Frightening information for singles looking for love has been released and new research has connected online dating to an increase in sexual assault and rape cases.
Local dating expert, and director of Cleveland Singles, Tracy Sorboro, told newsnet5.com many people don't understand what they're getting into.
"What you read and what you see on a picture and what somebody tells you is not necessarily the truth," she said.
While dating sites and apps have made it easier for people to connect, they've also made it easier for predators to take advantage of people looking for love.
newsnet5.com went to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and talked to experts about what's going on in Northeast Ohio.
Kirsti Mouncey said online dating can be dangerous.
"Predators are using online dating websites to find victims," Mouncey said.
Mouncey said it's happening all over the country.
"You go out on a date and you're having a great time. They're sweet, they're cute, they're telling you all the right things, how pretty you are, how nice you are, how much they like you. You go on a second date, your guard comes down, you really like them, you get in their car despite the fact you decided that's not what you're gonna do. That's where the sexual assault happens."
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center doesn't track this through numbers and because many sexual assaults go un-reported, it's tough to determine the increase seen here. But, according to the numbers we pulled from Cleveland Police, sexual assault and rape cases are going up.
So what can you do to stay safe? Experts said have a plan and trust your gut, or use dating companies that vet clients and require background checks.
Sorboro said Cleveland Singles vets everyone and doesn't accept all clients.
"The most important investment you make in yourself is who you choose to share your life with, don't make the mistake of meeting the wrong person."