Single mum’s urgent warning to women after she made a ‘terrifying’ discovery about a ‘nice’ man she was about to go on a date with

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Written By Maya Cantina

A single mum has issued a warning to women to stay safe when meeting up with men on dating apps after making a ‘terrifying’ discovery.

Carly Sophia, from Sydney, was planning to get a drink with a man she was talking to on a dating app and decided to Google his name because she was ‘feeling anxious’ about the meet. 

After finding out his last name, her search revealed ‘pages’ of news articles about the man who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a night out. 

The 34-year-old said the search left her ‘rattled’ as her interactions with the man did not ‘ring any alarm bells’.

The incident prompted her to share her best tips for her female followers to use to stay safe while dating.

Carly Sophia (pictured) Googled the name of the man she had planned a date with and uncovered ‘terrifying’ details about an alleged sexual assault

The mum-of-two said the man she was messaging on the app looked ‘nice’, had ‘kind eyes’ and seemed like a ‘regular Inner West guy’. 

‘He had a cute dog. Cool job. We had mutual friends. The same band shirt from the same tour. Both love animals. Wore the same type of vans,’ she explained in an Instagram post. 

‘This guy didn’t ring any alarm bells at all.’

It turns out predators aren’t just men with knives down dark alleyways. They don’t look unhinged or talk to you creepily.’ 

As she was feeling a little anxious about their upcoming date Carly decided to give him a quick Google to put her mind at ease. 

‘And HOLY. F***ING. S***. Am I glad I did. News articles. Pages of them. Accused of raping a woman after a night out,’ she said. 

‘Needless to say, I am fucking RATTLED. Felt like throwing up all afternoon. Mainly because it turns out predators aren’t just men with knives down dark alleyways. They don’t look unhinged or talk to you creepily.’

Carly offered her ‘most important’ dating advice for women to follow so they stay safe and don’t fall victim to predators lurking on apps. 

The 34-year-old said the search left her 'rattled' as her interactions with the man did not 'ring any alarm bells'

The 34-year-old said the search left her ‘rattled’ as her interactions with the man did not ‘ring any alarm bells’ 

‘Because your chance of being murdered is low, but it’s never zero,’ she warned. 

‘One in every five Australian women has been the victim of sexual violence, and 58 per cent of all female homicide is committed by an intimate partner worldwide.’

Firstly, Carly said to ‘master the art’ of sharing information about yourself and details about your life without making yourself easy to find. 

‘When you first start chatting, simple things like your suburb and what you do for work may seem like harmless get-to-know-yous. but in the wrong hands, big safety issue,’ she said. 

‘I like to say I live ‘near’ a certain landmark – a place of public interest with about 11 surrounding suburbs. Keep it nice and vague.’

Secondly, Carly said to never disclose any type of routine to someone you’re chatting to.

Carly offered her 'most important' dating advice for women to follow so they stay safe and don't fall victim to predators lurking on apps

Carly offered her ‘most important’ dating advice for women to follow so they stay safe and don’t fall victim to predators lurking on apps

Firstly, Carly said to 'master the art' of sharing information about yourself and details about your life without making yourself easy to find

Firstly, Carly said to ‘master the art’ of sharing information about yourself and details about your life without making yourself easy to find

Secondly, Carly said to never disclose any type of routine to someone you're chatting to

Carly said to never disclose any type of routine to someone you’re chatting to and make sure to get someone’s full name if you’re on an app that encourages using pseudonyms 

‘You like the same cafe, that’s fine. Just don’t be tempted to excitedly exclaim, “I get my coffee there every morning!”,’ she explained. 

‘Having things in common is a good indicator of compatibility and great to kickstart a conversation, but oops, not you’ve got a stalker.’ 

Carly recommends getting the person’s details as soon as the chat turns to potential real-life meetups. 

‘I blatantly ask for their social media handles without sharing mine, purely to see if we know any of the same people,’ she said. 

‘If we do, I’m messaging whoever I’m closest to and asking for the team. Women, if possible.’

She said women are more likely to understand she is messaging them for her own safety without dubbing her ‘crazy’. 

Some dating apps let users join using a nickname or pseudonym which can protect their privacy but Carly said to ask for a first and last name so you can do a thorough Google search on them. 

‘These days EVERYONE exists online and any man not comfortable giving you his most basic details before meeting up with you either isn’t who he says he is or has something to hide,’ she said. 

Carly said if the person you’re talking to on an app is a stranger, always meet in public places and never go somewhere private during or after the date. 

‘NEVER go to their house, let them pick you up in their car or permit them to come over to yours,’ she said. 

Carly said if the person you're talking to on an app is a stranger to always meet in public places and never go somewhere private during or after the date

Carly said if the person you’re talking to on an app is a stranger to always meet in public places and never go somewhere private during or after the date

‘No back to their hotel or one more at a ‘house party’ or a ‘friend’s place’ after unless you want your drink spiked. 

She said if a man doesn’t respect those boundaries, it is a ‘monumental red flag’. 

Carly said another way to stay safe on a date is to let trusted friends know your whereabouts. 

‘Tell a friend the name of who you’re meeting, where you’re going and changes to location as the night evolves,’ she suggested. 

‘If you have an iPhone, you can use the FindMy app to turn your location sharing on. I permanently share my whereabouts with two of my single besties and they share theirs in return. 

Finally, the cautious singleton said to always ‘have an out’ on a date so you can remove yourself from a situation you suspect may be unsafe. 

‘You turn up and they’re suss or the place is sketchy or you’re not into it or s*** just doesn’t feel right,’ she said.

‘Organise for someone to call you at a certain time beforehand, and fake a situation so that if you want to go – you now have a reason to leave.’

Carly said she is more than happy to volunteer to call any one of her followers if they are feeling unsafe on a date. 

You can visit Carly Sophia’s Instagram page here. 

SydneyGoogle

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