Safe Dating Advice

Safe Dating Advice

Meeting new people is exciting, but you should always be cautious when interacting with someone you don’t know.  Use your best judgment and put your safety first, whether you are exchanging initial messages or meeting in person. While you can’t control the actions of others, there are things you can do to help you stay safe during your Gather experience.

Online Safety

Never Send Money or Share Financial Information
Never send money, especially over wire transfer, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash — it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace where the money went. Never share information that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, report it to us immediately.

For tips on avoiding romance scams, check out some advice from the U.S Federal Trade Commission on the FTC website or in the video below.
Protect Your Personal Information
Never share personal information, such as your social security number, home or work address, or details about your daily routine (e.g., that you go to a certain gym every Monday) with people you don’t know. If you are a parent, limit the information that you share about your children on your profile and in early communications. Avoid sharing details such as your children’s names, where they go to school, or their ages or genders.
Stay on the Platform
Keep conversations on the Gather platform while you’re getting to know someone. Because exchanges on Gather are subject to our Safe Message Filters (learn more here), users with bad intentions often try to move the conversation to text, messaging apps, email, or phone right away.
Be Wary of Long Distance and Overseas Relationships
Watch out for scammers who claim to be from your country but stuck somewhere else, especially if they ask for financial help to return home. Be wary of anyone who will not meet in person or talk on a phone/video call—they may not be who they say they are.  If someone is avoiding your questions or pushing for a serious relationship without meeting or getting to know you first — that’s a red flag.
Report All Suspicious and Offensive Behavior
You know when someone’s crossed the line and when they do, we want to know about it. Block and report anyone that violates our terms. Here are some examples of violations:
Requests for money or donations
Underage users
Harassment, threats, and offensive messages
Inappropriate or harmful behavior during or after meeting in person
Fraudulent profiles
Spam or solicitation including links to commercial websites or attempts to sell products or services
You can report any concerns about suspicious behavior from any profile page or messaging window or by emailing .For more information, check out our Membership Principles.
Protect Your Account
Be sure to pick a strong password, and always be careful when logging into your account from a public or shared computer. Gather will never send you an email asking for your username and password information — if you receive an email asking for account information, report it immediately. If you are logging in using your phone number, do not share your SMS code with anyone. Any website requesting this code to verify your identity is not affiliated with Gather in any way.

Meeting in Person

Don’t Rush
Take your time and get to know the other person before agreeing to meet or chat off Gather. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to screen for any red flags or personal dealbreakers. After moving to chat off Gather, a phone call or video chat can be a useful screening tool before meeting in person.
Meet in Public and Stay in Public
Meet for the first few times in a populated, public place — never at your home, your date’s home, or any other private location. If your date pressures you to go to a private location, end the date.
Tell Friends and Family About Your Plans
Tell a friend or family member of your plans, including when and where you’re going. Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
Be in Control of Your Transportation
We want you to be in control of how you get to and from your date so that you can leave whenever you want. If you’re driving yourself, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan such as a  ride-share app or a friend to pick you up.
Know Your Limits
Be aware of the effects of drugs or alcohol on you specifically — they can impair your judgment and your alertness. If your date tries to pressure you to use drugs or drink more than you’re comfortable with, hold your ground and end the date.
Don’t Leave Drinks or Personal Items Unattended
Know where your drink comes from and know where it is at all times — only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bartender or server. Many substances that are slipped into drinks to facilitate sexual assault are odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, and anything containing personal information on you at all times.
If You Feel Uncomfortable, Leave
It’s okay to end the date early if you’re feeling uncomfortable. In fact, it’s encouraged. And if your instincts are telling you something is off or you feel unsafe, ask the bartender or server for help.

Resources for Help, Support, or Advice

Remember — even if you follow these tips, no method of risk reduction is perfect.  If you have a negative experience, please know that it is not your fault and help is available. Report any incidents here, and consider reaching out to one of the resources below. If you feel you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, call 911 (U.S. or Canada) or your local law enforcement agency.
RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE (4673) I I

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 I

National Human Trafficking Hotline

1-888-373-7888 or text 233733 I

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

1-877-739-3895 I

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678) I

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

1-844-878-2274 I

VictimConnect - Crime Victim Resource Center

1-855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846) I

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

Click here for additional resources in many of the countries where we operate.
Click here for information regarding international sexual orientation laws from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).