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Surf Dating Sites At Your Own Risk

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(credit:  Mike Clarke/Getty Images)

(credit: Mike Clarke/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A woman in China had perhaps the most awkward meeting with a man she met on an internet dating site when she accidentally arranged for an adult encounter with her father-in-law.

Neither knew it would be the other because they both used fake names and fake pictures. That is a bad date.

Thankfully, most people with internet dating site horror stories have the more common, less serious problem of finding out that her date is a dud, but not her dad.

If your dream date on paper turns out to be a loser, what are your legal rights to go after the dating website that made you fill out a gazillion questions only to realize they don’t know anything about you or the guy?

Consumer protection statutes do require that a site cannot mislead the public into thinking it is doing more to protect them from liars and predators than it really does. So check the terms of use for every dating site to see what the site is obligating itself to do.

You will see that most specifically state that they DON’T conduct background checks and your safety is your own responsibility.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you know the real person through your internet conversations when, in fact, you really don’t know if what he’s typing is true or not – so don’t let your guard down when you meet; bring along a friend for safety, and don’t believe everything you read either about Mr. Right or about the site’s ability to find him for you.

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