Finding love on the internet is complicated enough, it would sure be nice to know that you don't have to worry about ending up on an awkward coffee date with a registered sex offender. Now, thankfully, you're about to have a little more protection in that department. Three big dating sites—Match.com, eHarmony, and Spark Networks—have all signed a joint statement saying they'll help guard against "sexual predators, identity theft and financial scams." This was all brought on after a woman in LA was sexually assaulted in 2010 by a man she met on Match.com. Her attacker, Alan Wurtzel, had a history of previous convictions for sexual battery.
While the statement constitutes a non-binding agreement, and there are no penalties for not complying, this is a start. The companies have all said they will now check people against national sex registries and supply their customers with safety tips and efficient ways to report abuses. Some dating companies are already doing this, but the hope is that this joint effort will hold companies accountable and encourage everyone in the industry to institute these practices. So sometime in the near future you may only have to worry about your match being "Mr. Talks Too Loud" or "Mr. Wears Socks During Sex" and not "Mr. Scam Artist" or "Mr. Mile-Long Criminal History."
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