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Safety when meeting someone you talk to online.

I believe in and following this and would be fully cooperative with anyone interested in meeting me. I would also welcome any first meeting in which the person I meet brings a friend along.

The first things to do, is to determine who it is you are meeting. This means getting some information from them, and checking them out a little. Most of the meetings are between men and women, however, in meeting anyone, man or woman, the same basic principles apply. I take the perspective of a woman who would be meeting a man here, for ease of explanation.

Talk to the person on the phone, get their number, and sometime later, check it out with directory assistance. When you do call, use a pay phone, not your home telephone. They may have caller-id, and can get your number from there. If a guy gives you his office number, find out the company name, and address. If he says he cannot give out his number, dump him, immediately! You can't trust someone who can't even give out a valid telephone number!

After you have checked him/her out, arrange to meet somewhere that is public, and not at a secluded place, such as a motel, or at his house. Meet at a restaurant, preferrably somewhere that you know. If this is in another town, get the restaurant name and address, and call them, ask their hours, just call, and see if this is a legitimate restaurant, or he is giving you a phony meeting address. You don't want to be in a strange town, parked in front of what you think the address was, just to wind up in a bad neighborhood, in front of a vacant lot!

One other thing, if you have a cell-phone, take it, and make sure that it works where you are. Most cell phones will dial 911, no matter where you are, if 911 service is avalable in the area.

Before starting out to meet, tell someone where you are going, who you are meeting, and when you expect to return. This can be a friend, or a relative, but be sure and give someone this information. And, if you do find that everything is fine when you meet, and want to stay longer, prearrange a code word, and call your contact, and tell them the code word, and what your plans are, and when you expect to return.

Lets say you call your friend "Debbie", when you call her, use Debbie Jo, or Debbie Sue, anything that is not her regular name. If anyone is listening, they would not know which name is correct, but Debbie will know that you are fine. This code can also work to alert your friend that you may be in trouble, be creative, and act naturally.

Stick to your schedule, and try and stay in public areas, until you feel comfortable enough with this person to meet privately. It may be best to meet publicly a few times, until you are sure of them. A person can put on a good act once, but may slip up after a few times if they are less than honest.

Just remember, at anytime you feel uncomfortable, get out!

Never take a chance on your safety!