Good looks, charm and a promising career. His online rap has you convinced he’s the complete package and just perfect for you. Mind made up, you’re going to get away with this super fine guy who seems to be the real deal. Of course you cannot let a little thing like the fact that you really don’t know anything about him get in the way. After all you have heard about many ladies who met Mr. Right on the internet, got engaged on their first date and lived happily ever after. Why should you ignore this lucky break and let something like not knowing where he lives, if he might be married, or if he is a triple-ax murderer, get in the way? Those are just hyped stories that rarely occur designed to scare you right?

I’ve already heard it all from my younger sister who courts the 21st century way. I knew that I could get blue in the face begging her not to go out with guys she met on the internet, or as a cop and criminologist give her some practical advice that just might work. In fact, towards the end of my career working as a federal agent, I was concerned that my little sister’s actions would result in me losing my job before I got to retire. I pleaded with her to always leave her cell phone on when she went on one of these dates, so I could lock in on a signal locating her for the air strike I would set off to get her back. I reasoned that while I might not have the good job anymore, if I had to put my plan into action, at least I could save my sister if Jeffrey Dahmar II got her.

Yet in reality, my advice back then would have been more helpful in finding a body than it would have been in preventing a crime. To stop a premeditated assault requires looking at a planned event from the perspective of the offender. And the one thing relatively common to many crooks is a tendency of not wanting to get caught. They often take many steps to cover their identities and tracks so that their crimes do not find them out – you know like using fake names, and even posting pictures of someone else on websites so after they do their dirt, they cannot be traced. I say remove the cover of anonymity from the equation, so a criminal does not think he can do something to you and no one will know who he is.

Here’s what you can do. Have a friend accompany you to the parking lot of that so-called safe public place where the date is to kick-off. Have your buddy, in full view of the date; take a picture of his license plate, his car and of his face and then leave. Tell him that the friend’s now sending the pictures to others in case there’s a problem and you’re doing this because you are just really getting to know him. If he is legit, he shouldn’t care. If he runs away, you’ll know he is bad news. If you two only go on just one date, and you never hear from him again, you can suspect he was a problem – after all you’re wonderful and who wouldn’t want to be with you?

The important thing about this method is that you are straight up with the date about what you’re doing. Things like checking in with a friend, calling in his license plate number on the sly and other precautions you already take are okay – they just don’t go far enough. An attacker who believes no one knows what he looks like could care less about you contacting a friend with a status. You see, it’s not just what you do; it’s the message you convey to a potential offender about how likely he can attack you and never be detected that’s most important.

Just like in the movies, the bluff that “I have your secret contained in a locked box at home ” is not as superior to “I have your secret outlined in letters addressed to 10 people” because of the increased certainty of exposing the incriminating information. Still, while safer, my recommended approach is not a guarantee of security. I have to caution that going out with someone you know absolutely nothing about other than what he has told you (which may not be true) is risky – but if you are determined to do so, protect yourself by making sure that he knows that others know who he really is. Using this technique allows you to “wrap it up” while at the same time preventing him from doing so. Unfair? Your life versus his pleasure? Not even close.

Author's Bio: 

DEA Special Agent in Charge (retired) June Werdlow Rogers (formerly June W. Stansbury) holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology earned at the University of Maryland. She has 28 years of law enforcement experience from 3 different agencies including the Detroit Police Department and Central Michigan University’s Department of Public Safety.

Dr. Werdlow Rogers is the Author of Becoming Ethically Marketable: A Guide for Criminal Justice Majors and Recruits (available from www.staggspublishing.com). She also was a contributing author in the book Police Psychology into the 21st Century (Kurke and Scrivner) writing chapter 11 on Counseling and Diversity Issues (available through www.amazon.com). Dr. Werdlow Rogers recently completed a manuscript on the topic of women and leadership pending publication in 2010 by a prominent publisher. Other articles written by Dr. Werdlow Rogers may be accessed at www.opednews.com. Dr. Werdlow Rogers has been a speaker on numerous occasions among diverse audiences, including national professional conferences, colleges and universities, and at numerous training seminars. She has made public appearances on television and radio, and is heavily quoted in printed media accessible on the internet.

Dr. Werdlow Rogers has received numerous awards. She has held membership in many organizations including the International Association of the Chiefs of Police, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, served on the executive staff for the Interagency Committed of Women in Federal Law Enforcement (ICWIFLE), and was at one time a church trustee. Moreover, Dr. Werdlow Rogers developed a videotape and presentation entitled “Dangerous Liaisons: Drug Dealers and You,” designed to inform people about the dangers of involvement with drug dealers, and to provide information about how drug dealers behaviorally operate. She continues to educate community groups in a presentation entitled “Risky Business: How to Avoid Involvement in the Drug Trade,” in an effort to reduce drug facilitation. In 2007, her efforts led to the nationally recognized Generations Rx: Children in the Medicine Cabinet, a public awareness effort aimed at reducing pharmaceutical drug abuse through a unique forum. This novel campaign piloted in Brockton, MA offered a drug identification and drop zone, permitting the public, for the first time, to properly dispose of unwanted drugs and learn the identity of any surrendered drug that the participants suspected was being abused by loved ones.