Outrageous! Baylor U Rapist Gets Off Without a Criminal Record

December 13, 2018

Jacob Anderson is a rapist. He basically admitted it in court when he pleaded “no contest.” He raped a woman at a frat party multiple times during his time as a fraternity president at Baylor University in Texas. Noticing she was feeling a bit woozy, he took her outside behind the frat house and raped her repeatedly, then left her face down in the dirt. What a guy…

Still, you wouldn’t know it a couple years from now…

Why? Because you probably won’t ever see this on his background check. Even if he applied to be your daughter’s nanny, he’d likely pass a background check with flying colors.

It’s a dirty little secret of the background check industry…it all starts with the judge and it gets worse.

Despite the victim’s angry objections, Anderson was offered a plea deal, which threw out four charges of rape and reduced his charge to Unlawful Restraint. This means after a few years of probation, a ridiculous $400 fine, some counseling, and “good behavior,” the charge could be erased entirely. Even worse, the judge made the shocking decision that he didn’t have to register as a sex offender.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

This young woman’s life is now ruined, and his next victim won’t have any way of knowing how dangerous Anderson is.

And this is the first challenge with background checks…they can only report what’s in file. So you have terrible situations like this where a rapist gets off with a slap on the wrist – and maybe no record at all.

Next you have huge swings in how different counties and states report criminal records – if they even do at all.

Not to mention that 40% of all crimes and 70% of all sex crimes go unreported. (Gee…I wonder why people don’t bother to report…)

That all leads to a false sense of security when you run a background check and it comes back clean, so you’re more likely to think “this guy must be ok.”

Wrong!

And that’s why SafetyPIN built a better background check – and didn’t stop there. Its 4-pronged state-of-the-art algorithm screens for everything you expect, but then goes broader and further back to find things a standard background check can miss.

But since so many crimes go unreported, that still isn’t enough. So SafetyPIN incorporated a proprietary behavioral review to weed out people like Anderson who are predators that could be a danger.

When someone has their own unique SafetyPIN, you know they’ve met all the criteria designed by their law enforcement and psychological experts.

Plus, SafetyPIN re-screens members regularly, so you can rest assured that if anyone commits a crime, their SafetyPIN will be revoked automatically.

There are more Jacob Andersons in the world than we realized. Those well-educated and handsome guys who seem so “normal.” Maybe one will reply to your ad to fix your sink, walk your dog, or maybe he’s someone you’d like to “swipe right” on.

Sadly, the victim in this case had no chance to “screen” Anderson. But make sure you don’t end up the next victim of this Jacob Anderson, or any of them. Ask for a SafetyPIN before you let anyone around your home or family – or go on a date. There’s no better way to know the person you’re meeting is someone safe to be around – and isn’t someone who’s “affluenza” led to a slap on the wrist instead of the slam of a jail cell.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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NY Police: LetGo User Robbed and Beaten in Online Selling Nightmare

December 10, 2018

It seemed like it would be so easy… just snapping a couple of pictures of an old pair of shoes and listing it on LetGo… but that’s not what happened at all.

It’s supposed to be safer than Craigslist, but it turns out LetGo and other buying/selling apps are another place for criminals to hide behind an online profile. LetGo boasts over 100 million downloads and hundreds of millions of listings. It’s the fastest growing app to buy and sell items locally. It’s simple and easy to use, but, sadly, that doesn’t mean it’s safe…

Of course, this isn’t a story just about LetGo. It’s a warning about how buying or selling online or through any app can go terribly wrong.

And it can happen anywhere, to anyone who buys or sells online.

The kicks in question were a pair of Yeezy sneakers by Adidas, retailing at several hundred dollars. The seller arranged to meet the buyer at his apartment in Brooklyn. Just as the two men were exchanging cash for shoes, two more men showed up… and one had a hammer.

A fight broke out. The seller ended up beaten to the ground with a hammer and the men stole not only the shoes… but $125 from inside the apartment. It was supposed to be a simple 5-minute transaction, but it turned dangerous and bloody. The seller is lucky to be alive!

