Yet another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but people throughout Surrey and around the world are, of course, still on the scout for that special someone.
It’s been that way since before Saint Valentine himself walked this earth in AD 226, and will continue to be well after all of us who are alive today eventually join that choir invisible.
But today, many people’s trust in technology to help score them a swell date certainly needs to be tempered with a wide-eyed awareness of the potential for running into a creep, or worse, on lurking on the other side of those digital communications.
Surrey Mounties say they’re seeing an increase in sexual assault complaints related to people meeting after using online dating apps.
There was a time when people were introduced to one another through family or mutual friends.
But when relying on apps, you are putting blind faith in the claims of that stranger you’re flirting with.
As the Surrey RCMP advise, “Don’t let love blindness cloud your view on safety.”
Staff Sergeant Lyndsay O’Ruairc, of the Surrey RCMP’s Vulnerable Persons Section, stresses the importance of having a safety plan, and one aspect of this is always letting a trusted friend or family member where you’re going when you intend to meet someone you don’t know.
Police report have also seen an increase is “sextortions” over the past year.
These include victims being blackmailed out of money, or sexual favours, by someone threatening to expose their secrets, nude photos, etcetera.
The key is to be vigilant, be smart, and realize that trust is earned.
It’s not something to carelessly tossed at a stranger on the other end of a dating app – no matter how awesome they say they are.