Can online dating be safe

Arrange your first face-to-face encounter in a public place. That way if you find the spark just isn't there in person, you can bow out gracefully.

A coffee date or lunch is a good call and hey, if you hit it off, you can always let the date run on to supper or a movie.

This has more twists and turns than a soap opera - it's drama all the way, and very detailed. Sometimes it's a sick parent or child who desperately needs an operation, but more often the sob story goes around disappointed hopes.

A job offer that mysteriously fell through, leaving them stranded and penniless, with a large hotel bill to take care of.

They'll usually employ one of the following two methods to extract cash out of you: Your online match has professed undying love (usually with undue haste), now all that lies between the two of you and enduring happiness is a couple of borders.

"Wouldn't it be great to meet, test this new found love? But alas, he or she just doesn't have the spare cash for a ticket/visa/pet sitter.

There'll be plenty of time to get to know each other if the date goes well.

Make sure you have your phone with you, make sure it's charged and that you know your network's emergency number... Don't leave your drink unattended, and keep your personal belongings with you at all times - even when you go to the bathroom.

We've successfully steered thousands of single people into happy relationships and while we want this journey to be fun for you, we cannot ignore your safety.

We continuously put a lot of effort into creating a secure space where you can find exactly what you're looking for.

All you need to do is follow these simple, common-sense tips to get the most out of Telegraph Dating.

We moderate all profiles and photos, keep your personal details private and safe, and allow you to send and receive messages without having to divulge your true identity. We'll change your username for you if it's too close to your real name (check out our privacy policy here).

That's where you come in - love does, after all, conquer all - even temporary cash flow problems.