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Now the police are desperately searching for the three men who set this innocent 25-year-old shoe seller up, robbed, and beat him. But it’s likely that the suspects will just go back to LetGo and other sites with a new profile to trick other unsuspecting victims into another dangerous situation. And all for $125.

LetGo exists to give us an easy way to make money getting rid of things we don’t want or need anymore. They didn’t plan to be in the safety business. But things like this happen every day – on every online marketplace. LetGo suggests looking at users ratings and reviews to allow you to determine if you want to meet them offline… but obviously, that just doesn’t cut it. And we know how easy it is for a scammer or criminal to create a fake profile and game the reviews.

Related: How Ratings and Reviews No Longer Cut It In The Internet Economy

We’ve all got a lot of stuff, and after a while, that stuff starts feeling old. Selling your stuff online is a great way to make extra cash from the things lying around your home…like that sweater in your closet that probably still has the tags on. You know you won’t wear it, so why not sell it?

The thing is… the simplicity and ease of selling on an app can be deceiving, and unfortunately, something like the sneaker sale turned nightmare can happen to anyone these days. Where the experience of selling something on LetGo is probably 99% seamless, there will always be people who try to scam others online. For many of these people, it’s like their full-time job, they’re professional criminals, and they’re getting really good at it.

But there is a way to protect yourself from bad people online. It’s the virtual trust badge, SafetyPIN. It was developed with NYPD criminal profilers, the former head of White House Security, and leading psychologists. The outcome was SafetyPIN, a simple tool to help you make sure someone is safe before you meet them in real life.

It’s only $1 to apply for a SafetyPIN – it’s the best way to give – and get – instant peace of mind. Make sure you ask for a SafetyPIN the next time you sell or buy anything online. For $1… Why would you ever take the chance of a simple transaction gone wrong again?

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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Could “Dirty John” Happen To You?! How to Avoid the Dangers of Online Dating

December 7, 2018

Maybe you listened to the podcast or watch the Bravo series: Dirty John. It’s based on the all-too-real true story of a successful businesswoman who joined a dating site and met the man of her dreams. Or so she thought.

Debra Newell was 59 when she met Dr. John Meehan through a website for singles over 50. She was a rich interior designer who had been unlucky with love. Then she found John, a handsome, charming doctor.

He did all those perfect boyfriend things – like roses, presents, expensive jewelry…By date number 3, John told Debra that he was “madly in love” with her. He said he wanted to marry her. Within two months they actually tied the knot. Her daughters were suspicious, but she was so blinded by love, she couldn’t see the signs. It turns out, her daughters’ instincts were spot on.

John had a nickname… “Dirty John”, and he earned it from his past of deceiving, blackmailing and lying to women. He had such a reputation as a predator that women posted about him on a site called datingpsychos.com, saying “he is very persuasive. Emotionally needy… slick liar.”

Debra had no idea what was coming for her. We won’t spoil the ending… but it’s insane!

Unfortunately, this true crime story is not fiction. And, as crazy as it was, it’s also not an isolated case. Predators like John exist on every online dating website. And like John, they’re very good at explaining away all the lies. John even showed up late to dates in scrubs to convince women he was a doctor.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Christopher Goffard, who created the podcast that inspired the TV series, describes Dirty John as a “cautionary tale about the ways that a sociopath, like a predator, can find the victim and tell these victims exactly what they want to hear.” It’s a warning for anyone using dating sites to find love.

Here are 4 top tips from experts on how to stay safe while looking for love online:

1. Don’t give all of your information away

“Don’t give all of the details of your life away to someone you barely just met. People who have a mind to control someone else are looking for avenues by which they can make that control happen” says Janice Miller from the House of Ruth Maryland. This means: don’t give away any financial or private personal details right off the bat. And try not to overshare. John would ask women to send him intimate photos of themselves, only to turn around and blackmail them later on.

2. Put a limit on the alcohol

Call us old-fashioned, sure, but consider making the first date an alcohol-free experience. And if you must meet at a bar, Det. Trent Thurber from the LA Sheriff’s department suggests setting a limit on the amount of alcohol you consume. He also added “Don’t let someone bring a drink to you unless you see it come straight from the bar or waitstaff” in an interview with the LA Times. Rape by intoxication is a real thing. Since 2015, there have been 85 reported incidents in LA… and we know the majority of sexual abuse cases are not reported to the police.

