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Known as “catfishing,” the form of digital deception has been the subject of television shows and documentaries. Julie Spira, a Los Angeles-based dating expert and digital matchmaker, says there are several ways to help validate your date’s identity and have some peace-of-mind before your first face-to-face meeting.
Make a Google Voice account Rather than give your date your phone number, Spira recommends making a Google Voice account.
Research, research, research When it comes to validating your potential date’s identity, every piece of information counts.
She also recommends becoming familiar with Google’s reverse-image tool, which can run a search on your date’s profile image to see where else it appears online.
“When daters create profiles, they usually use the same photo on their Linked In, so it’s very easy to find someone’s first and last name,” she said.
Keep some secrets When love is blossoming, it’s easy to get comfortable and share intimate details about your life.
Spira says that where you live and work should remain off-limits for the first impression.
To avoid that situation, Spira recommends taking a ride-hailing service like Uber, which logs when and where you were dropped off into its system. You can safely get to your date with no car in tow,” she said. If your date crosses the line, Spira said that most dating apps and websites allow users to report someone’s behavior.