Finding the kind of love that lasts a lifetime online is not only possible, but likely. eHarmony works hard to deliver you the most compatible matches possible. We believe in empowering you to make the best choices by providing guidance and support to help you discover your best qualities and those of your potential partners throughout your search.
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 relationship, but especially one that begins online.
1. Always Use Your Best Judgment
While eHarmony routinely monitors account activity and investigates all complaints of unusual, inappropriate or falsified accounts, eHarmony 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 a match'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 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:
If a match does any of the above activities or makes you suspicious in any other way, please report this as a Match Concern by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can investigate the matter.
2. NEVER Share Financial Information or Certain Personal Information
Immediately stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it. (Click here to watch "The In-Person Phishing Con" video)
3. Protect Your Account
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.
4. Be Cautious When Sharing 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 Guided Communication 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 eHarmony Mail 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. You also have the option to use eHarmony's Secure Call® service that allows you and your match to call each other without exchanging phone numbers right away.
5. Do Your Own Research
While we conduct certain types of screening and utilize a variety of screening technologies and resources, such as screening our U.S. subscribers against public sex offender registries in the United States, it is important to remember that such screenings are inherently limited. Registries can be incomplete or inaccurate, and states and jurisdictions differ as to what type of crime must be registered on their registries and what types of crimes get removed. Many crimes often go unreported and perpetrators are not always convicted. Relying solely on screening can provide a false sense of security, so we strongly recommend that you follow the rest of the Safety Tips regardless of any screenings that we may perform. When it comes to your personal safety, you are in ultimate control.
It is also important to note that our optional identity verification service, which is powered by our partner RelyID®, is not a background check. We rely on the honesty of our members when filling out our eHarmony Relationship Questionnaire to supply us with their correct date of birth, marital status, city and state 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 state or 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.
6. Use Caution When Deciding to Click on Any URL Link
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. Use of these links to access other Internet sites is at your own risk. (Click here to watch "The Online Phishing Con" video)
7. Take Your Time
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 your match. We encourage you to use eHarmony's anonymous eHarmony Mail system as long as necessary to find out as much about your match as is reasonably possible.
Even though eHarmony's Compatibility Matching System® creates extremely compatible matches, compatibility alone does not replace the need for real-life experience. It is vital to date and 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 relationships, if possible, you should consider living in the same area for a significant time before committing to a more serious relationship. Move slowly and pay attention to the reality of your new relationship.
8. Make Your First Date Safe and Successful
Meeting in person 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.
9. Always be Respectful and Kind
Always be respectful and treat your matches as you would want them to treat you. Not every match is going to be right for you so closing communication with matches and having matches close communication with you is a natural and healthy part of the process. eHarmony is about bringing two compatible people together who have a solid foundation from which a long-term relationship 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 relationship. 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 match feels the need to close communication with you, please respect their wishes.
10. Report Concerns About a Match to eHarmony
eHarmony 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 match, please do not hesitate to contact us so that appropriate steps can be taken to keep eHarmony safe. Email your concerns to: email@example.com.
eHarmony also works closely with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to identify and combat online fraud in Australia. As such, if you believe one of your matches to be a fraud suspect, in addition to reporting to eHarmony, we encourage you to file a report with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website at: www.ScamWatch.gov.au.
If eHarmony closes an account for suspect activity, inappropriate behavior or falsified identity, you may be notified via email to discontinue communicating with the match in question. We strongly encourage all of our members to review emails received from eHarmony to ensure this communication is received promptly.
We hope these guidelines will help to make your eHarmony experience a success, and that you will find your soul mate as so many others before you have done.
eHarmony Customer Care
To continue our efforts to empower and educate our users, we have created a series of videos illustrating common scams that all online users should be aware of. Please watch and share these videos.