3. Set boundaries

“One thing a person can do if they’re feeling unsure is set a limit and see whether or not the person will respect that limit. If you say, ‘Look, I have a lot going on in my life right now, could we just agree to only communicate in the evenings,’ and then see if the person tries to contact you during the day time” said Miller. This will tell you a lot about the other person and whether they can respect your boundaries… especially before things get intimate. Remember, abusers will push those boundaries to the extreme, so get a gauge early on.

4. It’s ok to do a little nosing around.

Never feel bad about checking social media, blogs like datingpsychos.com, or other sources that could give warning signs about the person you’re considering. Even celebrity chef Devin Alexander told the Los Angeles Times that she googles every date. “You’d be surprised what I’ve found. Everything from people’s addresses to engagement announcements, to someone selling an engagement ring on Craigslist,” Alexander said. “This stuff can lead to learning who the person really is.”

But online sleuthing isn’t always enough. The best, easiest way to really know if you can trust the other person is by asking for their SafetyPIN before meeting them in real life. A SafetyPIN provides a fast track to trust, and one of the best ways to use it is for online dating. That’s because SafetyPIN’s algorithm looks into criminal and financial history, but more than that…it uses a behavioral profile to identify the type of behavior men like John work to hide.

But the Dirty Johns out there can’t outsmart our forensic psychologist or criminal profilers. So if someone doesn’t have a SafetyPIN or won’t apply, swipe left and say “thank you, next.”

It only costs $1 to apply, and applications are usually processed within 24 hours, so it’s a simple and easy way to know if someone has red flags, without asking those awkward questions. All you have to do is ask for the other person’s SafetyPIN, and once you verify it, you’ll have instant peace of mind and can enjoy your date.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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Dog Sitting Scam: Psycho Craigslist Dog Sitter Fakes Her Own Death…

December 6, 2018

After a close call with a dog sitter put Jenny Thompson’s two dogs in danger, she decided to dig a lot deeper into someone’s history before letting them into her home.

“Honestly, I was way luckier than some. I wasn’t hurt — and Django and Lulu were fine. But it got crazy,” said Jenny, who hired Sarah from an ad on Craigslist. They met in person, and Django – the border collie mix, and Lulu, a miniature Australian Shepard, seemed to like her a lot. Like many dogs, Django gets nervous in boarding facilities, so Jenny opts to have her sitters “move in” to her home in Baltimore while she travels.

But when Jenny returned home from her trip nine days later, she immediately knew that something wasn’t right. As soon as she opened the door, she noticed the smell – and the stains. The dogs must’ve been left alone for a long time or they would never go in the house. Then she noticed that their dog beds weren’t anywhere to be found. And finally, she discovered a set of perfectly clean, folded bedsheets had been tossed in the washer… unused.

Piecing it all together, Jenny realized that Sarah must’ve left the dogs alone for a long time, realized that would be a problem, and took them somewhere else, without her permission.

Sarah had lied to Jenny – she potentially put her dogs in harm’s way – and didn’t even sleep there once!

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

She had paid Sarah in advance for the next week, so Jenny told Sarah she could never watch the dogs again and asked for the $150 back. Here’s where it gets really crazy…

Days later, Jenny received this text from a number claiming to be Sarah’s dad. He describes a horrible accident on the Washington beltway, details of the hospital Sarah was taken to, and asked for prayers. The next day, another text that her lung had collapsed… then that she had been put into a medically induced coma… and finally, that she had DIED.

Could this possibly be true?

Jenny didn’t want to think the worst, but too many things had happened for her “spidey senses” not to be tinging.

She checked Google and Facebook, and saw nothing about the accident or any concerned messages from friends.

She couldn’t imagine someone would go to these lengths over $150, but she couldn’t deny the evidence.

Not only were there no messages from friend, but after she “died,” Sarah had actually updated her Facebook profile.

So here’s a girl that looped friends into a scheme and faked her own death…to save $150!

It was from that moment on that Jenny decided she was going to be much more careful about people she let into her home and around her dogs. But when she started to look into it, she discovered that digging deeper was easier said than done.

