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Meeting People Offline... Safe or No?


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  #1  
June 25th, 2006, 03:10 PM
MommieinNC's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,119
With the recent lawsuits, murders, kidnappings, etc... going on... I wanted to start a topic about how safe everyone REALLY thinks meeting people offline is...

Just from a quick search of news articles include:

MySpace Sued for 30Mil for 14 year old who was raped

Kansas "slavemaster" Murder Case

Pregnant Woman Murdered... Baby Stolen from Womb... Killer Met online

Christina Long (13y/o) Murdered by Internet Sex Pred

Men accused of raping minors met online

Thoughts? Opinions? Words of advice for those who DO decide to meet offline?
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  #2  
June 25th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Who knows if its safe?! I guess if you have been in touch a while, talked on the phone, and maybe gotten to know a friend of this person online as well and talked to them on the phone as well?

Meet in a public place and bring a friend or two with you (ask them to do the same). Also tell a few people who are not going where you will be meeting and what time you will be expected back.

Edited to add: I would probably also want a photo copy of thier ID at some point ebfore meeting. (yeah, im really paranoid!) hmm, but, then again, they'd know my address then. I'd probably mail or fax them a copy with the address blocked out.
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  #3  
June 25th, 2006, 03:55 PM
chlodoll
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I met my DH online. We talked on ICQ for TWO YEARS before meeting. I was pretty confident that he was who he said he was. We talked on the phone for like two weeks befor e we met and we met at the mall. I think I did it the smart way and now we have been together for over 3 1/2 years! Metting someone after a few days or weeks is not a great idea!
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  #4  
June 25th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,966
I have met peole I have met online but it has always been in a public place. I however would never let my child. On saturday I met a bunch of moms from a forum I go on. We met at Barnes and Nobles and had lots of fun. You really do have to be careful though.
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  #5  
June 25th, 2006, 04:30 PM
MommieinNC's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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IsabellaMom- I met my current partner off line... We met after 4 years of online communication... I didn't ask for it, but he sent me a copy of his drivers license and passport... To prove that he was who he said he was and he lived where he said he lived... Plus we saw each other on webcam so I knew it was really him!
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  #6  
June 25th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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I have to be honest from the time I was 13-18 I met over 50 people off line. Thank god nothing happened to me and I met with friends but when I think back I was soo nieve. What if me and my 13 year old friend went to meet some hot "guy" who was infact a 40 year old that kidnapped us... scares me to think of what COULD have happend.
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  #7  
June 25th, 2006, 06:16 PM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My husband and I met on an online forum. We talked for 2 years solely on the board, and then another 4 months through IM/phone/webcam.... I think if you do it right and you take precautions it's completely safe. Never trust someone saying who they are, require some proof.
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  #8  
June 25th, 2006, 06:25 PM
lea27's Avatar Veteran
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Nowadays so many people have internet access, it probably has the same risks as any other way of meeting people.
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  #9  
June 26th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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I don't think it is any riskier than any other form of dating.
You could meet someone in a bar or at the mall and later on they could turn out to be a psycho also.

I think if you talk to someone a few times and then meet them in a public place and take your OWN car, there is not much risk there. No more than if you had met them any other place.

I think personal info such as last name, address, phone number, place of business, should be reserved for several dates/meetings later, regardless of where you meet someone. That is just self-protection.
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  #10  
June 26th, 2006, 11:24 AM
mrobinson
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Quote:
Thoughts? Opinions? Words of advice for those who DO decide to meet offline?[/b]
Freaks are everywhere with or without the internet so I think people should meet. Like any meeting, make it public and at a place where you have a short time, like a lunch meeting. I have been lucky enough that the people I meet from the internet seem like normal people.

I actually know of three marriages from meeting online and one bad expereince... (I think a little more planning could have prevented it from being bad, but I wasn't in the situation so I don't know if there were just lies there or what, kwim?)
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  #11  
June 26th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Jessica_'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My personal opinion is there is safe ways of meeting people online. In the past, I had a group of friends that chatted together and we would regularly have parties. We were all within the same state so the parties would shift from one person's house to another. I think one big thing that kept this safe was the fact that we all met in groups.

