Safety


Last revised on January 15, 2018

As with anyone you meet - online or offline - your sound judgment and instincts are necessary to protect yourself. There is no substitution for acting with caution when communicating with someone you are just getting to know. Here are some essential 'rules-of-the-road' for safely navigating any friendship, but especially one that begins online.

While ExploreAbroad.Club routinely monitors account activity and investigates all complaints of unusual, inappropriate or falsified accounts, ExploreAbroad.Club does not conduct criminal background checks at the time an account is registered. As with any personal interaction, keep in mind it is always possible for people to misrepresent themselves. Assessing someone's truthfulness and honesty is ultimately your responsibility. Don't ignore any facts that seem inconsistent or "off." Trust your instincts and remember that you have control over the situation. If you're talking to someone online or by phone and they say things that raise your suspicions, consider ending the conversation. If you’re out on a group event or a date and you feel uncomfortable, leave.

Also, be aware of these common red flags when you’re getting to know someone new. Watch out for someone who:

  • Immediately requests to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service.
  • Claims that your introduction was “destiny” or “fate,” especially early in communication.
  • Asks for money, goods or any similar type of assistance, especially if you have never met in person.
  • Asks you to assist with personal transactions (depositing funds, shipping merchandise, etc).
  • Wants the relationship to progress faster than you are comfortable going.
  • Reports a sudden personal crisis and pressures you to provide financial assistance. Be especially wary if the person’s demands
  • become increasingly aggressive.
  • Asks inappropriate questions.
  • Requests your home or work address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts.
  • Tells inconsistent or grandiose stories.
  • Gives vague answers to specific questions.
  • Urges you to compromise your principles.
  • Constantly blames others for troubles in his or her life.
  • Insists on getting overly close, very fast.
  • Claims to be recently widowed.
  • Disappears suddenly from the site then reappears under a different name.

If someone does any of the above activities or makes you suspicious in any other way, please report this using our contact form so that we can investigate the matter.

  • NEVER give out your credit card number or bank information.
  • NEVER share your Social Security Number, mother's maiden name, or other private information that can be used to access your financial information.
  • NEVER send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.

Immediately stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it.

When accessing your account from a public or shared computer, use caution and be aware of your surroundings so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information.

We strongly encourage you to be cautious when sharing personal information that could reveal your identity. Never include your last name, email address, home address, telephone number, place of work or any other identifying information in your Internet profile or initial email messages. Take full advantage of our secure and completely anonymous messaging process, and resist the urge to provide a personal email or phone number right away, no matter how strong a connection to your match may feel. Once you've given out personal information, you cannot take it back! We encourage you to get to know a match well via our secure ExploreAbroad.Club message system before taking the next step and sharing a telephone number, instant messenger handle or email address.

Phoning with the other person is an important step in getting to know each other better. But before you share phone numbers, make sure you have discussed the need to respect each other's privacy. If either of you decide to end communication in the future, agree not to use the phone number as a means to pursue an unwanted relationship. For added security, try using your phone's privacy features when you call, like private number blocking.

When it comes to your personal safety, you are in ultimate control.

It is important to note that we rely on the honesty of our members when filling out our ExploreAbroad.Club forms to supply us with their correct date of birth, marital status, city and address of residence, occupation, educational background and other information.

Regardless of the connection you feel with any of your matches, we encourage you to do your own research before meeting in person. This can include typing your match's name into a search engine, contacting your local municipalities to obtain public information, or using a paid service to obtain a full background report. Above all else, use common sense. Pay attention to the details someone shares with you. If you find anything that doesn't seem to add up, follow your intuition and stop communicating with that person.

We understand that a match may share a URL link to a favorite website or article as part of the get-to-know-you communication process. However, as a general practice, you should always use good judgment and be cautious when deciding to click on any URL links. In particular, be aware of links that lead to web pages which look similar or identical to the ExploreAbroad.Club homepage, including its log-in fields. These links are typically sent as attempts to 'phish' for log-in information from users in order to compromise user accounts. You should report any such phishing attempts to ExploreAbroad.Club immediately. The only way to log in to your ExploreAbroad.Club account (through our webpage) is by directly accessing the ExploreAbroad.Club website at ExploreAbroad.Club.

While online communication can accelerate one's sense of comfort and intimacy, we can't stress enough how important it is for you to take your time getting to know a new friend.

It is vital to get to know each other in a deep, revealing and meaningful way by sharing a broad base of experiences together. The more experiences you share, the better your chances of avoiding hidden and sometimes unpleasant surprises. So allow time for a variety of experiences to occur, particularly your everyday routines. In cases of long-distance friendships, if possible, you should consider living in the same area for a significant time before a more deep friendship. Move slowly and pay attention to the reality of your new friendship.

Meeting in person or joining a group event is exciting. Have fun and explore the level of chemistry you share with your date, but don't let high hopes cloud your ability to exercise reasonable caution.

  • Choose the time and place of your date wisely. Meet in a public place at a decent hour during which lots of people will be around. Lunch dates work especially well.
  • Limit alcohol consumption or abstain entirely until you know the person better.
  • Use your own transportation, even when meeting someone who lives a great distance away from you. Never agree to be picked up at your home. It's never a good idea to get into someone's personal vehicle on a first date. Wherever possible, drive yourself or take a taxi.
  • Tell at least one friend or family member about your plans and when you will return. Arrange to check in with them after each of the first few dates.
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone with easily accessible emergency numbers.
  • Leave unattended personal belongings such as purses, wallets, or jackets with pockets that may contain items that could reveal personal information about you, such as a driver's license, credit cards and ATM receipts.
  • Meet at your house or place of work or give that information out until you have had a good opportunity to know the other person better.
  • Incur large expenses on a date without first discussing how the cost will be divided.
  • Go home with someone, even if it feels like everything is going great. You have not spent enough time with them to assess whether your safety is at risk.

Always be respectful and treat your friends as you would want them to treat you. Not every person is going to be right for you so closing communication with friends and having friends close communication with you is a natural and healthy part of the process. ExploreAbroad.Club helps bringing people together who have a solid foundation from which a long-term friendship would have a high probability of success. You still need to carefully consider whether this particular person is one with whom you would like to further a friendship. If you feel the need to end communication, then be honest, direct and polite. The sooner you address this determination, the better for both of you.

If a person feels the need to close communication with you, please respect their wishes.

ExploreAbroad.Club works hard to close individuals who misrepresent who they are on our site, and we take member complaints seriously. If you have concerns about a particular person, please do not hesitate to contact us so that appropriate steps can be taken to keep ExploreAbroad.Club safe. Please use our contact form.

If ExploreAbroad.Club closes an account for suspect activity, inappropriate behavior or falsified identity, you may be notified via email to discontinue communicating with the person in question. We strongly encourage all of our members to review emails received from ExploreAbroad.Club to ensure this communication is received promptly.

We hope these guidelines will help to make your ExploreAbroad.Club experience a success, and that you will find good friends from all over the world.

Sincerely,

Explore Abroad Club Staff