Background checks were a good start, but she found that they were limited: data often came up incomplete, never updated, or never checked again.

Then she learned that more than 40% of crimes are never even reported. And only 16 states even have 100% electronic reporting available. It was so hard to know who to trust.

And, obviously, this isn’t just the case for dog sitters. It’s also for babysitters, elder care, handymen, housekeepers, or anyone else that you’re looking to hire in your home.

So Jenny spent the next year developing a virtual trust badge called SafetyPIN. It’s the easiest way to tell who you can trust in the online economy, and can be displayed on any profile. She worked with retired NYPD criminal profilers, the former head of White House security, and leading psychologists to develop a simple tool that lets you know if someone is safe before you meet them in real life.

Jenny was lucky. She was fine and her dogs were home and safe. But we hear horror stories every day about babysitters, dangerous dates, criminals scamming people on shopping apps…and the list goes on. SafetyPIN is the best way to get – and give – peace of mind.

It costs only $1 to apply for a SafetyPIN. It’s the best way to know who to trust, before it’s too late.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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Guns Drawn: Airbnb Guest Shocked by Early Morning Raid

December 4, 2018

When Matt’s travels brought him to Hollywood for two nights, he chose an Airbnb because it gave him more space to stretch out … and it was cheaper than the hotels. But his stay turned out to be a wild ride from hell, and much more than he bargained for…

The house was listed on Airbnb by a host named Karissa. After he landed, Matt messaged Karissa inside the Airbnb mobile app messenger. Here’s a screenshot of their (very brief) chat:

That’s just the start of when things got weird. Matt was a little suspicious because the host asked him to text instead of using the app. He’s never had someone do that before but thought it was no big deal. Not only did Matt have to call the number provided several times – it wasn’t Karissa who finally picked up – and it wasn’t someone anywhere near Hollywood.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

“It was a man’s voice. Another red flag. But ultimately I’d had positive experiences with Airbnb in the past, so I assumed they had done proper background checks on their hosts.”

When he arrived at the house, there was an EVICTION notice on the door (seriously!). So Matt called the host’s number again and he assured Matt that he had paid his rent and there was nothing to worry about. Matt took his word for it, went inside, and unpacked his things.

At exactly 9 am the next morning there was a loud knock on the door. Confused, suspicious, and still half asleep, Matt opens it… to a scene he’ll never forget…

Cops burst inside with their guns drawn. They made him vacate the property, and they didn’t care that he was just a renter on Airbnb staying for a couple nights. They even locked his luggage and car up inside the property! So he was just left there, completely helpless.

What a nightmare. Finally, the building’s manager arrived… hours later… and let Matt in to get his stuff.

“It was horrible. And the final slap in the face was Airbnb only refunded one of the nights. I got zero refund for the first night.”

After this crazy travel disaster, Matt decided he would either pay extra for hotels or only stay in Airbnb’s where he knows the hosts are trustworthy. From now on, he’s asking for a SafetyPIN, the only fast track to trust that lets you see if the person you’re talking to online can be trusted in real life.

For many travelers, booking a place to stay on Airbnb instead of a hotel room can have its perks. It can be cheaper, roomier, and more private. But please don’t let the host’s flashy profile distract you – make sure they are who they say they are – and can be trusted — by always asking for their SafetyPIN.

And if they don’t have one yet, just let them know: It takes only 5 minutes and costs just $1 for them to apply here. And if they give you pushback, maybe they’re hiding something and it’s time to move on.

A SafetyPIN keeps you safer as you rely on the Internet for more and more things. Always ask for a SafetyPIN, because nothing is more important than your personal safety – and nothing is harder to get back than your peace of mind.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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How Ratings and Reviews No Longer Cut It In The New Internet Economy

November 30, 2018

These days, we do everything online. We book travel homes, look for deals on new appliances, and look through applications for new people to hire – like babysitters and handymen, people who you’ll bring into your home and around your family…

 

Until now, the best way to know that you’ll be safe meeting someone you met online is to immediately check the ratings and reviews. Knowing that another person in your hometown has had a good experience can be a great relief.

