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Anyone can make a fake social media account. But if you look carefully, you can probably tell whether your potential love interest's profile reflects the life of a real person. It also offers Secure Call, which allows you to chat without sharing your real phone number.

To get these safety features, you have to buy an eHarmony premium subscription.


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Hinge uses social media to make connections, so your matches are already in your extended social network. That means your potential mates are more likely to be real people. Besides that, you get the person's full name - which makes them searchable online. Hinge recently started letting users add video to their profiles; if this feature grows commonplace in dating apps, it'll become more difficult to build a fake profile. Many of Hinge's connections are pretty tenuous — the friend of a friend of a Facebook friend, for instance.

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And we all know people who have Facebook friends they don't know - so don't let the "friends of friends" concept lull you into a false sense of security. Grindr, on the other hand, knows its users are often looking for a "rando. This is why it's important to be careful, Wright said. There's a lot of talk about taking precautions during sex, he said, but meeting people safely should be planned just as carefully.

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Whether you're looking for a relationship or a quick meet up, there are precautions that can be done to keep yourself safe. Here are what he calls some "little common-sense things that aren't that much of an inconvenience":. Do some research. You don't have to stalk your date online, but take the time to check out social media profiles. Grindr gives you the choice to add social media links to your profile, Wright said. Apps such as Hinge and Tinder make social media an integral part of connecting. Of course, people can set up fake social media profiles, too. But by poking around a bit, you can get a sense of whether or not the profile represents a real, live person.

If you're suspicious, request more photos.

Meanwhile, you can try to verify the photos you do have. Run them through a reverse search in Google Images. You might get you more information on your date - or it might reveal that the photo belongs to someone else. Before you meet, get to know someone. If this is a hookup, you're not going to spend three weeks trading messages. But if you're looking for a relationship, Judge said, get to know each other before you give out your phone number or agree to meet.

Look for red flags and details that don't add up.

Men: This is how you can be safe using dating apps

Use the site to talk until you feel comfortable enough to share your SnapChat or your phone number. Find another layer of information. Even if you want to meet up right away, it doesn't hurt to ask for a little more information, Wright said. If your potential date hasn't put links to social media in his bio, ask for them. Or arrange a way to speak by phone. Asking for a little more proof will help scare away some of the fakes. Meet up in a public place.

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Even if it's a hookup, you can meet first at a bar or coffee shop. This will give you a chance to find out whether your date is the person you expected - and whether you feel safe - before you go anywhere alone together. Tell somebody where you're going.

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Get a friend to look out for you, Judge said. You can promise to check in when you get home safely - or you can share your phone's location with that person so that someone will always know where you are.

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