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Speak up, says Amy Cananday, public relations manager for Match.com, the Dallas company that pioneered online dating."We encourage our members to never share their credit card information with another member on the site and report suspicious activity immediately." Falzone, though, recognizes that it can take more than caution to stay safe when conversing over the Internet."Some questions seem innocent, like asking what your mother's name is or what your parents do for a living.
A study about online dating and credit habits by Protect My ID.com, Experian's identity theft protection program, found that nearly half of the respondents never verify the authenticity of their chat mates, and nearly 10 percent actually sent them their Social Security numbers or bank account information.Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert and consultant for the security company Intelius, has posted fictitious profiles on dating websites for his job and says it's never long before a potential thief is in contact and professing love. They tell me how much they miss me and think about me." Then, says Siciliano, "they are in your home, rifling through your drawers, getting your account information." Dating services efforts Of course, online dating companies strive for customer protection.For instance, Pasadena, Calif.-based dating site e Harmony's publishes safety tips on their home page, in "5 Dating Rules You Should Never Break," including "if a potential date's actions or words set off an internal alarm system, you owe it to yourself to pay attention and act accordingly." Encounter a con?For example, Protect My ID scans the Internet daily, searching for fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and credit and debit accounts.If they spot illicit activity, they'll alert the member.