 

But what if you aren’t getting the whole picture? I mean…we all know there are ways to get people to give you better reviews. And that can lead to you getting tricked into a bad (or even dangerous) situation with no warning.

 

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Here are the top 3 reasons you can’t really rely on reviews:

 

1) They can be “gamed.”  We’ve all been there. You check out of your Airbnb or finish a task and you’re immediately asked for a 5-star review. Maybe the place wasn’t what it seemed or the tasker was a little “off” but you don’t want to cause any trouble and you don’t want them to give you a bad rating. So…you give in. Yup…5 stars. Now multiply that times tons of people and you can see how easily a 3-star experience ends up as 4.9.

 

2) They can be misleading. A lot of platforms give people the option of listing under a number of different specialties. And that means a 5-star review could be based on a totally different experience than what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for someone to care for your elderly parent, you wouldn’t want to find someone with glowing references and a 5-star review… for babysitting. This type of care requires an entirely different skill set.

 

3) They can be completely false. Recognize that criminals are experts at misrepresenting themselves to lure in their victims. They know every trick in the book, from using another person’s photos to writing their own reviews. And they can be very hard to detect.

 

The best way to make sure someone who looks good online is safe to meet up with in real life is to ask for their SafetyPIN. Because in the real world, things aren’t always as they seem online.

 

Don’t let an honest mistake become the worst decision of your life… remember the story of the NYC mom whose babysitter took her toddler on a drive across state lines to set her ex’s car on fire?

 

Related: NYC Mom: Crazy Babysitter Took My Baby to Torch Her Ex’s Car

You can protect yourself and your family from the criminals who use the internet as their stalking grounds. You have the power to stop these people from entering your world and hurting your family.

 

Whether it’s a babysitter, a handyman, or you’re renting an Airbnb or going on a date, make sure always ask for a SafetyPIN before meeting in real life. Nothing matters more than your safety.

 

This holiday season, share the gift of personal safety with the people who matter to you most, and in return you will receive peace of mind that you’ve helped protect them. Whether looking online for a babysitter, a dog walker, a handyman, or a date… tell them about SafetyPIN so they know to always ask for one before meeting anyone they found online.

 

Know anyone looking to stand out in a sea of flashy profiles and 5-star reviews? Share this link  so they can apply for their own for just $1. They’ll stand out among their competition online and will book more jobs faster.

 

But they’ll need to hurry – our $1 application fee offer won’t last long! You can even buy them an application as a gift. It’s the best $1 you could ever spend! Want to learn more? Click here.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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How Well Do You Really Know Your Babysitter? November 2018’s Most Shocking Babysitting Horror Stories (Possible Trigger Warning)

November 19, 2018

Can you believe this?

A babysitter just (allegedly) murdered the 1-year old she was watching. The police rushed him to the hospital. And he fought for his little life for two whole days…but he didn’t make it. After the detectives put the pieces together, they ruled it a murder and now the babysitter is sitting in jail. She won’t be getting out any time soon.

This is so heartbreaking. And now his mourning parents have to deal with the further trauma of a trial – and the pain of this horrible loss for the rest of their lives.

In the same week(!), a mom in Ohio came home and discovered that her babysitter was missing — and her two young children had been left alone for hours. So she called the babysitter to ask why he left. His chilling reply horrified the mother and shocked police. He confessed that he had – GASP! — raped her five-year-old daughter. And then he took off, leaving her and her brother alone in the house. After the police found him driving, the babysitter sped off and led police on a chase, firing a gun out of his window before the police were finally able to nail him and bring him to the station.

I can’t believe the horror both of these families are facing… and all because they trusted the wrong person to babysit.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

In survey after survey, trust is the #1 concern for childcare. And it’s the reason why many families allow only close friends or relatives to watch their kids. And it’s easy to see why when you hear about incidents like these. Would you rather hire a babysitter you don’t know (even one with 5-star reviews), or ask a close family friend to watch your child?

There are bad people everywhere. And the Internet is one of their favorite hiding places. These stories are tragic, but they weren’t accidents. Neither of these people should ever have been around children. But there are plenty of responsible, trustworthy sitters out there who will take excellent care of your kids when you can’t be there. You just need a better way to find them.

