Kathryn's Blog

See My Views on True.com Sponsored Legislation

I’ve written extensively here on True.com’s efforts to essentially legislate their business model.  They are trying again here in Florida, and I have testified against the bill, as well as written this op ed piece which is in today’s local paper:

In the Tallahassee Democrat:

Article published Apr 20, 2007
Saturday My View: Law would promote careless online dating
By Kathryn Lord

I am a romance coach with an international Internet-based business here in Tallahassee. I work with singles to find partners using Internet dating sites. I’m concerned that our Legislature is considering a new law that could endanger Florida singles who use Internet dating services. House Bill 531 and Senate Bill 1224 would create a false sense of security by having the state endorse an outdated and ineffective way to keep convicted criminals off of online dating sites.

The main proponent of these bills is True.com. I have been watching and writing about True.com’s attempts to legislate its business model for more than two years (read more on my blog: https://find-a-sweetheart.com/blog/C37). True.com has come up with a clever strategy to get publicity and hamper its competition: True.com asks state legislators for a law that requires dating sites to disclose whether they screen members for previous felony convictions (True.com claims it does).

That sounds like a good idea, until you learn that True.com’s screening is based only on the name given by a potential member, without any serious attempt to verify the person’s true identity. That’s never going to identify a convicted criminal who simply uses another name.

What’s more, the True.com screen looks only for felony convictions, intentionally avoiding the cost of checking for misdemeanors, which would pick up convictions for assault, stalking and sexual violence.

True.com encourages a false promise of security in singles, and now it wants Florida’s Legislature to hold it up as an example for other dating services.

Not only does True.com’s screenings appear to be woefully inadequate, but also, any criminal or would-be criminal with some intelligence could easily figure out how to get past the screening. I worry more about the smart folks with bad intentions, rather than the ones who have already been caught at least once. This kind of legislation encourages singles to believe that they are safe and drop their normal and reasonable precautions.

In my work, I coach Florida singles to use online dating services that I believe are wonderful resources to find a partner. I met my now-husband nine years ago on Match.com. He lived in Mississippi, and because I had never been west of Pensacola, we never would have met otherwise. When I was Internet dating, I worried about safety, but I never had an experience where I felt threatened.

If Internet dating is really as dangerous as this legislation seems to suggest, then why would singles be flocking to online dating sites in such huge numbers? Internet dating sites are more profitable than just about any other online business. Singles talk to each other, and they are telling about what a wonderful - and reasonably safe - resource the Internet is in the all-too-human quest for love.

Online dating services are inherently safer than many other dating methods. Singles remain anonymous in their own homes while asking as many questions and learning about potential dates at their leisure.

Ineffective background screens such as the one True.com offers would remove the element of Internet dating that encourages proactivity and would falsely give people the impression that their correspondent is not a criminal. Currently, many existing online dating services provide safety guidelines to their customers that are common knowledge. As well, Internet dating is rapidly evolving its own safety guidelines and rules that ironically are making traditional dating safer, too.

No other dating venues that I am aware of perform or require notification of background checking. When was the last time you went to a bar or singles social at church where warnings about background checks were posted? Yet we all know that you can meet dangerous people in bars and in church.

Again, this legislation would falsely give Florida singles the impression that they are fully informed on the background of the person they are interested in dating and would eliminate singles’ initiative to ask questions and exercise caution. True.com should not need legislation to succeed in the online dating business.

All Floridians need to take a proactive role in their safety and security online and offline and stand against this legislation by informing our legislators that HB531 and SB1224 are the wrong way to protect Floridians.



Dear Kathryn:

How thoughtful!

I Married a Con Artist!” This is happening more and more all the time in our world of online anonymity!

Please let people konw about The Dating Passport!

Here is our press release, which we have as a PDF.

We all know about “Safe Sex,” but what about Safe Dating? One out of eight marriages today originates online, and Internet dating is here to stay. However, it comes with its share of risks. Over fifty percent of dating profiles are false and often used for crimes done in the name of love! This heart-breaking epidemic makes protection from online anonymity a fact of life. The Dating Passport is a bold, new, voluntary ID verification service, which provides true dating security. It empowers singles with verified identities before they become involved with virtual strangers.
Release Date: April 1, 2007
Denver, Colorado
Contact Number: x 4

ONLINE DATING SAFETY. . . Who Are They Really?

Imagine This: Awakened by morning sunlight streaming through your window—your first thought today was a single, stunning realization. No, it wasn’t a nightmare. The man in bed next to you is not the man you married. He is a complete stranger with alias and fabricated persona.

Deborah Nelson of Colorado Springs, CO, knows first-hand the horrors of this terrifying scenario and is helping others to prevent it from happening to them. In her true story, Ooops, I married a Con Artist, Nelson illustrates that now, more than ever, singles need to know the identity of the people they are dating. And Nelson has developed a proactive, non-invasive way to do just this.

Nelson, with partner Private Investigator Linda Schneeloch, just introduced the Web’s most comprehensive identity verification service for online daters called “The Dating Passport.” Through its website, http://www.thedatingpassport.com, the company provides a failsafe security system to protect online daters from the dangers of fraudulent dating profiles.

An international conference held in Toronto last October concluded that an Internet identification system is critical to stemming online fraud. The Dating Passport offers the solution for millions of people now dating online. The service provides an inexpensive, non-invasive alternative to the traditional background check.

For an annual fee about the cost of a lovely dinner for two, The Dating Passport certifies members identifications through a secure online application. When The Dating Passport members want to verify each others identities, they simply agree to exchange Dating Passport Numbers. The annual fee covers an unlimited number of ID verifications. The Dating Passport also offers a photo verification option to guard against being duped by fraudulent profile photos.

“If you are involved with a Dating Passport Member, you know who they are,” said Nelson. “In this world of online anonymity, The Dating Passport for is a must for safe dating, and a necessary precaution to prevent the potential devastation of romance fraud.”

The Dating Passport is issued from the Web site, http://www.thedatingpassport.com.  A free copy of Nelson’s story, Ooops, I Married a Con Artist, can also be obtained on the site.

~ E N D ~

Deborah Nelson is writing a book entitled “Ooops, I Married a Con Artist: How to Protect Your Love Life from Romance Fraud —The Ultimate Inside Job.” She may be contacted through agent, Gwen Ellis, or directly at x 4.

10875 U.S. Hwy 285; D-203; #116; Conifer, CO 80433 · Phone: · Fax http://www.thedatingpassport.com · e-mail:

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