Advice on dating agencies
From the Suzy Lamplugh Trust
Many dating agencies make no checks at all. Rules surrounding them appear to be
non-existent. Anyone can start a dating agency - they don't have to be licensed
or registered and once the agency has been set up there are no statutory checks
on how it is run.
Unfortunately, joining an agency which charges a higher fee is no guarantee that
you'll get better service or that security vetting of potential clients will be
carried out. In fact, many agencies have pointed out that unless they have access
to police records, they can never be entirely certain about the backgrounds of their
clients. It is impossible to rule out all risks when using a dating agency, but
there are some basic safety rules you can follow to increase your security.
Only use dating agencies that carry out personal interviews. Don't use an agency
that relies on postal questionnaires.
Make sure the agency will never give out your surname or address to other clients.
Some agencies will only withhold your details if you specifically request it.
Join an established agency, with a good reputation, which asks clients for proof
of identity and guarantees all applicants are vetted. Check to see if the agency
belongs to the Association of British Introduction Agencies. (Tel: 020 7937 2800).
Midsummer's Eve IS a member of the ABIA - the FIRST and ONLY online dating sites to be accepted
as full members!)
When you are making a date on the telephone, never give personal details such as
your address or surname. It is also not unknown for address details to be obtained
by just having a telephone number, so again be very guarded about giving out your
Always arrange to meet in a busy public place, preferably in daytime, until you
are sure of the other person's identity and feel comfortable with them.
Arrange meetings in a place where you will be able to get away easily.
Take a friend along, at least in the beginning, to meet your date and ask them to
come back at a pre-arranged time. Work at a pre-arranged signal with your friend
to indicate whether you would prefer your friend to stay with you.
Tell someone where you are going, who with (including as many details as possible)
and when you'll be back.
Initially don't go home with your date, DON'T invite them back to your home or accept
Pay attention to your instincts. If you feel uneasy about someone, there may be
a reason. If you do feel uncomfortable for any reason, don't tell yourself that
you are 'being silly'. If you don't feel happy in the situation don't give them
any personal details about yourself and don't arrange a second date.
Copyright The Suzy Lamplugh Trust 2000. Registered Charity 802567
This article has been reprinted with the kind permission of the Suzy Lamplugh