…And that is exactly why SafetyPIN exists, to help you find people you can trust and keep you – and your family — safer when you meet people online.

So the next time you’re looking for someone new to watch your child, remember to ask for their SafetyPIN. It’s the only fast track to trust for people you meet online. It’ll give you confidence, knowing that we’ve already screened them using our 4-pronged state-of-the-art algorithm, designed by law enforcement professionals and psychologists with decades of experience identifying criminals.

Always check reviews and references… and then ask for their SafetyPIN. When you interview SafetyPIN-verified babysitters, you know we’ve already asked the hard questions for you.

And if they don’t have a SafetyPIN yet, you can get them to apply for just $1! It’s the easiest way to know if they can be trusted in real life – and around your children.

It’s the first step to making sure your family never has to go through the horrors these families are.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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Guys: Think Only Women Have to Worry About Online Dating Scams?

November 15, 2018

Warning: Graphic Language and Violence

If you think it’s only ladies who are targeted by creeps online, you won’t believe what you’re about to read. This guy’s big date took a turn for the worst when his date revealed why she was REALLY there…

It was 10:14 pm on a summer night in Farmington, New Mexico, when police responded to a gruesome scene of an armed robbery. They found a man in his own home bleeding from the face, wearing clothes that had been torn ragged. That’s how his date ended.

The victim messaged Amanda Barela earlier in the day on the website Plenty of Fish. They made plans to hang out at his place that evening. Excited to meet this hot new girl, he picked her up and they went back to his house around 9:45. He eluded to having a “gut feeling” about Barela after she insisted he leave the gate to his place unlocked, began acting strange once inside, and only drinking the beer she brought with her – but he never expected anything this terrifying.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Within the first 30 minutes of “hanging out,” Barela let two men into the house, and they immediately struck the victim in the head with a shotgun. One of the men held him down as he bled from the face. The victim struggled, ripping his clothing, and was able to free himself. But that’s when things got even worse…

The second man pulled out the shotgun and pointed it at the victim’s head. He held it there, threatening to shoot while Barela stole his wallet and keys, then ran for the car. The two men followed, jumped inside the car with Barela, and peeled out of the driveway.

So this poor guy is expected to “hang out” with a cute woman he met online. Instead, two men beat him and hold him at gunpoint within 30 minutes of a first date starting.

Online dating can be a great way to meet someone – or THE one – but it can also be a playground for scammers and criminals. But there’s an easy way to protect yourself.

So whether you’re thinking of plunging into online dating or been doing it for a while, be sure to take these simple precautions:

· Make sure they are who they say they are. 22% of online daters enlist their friends to help create up their profile. You’ll want to make sure they haven’t falsely represented themselves. It’s one thing if she’s 10 pounds heavier but if she’s a total scam, it can be dangerous.

· Make sure their background is clean before you meet in real life. (After all, it’s not like criminals use their mug shots on profiles.)

· Meet in a public place. Don’t plan to spend the evening alone on the first date. And just because you organized the details doesn’t mean you’re in control when you’re dealing with a criminal. You may be playing along with her plan.

This is such an important part of why we created SafetyPIN. It’s a quick and easy way know that you can trust the person you’re talking to and that there isn’t anything suspicious in their background – or their personality. Plus, right now it’s only $1 to apply, and most applications are processed within 24 hours.

First dates can be awkward, and that’s okay. But it’s not okay to run the risk of a dangerous first date. Protect yourself by asking for a SafetyPIN from everyone you meet on the Internet. And the best way to make it less uncomfortable is to share your SafetyPIN first.

Related: 4 Easy Tips For Safe Online Dating

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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NYC Mom: Crazy Babysitter Took My Baby to Torch Her Ex’s Car

November 9, 2018

Frank Jakoubek and Bethany Carlson with their son Frankie.

Warning: what you are about to read is so disturbing, you might have a hard time believing something like this could ever happen to you.

But after you finish, you’re going to re-think everything. Because a family from a prestigious neighborhood in New York City is still reeling about this experience. Keep reading to learn how their baby boy ended up at the scene of a dangerous felony, and how it could happen to anyone.

