Woo You wants you to meet amazing singles, view and choose from the best dates or create your own date. We want your dating experience to be fun, safe and comfortable. Meeting someone for the first time whether online, through an acquaintance or on an outing is intriguing and exciting, however, your safety is very important.
The following tips and guidelines are designed with your safety and the safety of all our users in mind. We strongly urge you to follow these guidelines in the interest of your personal safety and well-being. Always exercise caution, be aware of your surroundings and the situation you are in. There is no underestimating the power of instincts and intuition. These guidelines are not intended to be a substitute for your own judgment. Always trust your gut and if something doesn’t seem right, get to a safe place immediately!
To help you stay safe, here are some tips and safety steps that you should follow while dating – both online and offline.
Online Communication. Your Safety & Protection
Woo You encourages you to communicate with singles using our in-app chat feature in the Date Hub. Sometimes the excitement of meeting someone new clouds your instincts and better judgement. Strong emotional bonds are created with strong physical attraction and we encourage you to take your time in getting to know someone before taking it offline.
Protect Your Finances & Never Send Money or Financial Information
At Woo You we do our best to provide a safe online experience and that’s why we use features like Facebook Connect to help verify accounts and confirm new users are real people and not fraudulent imposters! Always be wary if someone you are chatting with starts asking about your personal financial information or worse, asks you to send money.
Protect Your Personal Information
Never give personal information, such as: your social security number, credit card number, bank information, your work or home address to people you don’t know or haven’t met in person.
Note: Woo You will never send you an email asking for your username and password information. Any communications that look like it’s coming from Woo You should be reported immediately.
Recognize Suspicious & Unusual Behaviors
Report suspicious users. You can report concerns about any suspicious user by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep conversations on the platform.
Bad actors will try to move the conversation to text, personal email or phone conversations.
Report All Suspicious Behavior
- Asking you for money or donations.
- Requesting photographs.
- Minors using the platform.
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages or emails.
- Members behaving inappropriately during or after meeting in person.
- Fraudulent registration or profiles.
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or service.
Online Romance Imposter Scams
Imposters promise romance to users of online dating sites to trick them into sending money. Never respond to any request to send money, especially overseas or by wire transfer. Always report suspicious users to us immediately (email@example.com)– even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss and it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. For more information check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/fraud-escroquerie/types/romance-rencontre/index-eng.htm or for our customers in the United States check out the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's advice to avoid online romance scams, available here: https://onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams.
People dating online aren’t always who they say they are. If you happen to suspect you might be speaking with a scammer, STOP your communications right away and report their profile.
Here are some common scammer behaviors to spot and report immediately:
- Refusing to meet in person or talk on the phone.
- Repeated excuses for not being able to meet in real life.
- Claiming to be in love with you and showing an excessive amount of affection in a brief time.
- Wanting and pushing for a serious committed relationship without knowing anything about you.
- Pressuring you to provide your personal contact information or financial information.
- Profiles that post only 1 professional or model quality photo without proof of any other photos.
- Immediately asking you for financial support or to send or accept money.
- Being vague with questions when you ask them to tell you more about themselves.
- Directing you to other dating sites or pornographic sites.
- Poor grammar and spelling with short replies and poor communication skills.
- Profiles contacting you from another country claiming to be “stuck” in a foreign country.
Meeting Offline / Meeting in Person
First in-person meetings are exciting, but always take precautions and follow these guidelines to help you stay safe.
Get to Know the Other Person
Keep your communications on the Woo You App and really get to know users online/using the app before meeting them in person. Scammer accounts will often push people to communicate off the platform immediately by sharing their email or contact number in the first message. It’s up to you to research and do your due diligence. Check their facebook profiles and see if you have mutual friends in common that can confirm and vouch for the person you are talking to.
Always Meet and Stay in Public
Meet for the first few times in a populated, public place – never in a private or remote location and never at your date’s home or apartment. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
Create a Safety Plan for the Date.
Before meeting your date for the first time we suggest creating a Date Safety Plan. Tell your friends or family members of your plans to meet the person. Include as much information about your date as possible, including a picture of your date or even their Facebook profile. You should also include details about the location of your meeting including; when and where you are going. Make sure you have your mobile phone charged and with you always! You can share location with close friends and family and also arrange for them to contact you at a specified time as an added measure to confirm your safety.
