get your approach right and keep your expectations in check with reality. Risk will be reduced, while potential legitimate outcomes have more chance to be discovered.
By Jim Swan, Silver Service IT www.silverservice.co.nz
“I write for this magazine to help make the world a better place.”