“I’m sick to my stomach.”

That quote came from Bethany Carlson. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined a nightmare like this would happen. Her baby boy was found by police crying alone in a hotel lobby. He was 30 miles away from home in another state because the babysitter she hired online brought him when she went to set her ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. Yes, you read that right…

When cops arrived at the Sheraton on Route 17 in New Jersey to respond to the fire, they discovered the baby had been left alone in the hotel lobby. Babysitter Leslie Rosario was detained at the scene. For some reason, she gave a fake name for Frankie, so police couldn’t even locate the family right away.

Frankie’s mom is saying that she had a “gut feeling” about Rosario after she began showing up late regularly for her shifts with outlandish excuses, such as being robbed at knifepoint – but she still never imagined something this crazy and dangerous could happen.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Carlson had hired Rosario a month earlier off of a popular babysitting app. Her profile had been verified, boasted multiple references, and said she had 12 years of babysitting experience and was “energetic, caring, and most of all reliable.” And that’s exactly the issue with sites like this. The sitter writes the profile, shares what they want, and there is little or no verification.

That’s why it’s so critical to ask for a SafetyPIN… or, after something as crazy as this, to insist on one, If you’re thinking of hiring a sitter online, let Bethany Carlson’s story be a stark warning. There are dangerous people everywhere on the Internet. Only SafetyPIN screens for criminal history AND behavior indicators. Our proprietary algorithm would have recognized the risk and not awarded a SafetyPIN to someone like Rosario.

So the next time you find a seemingly caring and reliable nanny online, go one step further. Ask for their SafetyPIN to make sure you are hiring someone you can REALLY trust with your kids. And if you find that they simply haven’t applied yet, tell them it’s only $1 to apply here. It’s the best way to know who can be trusted in real life, so you don’t have to rely only on your gut feeling or a profile they wrote themselves.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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4 Easy Tips for Safe Online Dating

October 16, 2018

The Internet has given us a fun way to meet new people wherever we are. And now, websites like Match, eHarmony, Tinder, and Bumble are synonymous with dating… like the old way we used to do it in the real world.

But unfortunately, not everyone you’ll meet in the online world is well-intentioned, and this fact can become painfully obvious after you’ve put yourself into a vulnerable state in the hopes of finding true romance.

Admit it… everyone knows this. Not everyone in the world is a good person, online or in the real world. And some are super scary, like the guy who got in his car and drove into the woman he met online after an argument. After she invited him into her home!

And men, you need to take precautions too. A Maryland man was reported missing in April after going on a first date with a woman he met on the website Plenty of Fish, and now his date was arrested in connection to murder after his remains were found.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

It’s easy to get caught up. I mean, you’ve met a lot frogs in the past and suddenly someone is definitely more “prince.” You start talking about your favorite places to travel, meeting each other’s families, all the things that make it so easy to jump a few step forwards before you’ve even met. But don’t fall for it. Remember, if he or she is really that amazing, you’ll have time to find out. So put safety first. …

  1. Trust your gut.

Make that voice in your head your best friend. If your instincts are telling you that something is wrong, don’t question it. Your safety isn’t worth the risk. You are never under any obligation to stay in a situation that doesn’t feel right. Period.

  1. Meet in a public place.

There is safety in crowds. Keep away from remote locations or activities that could leave you trapped with a stranger you might not feel comfortable with. Go somewhere more public to get to know a person before deciding be completely alone.

  1. Always Lead With Safety First.

Protect your identity. Never give any personal information to a stranger on the Internet. This includes your last name, address, or financial information. It’s scary how much data can be found online with a simple name or address search. Think twice about sharing your cell phone number from the get-go, as the built-in message tool found on many websites and apps is a better place to communicate until you’ve met in person and made the judgment that it’s okay to exchange numbers. And always, always, always… ask for your date’s SafetyPIN before meeting up in real life to make sure they can be trusted.

  1. Tell Someone.

Always tell a friend where you’re going and when you’ll be home. Then ask them to check on you at that time. Many phones even have a location-tracking feature that can be shared to let your friends know where you are. And be sure to check in with your friend if the date moves to another location.

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

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