Be Responsible for your Own Transportation.
While the offer to share transportation, or being picked up may be more convenient, for your first meetups you need to be independent and in control of your own transportation. Especially if the date isn’t working out and you need an exit strategy and not to be dependent on your date for a ride home.
Avoid Drugs & Alcohol. Stay Sober and Watch your Drink.
Although the use of recreational drugs and alcohol may help you to relax and calm your nerves, it will also alter your mental state and potentially impact good judgement. We recommend a two-drink maximum when choosing drinks as your first date option. The consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs can impair your judgment and potentially put you at risk and in danger. It’s important to keep a clear mind and avoid anything that might place you at risk. Be aware that dating predators [bad actors] might try to take advantage of you by altering your beverage(s) with drugs.
First Date Do’s & Don’ts.
Here are some common Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to planning your first dates & meeting offline.
- Inform your close friends/family who you’re meeting, where you're going and when you expect to be home.
- Schedule dates in a public place with a lot of people nearby.
- Find your own transportation to and from your date.
- Monitor your alcohol consumption.
- We recommend a two - three drink maximum.
- Have your phone, wallet and personal items with you always!
- Feel free to leave any time you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
- Charge your cell phone and keep it close by.
- Have a date safety plan. Plan to contact a friend before and after your date is over.
- Go on dates without telling someone you trust.
- Plan a date at someone’s home or at an isolated place.
- Let your date pick you up at your residence or where you work.
- Leave your personal items or drinks unsupervised.
- Stay on the date when you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
- Ignore your gut feeling when pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
- Go to anyplace where contacting you may be difficult.
- NOT have a dating safety plan.
Health & Sexual History
Woo You welcomes everyone and empowers our community of users to create and cultivate relationships. Regardless of whether you are meeting people on Woo You or in any other situations, ensuring proper sexual health and safety is always paramount. As a valued member of the Woo You community, it is your responsibility to make sure you do the following, if you choose to engage in sexual activity.
You and your partner should use proper protection. Condoms and other mechanisms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting or passing on an STI, such as HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis A,B & C. However, you can still get certain STI’s, like herpes or HPV from contact with your partner’s skin even when using a condom. To be effective, however, protective measures must be used consistently.
Be Open and Honest
Unfortunately, these days, Sexually transmitted diseases are not uncommon. That said safe sex practices and having honest conversations about your sexual health and history is completely reasonable to have with your partner regarding sex and sexual contact before actually having sex. All issues ranging from the number of partners each of you has had, to the last time each of you was tested for STI’s are fair game. Many STI’s are curable or treatable. If either you or your partner has an STI that is curable, you both need to start treatment to avoid becoming re-infected. It is important to be completely honest in these conversations.
The risk of contracting some STI’s can be reduced through vaccination. Hepatitis A & B and even HPV can be avoided by being vaccinated prior to exposure. Talk to your doctor or a medical professional at a sexual health clinic to learn more.
Get Tested Regularly & Know Your Status
Know your status. Some STI’s don't show symptoms. Regular testing is critical to staying on top of your health and helping prevent the spread of STI’s. After testing, always ask for a copy of your test results so you are sure of your status. It’s recommended that actively sexual individuals get tested every six months and every three months for individuals who engage in more risky behavior
For Further Help, Support or Advice
In the case of an emergency or that something has happened, immediately call 911. Emergency situations include a recent threat of violence or sexual violence, recent act of violence or sexual violence or if your health or someone else’s is in danger.
If something has happened and you’re in need of help, support or advice pertaining to physical or sexual assault, please call the below 24hr hotlines.
Canadian Help, Support & Abuse Hotlines:
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511 | http://www.awhl.org/
DAWN Domestic Abuse Hotlines
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Canadian Cyber Security Info
American Help, Support & Abuse Hotlines:
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE I www.rainn.org
1-800-230-7526 I www.plannedparenthood.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 I www.thehotline.org
Federal Trade Commission's Online Dating Scams
About The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa.