Safest States for Online Dating (PJ)

The Most Dangerous & Safest States for Online Dating in the US

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Last update: March 14, 2024

Quick Answer: The Most Dangerous & Safest U.S. States for Online Dating

Going by the numbers, the safest states for online dating are Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Would-be lovers face the biggest risks in Nevada, Alaska and Georgia.

Anyone who’s had a bad date with a Tinder or eHarmony match knows that finding love online comes with risks. However, what you may not know is that where the date happens can influence the risk of it going badly — and I’m not just talking about picking the right restaurant.

Unlucky online lovers have reported romance scams and fraud, matches with registered sex offenders, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and even violent crime. We used reports of those dangers to crunch the numbers and determine the safest and riskiest U.S. states for online dating.

First, our team of researchers took the statistics on all the factors that might lead to a dangerous online date per 100,000 residents of each state. We weighed all the outcomes by their relative importance and then summed up all the factors to produce an absolute rating for each state. Read on to learn which states have love in the air — and in which states pepper spray is more likely.

Map of the Best and Worst US States for Online Dating Safety

Note: The higher the ranking, the better the state is for online dating.

Key Findings: Safest Online Dating States in the United States

Ranking the 50 US States for Online Dating

This table ranks each state’s online dating safety from one (best) to 50 (worst). For notes on how we gathered and processed this data, see the Research Methodology & Sources section.

Stats per 100,000 Residents

StateScoreRomance ScamsIdentity TheftFraudSex OffendersSTDs ReportsViolent Crime
3.New Hampshire82.445108210185273126
6.Rhode Island76.644.5153200129665.1172.3
8.North Dakota74.984.892140257750.3279.6
9.West Virginia74.415.883161354412.2277.9
12.New Jersey73.673.921829950508202.9
25.South Dakota65.255.272127448998.2377.4
29.New York61.564.2196279218787.4429.3
31.North Carolina59.633.9189301259920.3405.1
37.New Mexico56.376.1105203131880.8780.5
45.South Carolina44.135.42203343961,062491.3

Top Safest US States for Online Dating

Online Dating risks
The top three U.S. states for online dating are all in New England.

1. Vermont

The Green Mountain State is a consistent overachiever in quality-of-life rankings, so it’s no surprise to find it topping this list as well. Vermont not only boasts America’s lowest per-capita rate of STDs and second-lowest rate of reported identity theft, but also ranks no worse than 14th from the bottom on any factor.

Although Vermont is certainly lovely, its high scores here may have more to do with how its population is distributed. Its largest city, Burlington, is home to fewer than 45,000 people, lowering the rates of crimes that only occur in dense population centers. Residents also skew older, and senior citizens are less likely to date online.

2. Maine

Maine has the lowest per-capita violent crime rate in the United States, with only 103 reports for every 100,000 residents. There’s not much research on the relationship between online dating apps and assault, but a lower prevalence of violent crime makes everyone safer, including people dating on the internet.

However, though Mainers may not need to worry about violent crime (or STDs, where Maine scores third lowest), they should watch out for another risk: online dating scams. Our stats show that Maine has the 16th-highest rate of romance scams in the U.S., with six out of every 100,000 people falling victim.

3. New Hampshire

New Hampshire comes in third on the list of safest states for online dating, continuing New England’s victory lap. Sandwiched between Vermont and Maine, New Hampshire has the second-lowest rates of both STDs and violent crime in the entire country, plus the 13th-fewest registered sex offenders.

One interesting note about the top three states is that there doesn’t appear to be any correlation between online dating safety and a region’s median income. Top-ranking Vermont comes in 20th with a median income of $73,991, Maine ranks 32nd with a median of $69,543 and New Hampshire is in the top 10 at $89,992.

4. Kentucky

In fourth place is Kentucky, the safest online dating state outside the Northeast. Along with bluegrass, horse racing and fried chicken, Kentucky enjoys bottom-10 rankings in fraud, identity theft and violent crime. Its worst showing is its rate of romance scams, with 4.8 reported per 100,000 Kentuckians.

Kentucky continues the trend of online dating safety having little to do with an area’s wealth. Its median household income is the fifth lowest in the nation at $59,341. The fact that it comes in one step below wealthy New Hampshire suggests that local household income doesn’t correlate strongly in either direction with your chances of having a bad date.

5. Idaho

Idaho, the safest state for online dating west of the Mississippi River, comes in fifth overall. With the fourth-fewest venereal diseases per capita and the 10th-lowest rates of identity theft and violent crime, Idaho minimizes a lot of the biggest risks of matching with strangers online.

Beware of two things, though: Idaho is in the top half of states for both romance scams and registered sex offenders. That means Idahoans are more likely than average to match with a criminal and to be taken advantage of by a romantic partner.

States With the Highest Online Dating Safety Risks

Romance phishing
Nevada has more than twice the rate of romance scams in Vermont.