I also am currently engaged to a man I met online. We met about 6 years ago in a game. It was an innocent friendship at first, he was dating someone. A few months after they broke up the two of us shifted from friends to more. We immediately started meeting offline. At first we met with other people around but within a few meetings I drove by myself 12 hours for a 5 day vacation with him.

My honest opinions on those links you provided. Most of those were of children being victimized by adults. Sadly, I think this has less to do with how safe the internet meeting is to how much of an active role a parent has in their childs life. There are measures you can take to keep an eye on your child. You CAN even get a key logger. I know then we cross into privacy issues but, IMHO.. My child's safety is wayy more important than his or her privacy. There is something that is taken away from a child when they are violated that no law suit can ever replace and I don't mean virginity.

So, I don't think the internet is necessarily an unsafe way of meeting people if 1. you are a responsible adult that takes safety measures ahead time.. like not meeting someone alone and always letting people know what you are doing and who you are with and make check in times. and 2. you are a responsible ADULT! I don't think children should be meeting anyone offline.. ever!

My child personally will not ever be allowed to surf myspace or have a space there, and no other places like that. My child is allowed to play games online and do research. He or she does not need to chat. I know what chatting is about, I did it before and very rarely does it strictly stay pg.

About the issue of the man and the women. Well, I know everyone has there own sexual likes and dislikes but.. I truly feel if you are looking for BDSM online, you are putting yourself at risk. Those types of relationships should only exist between two people that have trust for each other.. You are putting your life in their hands. If this is the lifestyle that works for you, fine but atleast make wise decisions and take your time to find the right person. Just like I wouldn't go marry someone offline without knowing them first. Same thing! Be smart.

So, I think the internet is as safe as you are.
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  #12  
June 26th, 2006, 12:44 PM
Chunky Monkey's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think it is OK as long as you get to know the person. I have talked to a few people who seemed sort of shady and was pushing to meet in person but I resisted, there was just something funny. Especially when it is guys wanting to meet without my DH around...that is a BIG no-no to me! If they are sincerely interested in being friends with me, they will not have a problem with him being at the meeting too. But I have also met some really nice people off the Internet and am glad I have met them.
In the same respect, I have taught my daughter not to give out her last name, address, phone number, the school she goes to, etc. That to me is too risky. She does really good about it but if she does get on to chat, it is usually with my mother and of course she knows all details anyways. And when she is on the 'net, I am always looking over her shoulder periodically to see what she is typing to someone else.
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  #13  
June 26th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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IT all depends. you can meet someone off the street and they could kill you. I met me s/o offline (oh its embarassing to admit that lol) He didnt kill me. I am not saying there aren't risks, but there are risks to meeting anyone anywhere. You just have to be a good judge of character I guess. I do think for a kid (13y/o) They shouldnt even be online to begin with (well with very strict supervision) People should be more aware of what thier kids are doing. This one is a toughy though, It all depends.
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  #14  
June 26th, 2006, 03:30 PM
carolinagirl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I met my DH online as well. I was new to the whole internet thing and placed a personal ad, and DH was one of the six that responded. Out of the six I met two - one being my DH and the other a weirdo. When I met the weirdo it was at McDonald's and I think I was there all of 5 minutes. When I met my DH he came to my parents house, met my parents, my sister, and some friends of my parents. I knew that by him being willing to come to my house and after meeting all of my family knowing what he looked like and what he was wearing he wasn't going to kidnap me and dump me in a ditch. We dated for two years before before we got married. We've been married for four years now.

IMHO you approach internet dating/meeting just like you would if you were being set up on a blind date or meeting someone in a bar - USE DISGRESSION!! Limited info at first and then progressively as you feel comfortable (after SEVERAL face to face meetings) with the person reveal more about yourself. It's just like another poster said "you're as safe as you want to be" and I couldn't agree more!!!
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  #15  
June 26th, 2006, 09:14 PM
megan
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I met my husband off line, after only a month of talking on line. We talked on the phone for about a week and I drove down 3 hours to meet him at a resaraunt. We left from there and I followed him and parked my car off base and rode with him on base to meet up with some of his other friends, then we went out bar hopping.
Before him I had met others online that I just wouldn't dare meet off line, then there were some that seemed cool online till I talked to them on the phone.
My husband, I just knew I'd be safe, its a gut feeling. But then again I think I'm pretty good at judging people, I grew up alot of my life out on the town and around tons of people.
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