Safety Tips

 

StarStuded was created with the goal of helping members make new connections in a safe space.  To make sure this happens, we encourage you to use good judgment and put your safety first.  Here are some tips to help you stay safe during your experience.  If you ever have any concerns related to your safety on the app, please contact us anytime at starstuded.com/contact .

Never Send Money or Share Financial Information

Never send money, especially over wire transfer, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash — it is nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace where the money went. Never share information that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, please report it to us immediately.

For tips on avoiding romance scams, check out some advice from the U.S Federal Trade Commission on the FTC website.

Don’t Share Sensitive Information

Never share personal information, such as your social security number, home or work address, or details about your daily routine (e.g., that you go to a certain gym every Monday) with people you don’t know. If you are a parent, limit the information that you share about your children on your profile and in early communications. Avoid sharing details such as your children’s names, where they go to school, or their ages or genders.

Stay on the StarStuded Platform While You’re Getting to Know New People

Keep conversations on the StarStuded app platform when you’re getting to know someone new.  Be wary of anyone who tries to move your conversation off the platform right away, or asks you for your phone number immediately.

Keep an Eye Out for These Red Flags

We do what we can to verify users on the StarStuded platform, but we still want you to beware of scammers who abuse the app.  Here are some red flags to watch out for:

·       Someone claiming to be from your country but stuck outside the country – especially if they ask for money to get home

·       Someone who refuses to meet in person or talk on the phone

·       Someone who avoids your questions or pushes for a serious relationship before getting to know you or meeting you

Protect Yourself and Other Users by Reporting Suspicious Behavior

If another user crosses the line or does anything that feels inappropriate or predatory, we want to know.  Block and report anyone that violates our Community Guidelines , where we have laid out all the conduct that we do not tolerate in the StarStuded community.  Please contact us immediately at starstuded.com/contact .

Protect Your Account

Be sure to pick a strong password, and always be careful when logging into your account from a public or shared computer. StarStuded will never send you an email asking for your username and password information.  If you receive an email asking for account information, report it immediately.

Ready to meet in person?  Here is our advice for how to do it safely.

Don’t be in a rush.  Take your time to get to know the other person before agreeing to meet, or chat off the StarStuded platform.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions to screen for any personal deal breakers or red flags.  Consider having a phone call or video call before meeting.

Meet in public and stay in public.  The first few times you meet should always be in a populated public place – never at your home, your date’s home, or any private location.  If your date pressures you to go to a private location, end the date.

Tell your friends and family about your plans.  Tell someone when and where your date will be, and keep your phone charged.

Be in control of your transportation.  You should be in control of how you get to the date and when and how you leave.  If you’re driving yourself, have a backup plan – like a rideshare app or a friend who could pick you up if needed.

Know your limits.  Be aware of the effects of alcohol or drugs on you specifically.  If you feel at any point like you’re considering imbibing more than you’re comfortable with, you should end the date and head home.

Don’t leave drinks or personal items unattended.  Only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bartender or server, and keep your drink in your hand or in your direct line of sight at all times.  Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, or anything containing personal information on you at all times.

Pay attention to how you’re feeling – if you’re uncomfortable, just leave.  Trust your instincts.  If you feel uncomfortable, end the date.  If you feel unsafe, ask a bartender or server for help.

LGBTQ+ travel.  We recognize and believe in the importance of being inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations, but the reality is this: nowhere in the world is without potential risk, and some countries have specific laws that target LGBTQ+ people.  Check out the laws around you when you travel to a new place and research what types of legal protection, if any, are available to you based on sexual orientation.  It’s important to exercise extra caution if you choose to connect with new people in these countries – as some law enforcement have been known to use dating apps as tools for potential entrapment. Some countries have also recently introduced laws that criminalize communications between individuals on same-sex dating applications or websites and even aggravate penalties if that communication leads to sexual encounters.  Visit ILGA World to see the latest sexual orientation laws by country, and consider donating to support their research.  Source: ILGA World, Updated March 2019

 

Sexual Health & Consent

Protect yourself.  When used correctly and consistently, condoms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting and passing on STI’s like HIV.  But, be aware of STIs like herpes or HPV that can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact.  The risk of contracting some STIs can be reduced through vaccination.

Protect others.  Not all STIs show symptoms, and you don’t want to be in the dark about your status. Stay on top of your health and prevent the spread of STIs by getting tested regularly. Here’s where you can find a clinic near you (US only).

It’s not weird to discuss it.  Communication is so important.  Before you get physically intimate with a partner, talk about sexual health and STI testing.  In some places, it is a crime to knowingly pass on an STI. Need help starting the conversation? Here are some tips.

Affirmative consent is everything.  All sexual activity must start with consent and should include ongoing check-ins with your partner. Verbal communication can help you and your partner ensure that you respect each other’s boundaries. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and sex is never owed to anyone. Do not proceed if your partner seems uncomfortable or unsure, or if your partner is unable to consent due to the effects of drugs or alcohol. Read more about it here.

Resources for Help, Support, or Advice

Remember — even if you follow these tips, no method of risk reduction is perfect. If you have a negative experience, please know that it is not your fault and help is available. Report any incidents StarStuded, and consider reaching out to one of the resources below. If you feel you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, call 911 (U.S. or Canada) or your local law enforcement agency.

RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE (4673) | online.rainn.org | www.rainn.org

Planned Parenthood

1-800-230-7526 | www.plannedparenthood.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 | www.thehotline.org

National Human Trafficking Hotline

1-888-373-7888 or text 233733 | www.humantraffickinghotline.org

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

1-877-739-3895 | www.nsvrc.org

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678) | www.cybertipline.com

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

1-844-878-2274 | www.cybercivilrights.org

VictimConnect – Crime Victim Resource Center

1-855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846) | www.victimconnect.org

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

www.ic3.gov

LGBT National Help Center

1-888-843-4564 | www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org

Trans Lifeline

1-877-565-8860 (US) or 1-877-330-6366 (CA) | www.translifeline.org