Mary Kay Beckman wanted to find love online but instead she found a lunatic named Wade Ridley. On Jan. 21 2011, after she realized it was not a match with Ridley, had called it quits on their eight-day romance. Beckman came home to unexpectedly find Ridley in her garage harboring a knife and the intent to kill.
She was stabbed and beaten badly and has been left with over $400,000 in medical bills. What became of Ridley? He went on to murder another woman he met online, Anne Simenson, then later committed suicide in prison.
Now two years after the attack, Beckman has decided to sue Match.com for $10 million. Beckman deems Match.com to be culpable for her misfortune because the online dating giant does not advertise the risks of online dating and "lulls women into a false sense of security." Her lawyer said, "Match does nothing to ensure the safety of its people but you pay $30, you think you're getting some type of protection."
Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, I cannot emphasize enough to online daters that you are responsible for your own online dating destiny. After meeting my own husband online 10 years ago, I have led many singles to find great mates online. However, there is risk in meeting someone through any avenue and it is up to you to protect yourself to the best of your ability. There are, in fact, safety tips that are posted on Match.com's website. The ones I always share with my clients are listed below:
1. Always meet in public. Meet for the first time in a populated, public location — never in a private or remote location and never at your date's home or apartment.
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