No room in online dating for scammersThe Online Dating Association, the UK trade body for the online dating industry, has spoken today as details of a £1.6 million scam were released by the Metropolitan Police ahead of sentencing of the two men found guilty.
George Kidd, ODA Chief Executive said:
“There is no room in online dating or any other online social activity for such heartless behaviour. We welcome the work of the Met Police in bringing these scammers to justice.
"Internet fraud is a scourge that every sector has to fight. We want people to make friends, find fun but feel safe doing so as millions already do. All ODA members work to keep scammers off sites using technology and know-how and we are committed to doing even more. With better information-sharing with the Police, through mobile and other ways of verifying identifies and with new advice and guidance.
"We all have a role in helping people protect themselves. We ask users to think with their heads as well as their hearts, to never ever, ever respond to a request for money, and to always talk to a friend or family member if in doubt. You should always feel it’s ok to walk away if something in a relationship feels wrong. No man or woman who is the victim of crime should feel ashamed or stupid. The shame lies with those responsible.”
As well as publishing comprehensive advice for consumers on how to Date Great, Date Safe -
http://www.onlinedatingassociation.org.uk/consumers/date-safe-guidance.html, the ODA has some simple messages for anyone looking for love online:
· Use common sense online – use your head as well as your heart. Chat to a friend if in doubt.
· Take time and care: don’t do things or share things online you wouldn’t in person
· Never ever, ever respond to a request for money, however desperate or persuasive it seems
· Report any worrying contacts; your safety and that of others matters more than feeling silly.
- The Online Dating Association (ODA) was set up in 2013 by a number of industry players who saw the need for the industry to step up and take a shared responsibility for setting and maintaining standards.
- The ODA has its own Code of Practice which is binding on members of the Association. It sets out what is expected of members under a series of key headings.
- ODA members have a responsibility to check profiles, to use specialised software and skilled staff to monitor activities and to give users advice, guidance and help. The ODA’s Date Great: Date Safe information provides users with helpful guidance on how to make online dating an enjoyable, safe and fun experience.
- Look out for the ODA logo on member sites. These are sites that are committed to the safety of their users. A searchable list of sites covered by ODA membership can be found here:http://www.onlinedatingassociation.org.uk/consumers/check-a-site.html
For more information please contact:
Ann Austin – ODA Secretary