GROWLr Safety Guidelines
Last revised July 29, 2014
There are certain steps that every person should follow while dating — both online and offline. We ask you to take a few minutes to read these tips and require that you follow them.
Online Safety Tips
Protect Your Finances
Ignore any request to send money, especially overseas or by wire transfer, and report it to us immediately – 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.
Never give financial information (such as you social security number, credit card number or bank information) to people you don't know or you haven't met in person.
Guard Your Personal and Online Access Information
Be careful about sharing other personal information, such as your full name, phone number, email and address. You are in control of your online dating experience at all times – remain anonymous until you feel ready. Take advantage of our member-to-member technology that protects your identity until you decide to reveal it through email or IM. Also, leave any personal contact information out of your profile or username.
Use extra caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information. If you share your computer with others, disable the auto sign-in feature to your account and clear all saved passwords.
Note: GROWLr will never send you an email asking for your username and password information. Any such communication should be reported immediately.
Be Web Wise
Be wary of communications that ask you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information. There are certain red flags to watch for that may indicate you're dealing with a scammer. Be aware of anyone who…
- Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
- Claims to be from U.S. but currently travelling, living or working abroad
- Asks you for money
- Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
- Talks about "destiny" or "fate"
- Claims to be recently widowed
- Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
- Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
- Sends you emails containing strange links to third-party websites
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's advice to avoid online romance scams is available here: http://onguardonline.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams
Be cautious and use common sense. If personal details provided by another person don't seem to add up, they behave suspiciously or pressure you for personal or financial information – block communications with that person and report them to us immediately.
Block and Report Suspicious Users
You can block and report concerns about any suspicious user anonymously from any profile page.
- Asking you for money or donations
- Minors using the service
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages
- Members behaving inappropriately 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 services
Your involvement will help keep the community fun and enjoyable.
Offline Safety Tips
First meetings are exciting, however, always take precautions and use the following guidelines.
Get to Know the Other Person Before Meeting them Offline
Use the technology on GROWLr that protects your anonymity to get to know someone before disclosing personal information or meeting in person. We don't conduct criminal background checks on our users, so if you would like more information about someone, we recommend using the Internet and government resources available to everyone. This can include typing the person's name into a search engine, reviewing public information made available by government offices, or using a paid service to obtain a full background report.
Always Meet in Public
Meet for the first time in a populated, public location – never in a private or remote location, and never at your date's home or apartment.
Stay in a Public Place
It is best not to go back to your date's home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
Tell a Friend
Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you're going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it with you.
Keep a clear mind and avoid doing anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.
Drive Yourself To and From the First Meeting
Just in case things don't work out, you need to be in control of your own ride – even if you take a taxi.
Keep Personal Items with You at All Times
You don't want to risk having personal information stolen. If you're drinking, keep your drink with you at all times so it can't be tampered with.
Long Distance Meetings
Long distance meetings pose special safety concerns to take into account. Keep these tips in mind.
- Stay in a hotel. Check into your own room and avoid staying in the other person's home. If you can't afford a hotel, you shouldn't go.
- Use a taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. Securing your own ride is important. Even if the person you're meeting volunteers to pick you up from the airport, do not get into a personal vehicle with someone you've never met.
- Keep your hotel location confidential. The person you're meeting should respect your privacy until you know each other.
- Remember to keep your family and friends posted. Tell someone who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will return.