UK Police Force Encourages Singles to Check for ODA Membership

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has suggested that UK singles should check whether their preferred dating apps are members of the Online Dating Association (ODA).

His comments came after a 67-year-old woman named Carla lost £350,000 to an internet romance scam. The scammer told Carla he was part of an “overseas transportation business” and needed money for staff costs and ‘port taxes’.

Mr Ablewhite said: “Carla’s story is desperately sad. It shows how incredibly clever and manipulative online fraudsters can be. I urge anyone using online dating to check if the dating site you are using is a member of the Online Dating Association (ODA).

“Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.

“If you know someone who is dating online, Get Safe Online provides a wealth of experience about how to keep yourself safe.”

Speaking to GDI, CEO Of the Online Dating Association George Kidd said: “We welcome the way in which police forces are increasingly referring the public to ODA membership as a form of assurance the service takes safety seriously.”

The ODA’s DateSafe tips read as follows:

  • Get to know the person not the profile
  • Stay on the site messaging service
  • Never, ever send money to someone you meet online
  • Talk to family and friends about your dating choices
  • Stay in control – you should never feel pressured to do anything

The ODA are set to speak at this year’s GDI London Conference on 27th September.

Read more here.