Romance in the digital age has singles flocking to dating websites in search of love. It's common. It's popular. But it's also become questionable.
In the last year, a lot of the online dating sites have been grilled about their safety measures, or lack there of.
News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal has been investigating the problems with online dating for months and has new details on the changes being made to keep you safe.
Most commercials for dating websites show happy couples in love. But they don't advertise the dangers of online dating or how to protect yourself. That's why Texas law makers are forcing them to do more. And they're not the only ones looking out for your safety.
There are thousands of success stories out there; couples like Maureen Holland and Tom Henson who met online, fell in love, and are now married.
"It's possible, very much possible," Henson told us.
But not everyone is that lucky. Back in February, we told you about convicted sex offender Victor Barry Poole. He met a girl on a website called Plenty Of Fish
. He moved in with her, but broke the law when he failed to register his new address. His new girlfriend had no idea about his past.
"What they look for is desperate people looking for romance online,” Greg Sanchez explained.
Sanchez and Marcello Saldana started up bconcerned.com
right here in San Antonio. They found hundreds of online dating websites, but nothing out there to warn daters about potential dangers or how to protect themselves.
“When they go online they want to be looking for love. They're looking for that special someone, a relationship,” Marcello said. “And I think they're pretty focused on that, not realizing there are actually predators out there wanting to take advantage of them.”Bconcernced.com
offers safety tips for daters and even allows members to check in and out when they're planning to meet someone they met online.
"If something does happen to you, we have somewhere to start. We have the person you went out with. How you met them. Say you met them on an online dating site, their username,” Greg noted. “That's all good information for a detective to follow up on."
Texas law makers are also getting involved. They recently passed a law that goes into effect September 1, 2001. The new law requires dating websites to tell members exactly what their safety measures are; like do they or don't they run background checks. Sites will also have to warn people about the dangers of online dating; like identity theft, stalking and harassment.
Greg and Marcello also want to ban all registered sex offenders from online dating websites. They're gathering support locally and hope one of San Antonio's lawmakers will take up the cause.
For more information – check out their website by clicking here.