1. Never be in a hurry to meet strangers you meet online or offline, unless their identity and bona fides have been clearly established. Do not entertain anonymous callers and hidden numbers, unless you can clearly verify how they obtained your number or contact information.
2. Be wary of persons who change phone numbers, profiles and profile location constantly. Persistent ‘flashing’ and use of ‘Call Me’ sms, is not a good sign.
3. If you plan to meet any such person, check with friends as to their profile and supposed identity and character, and let someone always know what time you plan to meet, where, and when the meeting is over.
4. Do not share unnecessary personal information with strangers. It is not their business to know where and with whom you live/work, how often you travel, if you are married etc. Such information can be used to your detriment.
5. In your online and sms communications, steer clear of overtly sexual content as this kind of information is easily preserved, shared, and can be used as evidence against you.
6. Do not invite people who live at a distance from you, without a clear understanding of how they or you, intend to finance their coming and going.
7. Be wary of any contacts whose appearance is at odds with their stated situation/profession. Quite often the fakers may dress to impress but their communication skills as evidenced in online chats and texts often betray a certain lack of education and refinement. ‘Txt spk’ is ok among established friends, but …
8. Always arrange to meet in a public environment you know and are comfortable with. Do not be afraid to terminate such a meeting if you feel uncomfortable. Be polite and excuse yourself. If the person has put up a fake picture or provided false information to lure you into meeting, terminate the meeting immediately.
9. If you choose to invite strangers to your residence, be aware that they may choose to return at a time that is inconvenient to you, or may share your details with others. If you must have strangers in your home, make sure your portable properties (laptops, phones, ipods, perfumes, clothes etc.) are safely out of sight and reach. If you are in gated premises, make sure the security understands that strangers visiting you should not leave with bags or properties they did not come with, or even better, they should not leave without your clear consent.
10. Do not eat or drink anything that you have not seen being purchased or cannot be sure has not been tampered with, if offered to you by a stranger.
11. If you have a bad experience with a person you met on or offline, let your friends know about it, and do let us know about it. Profile name, ‘real’ name, picture, and a description of the persons method of operation is essential.
12. Be wary of strangers who make subtle financial demands, whether for ‘transport’, sick relative, school fees, rent etc. Be even more wary, when such demands are mixed with professions of desire, love, affection, or sex.
13. Typically, a prostitute negotiates a fee and is paid before service is rendered. If you choose to be involved in any sex-for-cash arrangement you already have consented to relate with the lower end of society. They often have nothing to lose so the question is, do you?