New Illinois Law Provides Safeguard for Online Daters

Sep 4, 2012 16:01:18Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

New Illinois Law Provides Safeguard for Online Daters

Last month, a new law went into effect to protect Illinois residents interested in online dating. Using the internet to find a potential mate is pretty commonplace these days, but you still need to be on guard for scammers and potentially dangerous people who may be lurking on the same service you're using. The Illinois government recently enacted the Internet Dating Safety Act, which required online dating services to report their policies and procedures about conducting criminal background checks, according to CBS Local in Chicago. Not only are dating services now required to report this information to members, but companies that do perform background checks must also disclose the effectiveness of their screening process.

"With online dating becoming increasingly popular in the 21st century, it is important to make sure that participants are safe and aware of potential risks," said Governor Pat Quinn, KFVS12-TV reports. "This new law will help keep Illinois citizens both financially and physically safe from predators they may unknowingly encounter when using an online dating service."

This law, while it will provide another safeguard for Illinois-based online daters, is not the only way to protect individuals who log on to find love. If you are considering online dating, you may want to take other precautions in order to ensure you are being safe and avoiding potential criminals, since not everyone who could be out to take advantage of you will be stopped by criminal background checks.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported that the number of online dating scam reports increased 108 percent in the 12 months ending in August compared to the previous 12-month period, according to WLS-TV in Chicago. Steve Barnes, the President and CEO of the regional BBB office serving Northern Illinois and Chicago, offered online daters a few tips to spot and avoid potential hazards. If another member has no photo or information in the "About Me" section of a profile, claims to be in love with you after a very short period of time, or says they are working or traveling overseas, you may want to disregard their online advances.

As a way to protect your internet privacy, Barnes recommends setting up a separate email account to use with your online dating profile. You can also consider using a second phone number when you're ready to begin talking to someone through other means. This way, hackers and scammers will have a hard time trying to take advantage of you, as neither the email address or the phone number are affiliated with your personal information.