Cupid will be working overtime this month, firing arrows into the hearts of Valentines across the nation.
But on dating sites like Match, Tinder, and Grindr, scammers and other nefarious characters may also be looking for vulnerable lovebirds.
To gauge the risk in each state, our team of researchers crunched the numbers to figure out which states are the safest—and which are the most dangerous—when it comes to online dating.
Maine is No. 1; Alaska’s still A-“last”-ka
Maine’s record-low rates for cybercrimes1 and sexually transmitted diseases2 (STDs) make it the safest state for online dating—beating out even Vermont, which was deemed number-one for online dating safety in 2018 and 2019.
As for Alaska, the Last Frontier has more cybercrime victims3 and more people with STDs4 than every other state, making it the most dangerous state for online dating. It’s now held last place in our reports on online dating safety for the third year in a row.
Soul mate. . .or catfish bait?
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), internet dating sites are hotbeds for “romance scams”—in which a con artist strikes up a bogus online relationship for financial gain.5 In other words, if a hottie with twinkly blue eyes messages you on Tinder claiming they’re stranded in Singapore and need $1,200 via international wire transfer, hit “Unmatch” and keep swiping.
According to the FBI’s latest report on internet crime, Alaska is especially hard-hit by romance scams like these. Cybercrime victims living in Alaska lost a total of about $3.6 million in 2018, which is frightening when you consider there are less than a million people living in the entire state.
Oh, Alaska. Better luck next year.
STDs on the rise
Though Maine takes the lead in safety overall, West Virginia—ranked the second-safest state for online dating—is the least likely state for residents to get STDs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.7
Recognize the risks
Your true love may be one swipe away, but you still need to be careful to dodge any snakes out there. Take your own ride to the date, meet them in a public place, and ghost them immediately if they start messaging you about bank account info. Thank you, next!
Online Dating Safety Ranking by State
We ranked states based on government statistics for STDs, cybercrime victims, and total funds lost to digital fraudsters in each state.
To boil everything down to our final ranking, each measurement was normalized on a 0–1 scale with 1 corresponding to the measurement that would most positively affect the final score and 0 corresponding to the measurement that would most negatively affect the final score. These adjusted measurements were then added together with the weights mentioned above to get a score of 100.