When it comes to online safety and dating sites, we like to think we know what we’re talking about.

Stitch is the only companionship site in the world that insists on identity verification for its members, and we do a lot of things behind the scenes to ensure that Stitch is free of scammers and fraudsters that most dating sites simply don’t do.

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But you don’t even need to wait to do this: the Internet now provides a number of tools for having a video call with someone which don’t require you to hand out your Skype ID or email address.

Our favorite is Appear (appear.in), which lets you set up an instant, private video chat with someone for free, without giving out any personal information.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t give them your bank details either.

If you wouldn’t do either of those things in the real world, then you’re going to find it easy to stay safe online, just as long as you understand how “common sense” rules from the real world translate to the world of online dating.

And it’s not even close: by our estimates, a senior’s chances of experiencing abuse in the real world are less than 1/1000th of their chances of being targeted for a scam online.

That may sound surprising, but the reasons are quite straightforward: We’re not saying you don’t need to exercise caution when meeting a stranger for a date — you absolutely should — but if you are over 50, statistically speaking the greatest risk you face in the online dating world comes when you are dealing with someone when using online dating sites, and most of the tips below relate to online safety.OK, without further ado, here are our top 15 tips for staying safe on online dating sites: You need to remind yourself that you know absolutely nothing about the person you’ve just met, apart from what they’ve said on their profile.Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to get more information about them, including: This one is a no-brainer, but is easy to get wrong.If everything above makes you want to avoid going online altogether, then it shouldn’t.The good news is that it’s not hard to stay safe if you follow a few simple common-sense guidelines.Most amazing were the images of scammers boasting about their exploits online, flashing photos of the cash they had stolen and sharing tips with fellow scammers on online forums and Facebook groups.