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Local expert urges online daters to use caution

Sunday - 1/27/2013, 9:03am  ET

WASHINGTON - Millions use websites to search for partners on the Internet. However, online chatters and daters can never be too careful when communicating with strangers on the Web.

CBS News recently reported on a woman, Mary Kay Beckman, who was stabbed 10 times by a man she met on Match.com. Beckman is now suing the online dating company for failing to disclose the dangers of online dating.

Family Online Safety Institute CEO Stephen Balkam warns online daters to be cautious when engaging in Internet exchanges.

"Be skeptical of a lot of what you see or hear or experience online," says Balkam, who strongly urges Web users not to blindly trust others online.

"We have to be a lot more aware and a lot more mindful," he says.

Balkam also advises showing up with a friend if you are meeting somebody for the first time.

WTOP's Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)