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What is a Sex Offender & How to Make Your Online Date Safe

Posted on by Ben Hartwig in DatingAugust 13, 2018

Dating used to be easy; boy meets girl, and they fall in love and live happily ever after. Not anymore! Now we have online dating, which makes things way more complicated and even dangerous!

According to survey results, about 10% of sex offenders use online dating websites, and 25% of rapists find their victims through the Internet. Not only that, but one in ten is a scammer, 51% of them are already in a relationship, and 3% are psychopaths! Those are some scary stats. So how can you be sure your Mr./Mrs. Right is not an offender? Read on…

What is a Sex Offender?

A sex offender is someone who has been charged with and convicted of a sexual offense crime. This could include a nonconsensual sexual act, unlawful sexual contact, child sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual conduct, or other sexual activity that constitutes sex abuse.

Although they vary by state, sex offender laws are very strict, and most convicted sex offenders are required by law to sign the sex offender registration list. The federal government regulates sexual crimes and maintains the national sex offender registry. The list makes it easy to find registered sex offenders and potential sexual predators. In some states, high risk offenders must issue a community notification when they move into a new town. Often local law enforcement forces a predator to put up notices around a specific neighborhood to comply with the notification act. The purpose of this is for public safety.

Even though many offenders attend sex offender treatment or sex offender management classes, even low risk predators often reoffend. Local police will keep a close eye on a new sex offender who moves into the area to prevent recidivism.

How to Investigate Your Potential Date

Thankfully the Internet provides some great ways to snoop on your date before you go too far with things. You can Google them and, within seconds, know their whole life story.

Background Check

Use one of many online services to run a thorough background check with the public records and find out if your sweet honey is guilty of any sex offenses, being sued by anyone, or even if they are just late on child support payments. Just make sure you know how to choose the right service provider. These reports will give you everything from driving violations to criminal offenses and more. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Find out who you are dealing with before you book that first date.

Use a Trusted Dating Site

Only sign up for a site that puts its users through an extensive profile process before joining. Ask friends and family members what service they use and read reviews on the quality of matches and people on there.

what is a sex offender

Check Them Out on Social Media

Most people share  a lot of information on social media, probably too much. Look your potential sweetheart up, and if their profile is too sparse or empty, that should be a red flag that something is off. If their profile is brand new, again, something isn’t right. You can also find out if they are in a relationship or have been lying to you about anything. No one can hide in this modern technical world, so use technology to help you stay safe.

Warning Signs of a Sex Offender

It’s easy to tell right off if someone is scamming you or not who they claim to be. There are plenty of telltale signs that someone may be guilty of sexual assault or child pornography.

Communication and Language Issues

The first thing to watch out for is how they communicate online. Do they send you complex nonsensical sentences or use capitalization all wrong?

Most people lie on their online profile, but a fib here or there does not indicate a sexual abuse predator. However, if their profile seems way too good to be true, then investigate further; they are probably not what they seem to be.

  • Look for too many “me” and “I” statements along with arrogant or too much confidence. That can indicate narcissism, and you want to steer clear.
  • A small or blurry photograph is also a reason for concern. If they fail to share more pictures with you or make excuses, swipe left on that one.
  • Watch out for people who make statements about wanting to “avoid drama” or “play games.” According to sex crime FBI profilers, this is precisely what the sexual offenders want.
  • Listen closely for any possessive language, especially right off in the beginning. Statements like “I need” or “I won’t put up with” should have you deleting that one off your list of matches.

Odd Behavior

Does your potential honey bunny go silent at odd times and then bombard you with texts or emails? This is a serious red flag to watch out for. If you notice any aggressive behavior when you are late to respond, disconnect from this person immediately. They are quickly trying to gain control over you.

If your potential soul mate asks you for money, especially along with a very complicated story as to why they need it, run for the hills. The same goes for if they start talking about sexual situations or ask for risqué photos too early on, walk away.

The best possible defense you have against a sex offender online is using your common sense. Be hyper-aware and watch for clues as to their true nature. If you get that “icky” feeling when they say or do something, listen to your gut and shut them down quickly. Dating is a minefield of emotions and danger, but it doesn’t have to be if you stay alert, keep informed, and be safe. Notify the local police department if the person lives in your area.

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