50. Nevada

We always knew Nevada was the state with the highest risk of blowing your life’s savings before you leave the airport, but according to our research, it’s also the riskiest state for dating online. Primarily due to the prevalence of scams, using a dating app in the Silver State is more of a gamble than anything you can do at Caesar’s Palace.

For starters, it’s got the second-highest rate of romance scams, which target 8.1 out of every 100,000 residents — more than twice the rate in Vermont. Nevadans are also the third-most-likely Americans to become victims of fraud (442 out of every 100,000) and the fourth most likely to have their identities stolen (312 out of every 100,000).

49. Alaska

Thanks to high rates of crime and STDs, and its concentration of sex offenders, the Last Frontier state is the second-most-dangerous U.S. state for online dating. Alaska has the second-highest violent crime rate in the nation, with 758.9 out of every 100,000 Alaskans reporting assaults every year — nearly one out of every 100 people.

Alaska also places third from the top in STDs, with 1,080 reports per 100,000 people. That’s well over one percent of the population infected. The bad news doesn’t stop there: 454 out of every 100,000 Alaskans is a registered sex offender. It even has America’s third-highest rate of romance scams, which target 7.9 people out of every 100,000.

48. Georgia

If Georgia is on your mind as a place to look for love, you may want to think again. The land of peaches suffers from the nation’s highest rates of cybercrime victims, of both identity theft and fraud. A total of 358 out of every 100,000 Georgians have their identities stolen every year, and 470 out of every 100,000 fall victim to other types of fraud.

It’s not all bad news, though. Georgia enjoys the fourth-lowest rate of romance scams in the U.S., with only 3.9 per 100,000 — even lower than first-place Vermont. Georgia is also right in the middle for violent crime and registered sex offenders, though it’s unfortunately in the top 10 for STDs.

47. Florida

Florida already has a bad reputation thanks to the Florida Man meme, and our numbers for online dating risk factors don’t help the situation. Florida is the second-worst state in the country for both identity theft and fraud, and the seventh worst for becoming a victim of romance scams.

However, Florida is a decent-enough place to get away from the threat of violence from online dating matches. It’s in the bottom 10 nationwide for sex offenders and the bottom 15 for violent crime.

46. Arizona

Coming in fifth on the list of riskiest states for online dating is Arizona, the most likely place in the nation for a person to fall victim to a romance scammer — 9.2 out of every 100,000 residents of the Grand Canyon State are targeted each year. Arizonans have the 10th-most STDs nationwide and the eighth-highest rate of fraud.

Identifying Patterns: Insights From Romance Scam Reports

When determining the safest states for online dating, we gave additional weight to romance scams. Romance scams aren’t just a common risk of meeting partners online — they’re a threat unique to online dating. Scam artists use the anonymity of a digital relationship to misrepresent their situation and play on the target’s emotions for personal gain.

Our team analyzed more than 400 romance scam reports submitted to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2023 and 2024, looking for common patterns. If you notice any of the following, you might be in danger of falling victim.

Research Methodology & Sources

This section provides more insight into my team’s methodology and the sources we used to gather data.

How We Rated the Online Dating Safety of the 50 US States

Our research team chose six factors to represent the risks of online dating, gathering numbers from the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Center for Disease Control, the Census Bureau and other reliable sources. 

After calculating the rate of each factor per 100,000 people, we ranked each state according to weight and risk. Here are the factors we used, with weighted points in parentheses:

After normalizing and weighting each factor, we added them together. The states with the highest sums ranked as the safest and the lowest as the most dangerous. Vermont, the safest state, scored 87.545 out of a possible 100. Nevada, the least safe, scored 32.705.

Our Sources

My team of researchers analyzed data from official government statistics, including the IC3, FTC, CDC and FBI. 

  1. Internet Crime Complaint Center — 2022 Report
  2. Federal Trade Commission — 2023 Identity Theft
  3. Federal Trade Commission — Fraud and Identity Theft Maps
  4. — 2023 Registered Sex Offender Stats
  5. Centers for Disease Control — STD Cases Mapped
  6. Federal Bureau of Investigation — Violent Crime Statistics


Before you despair of ever finding love in Vegas or Anchorage, keep in mind that these calculations are approximations used to find relative probabilities. Just because online dating is more dangerous in Nevada than it is in Vermont doesn’t mean that every Hinge match in Reno is preparing to scam or murder you.

These results are meant to educate you on when to take appropriate precautions, especially in more dangerous states. However, people in every state should take care to vet the identities of long-distance paramours and hold first dates in public places, but these numbers can help you figure out where to focus your energy.

What was your worst online dating experience? Have you had a positive date in a state we rated as more dangerous, or a bad experience in a state we calculated to be safer? How do you take charge of your safety when meeting online matches? Will you try to meet people in a public place in your search for that special someone? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading.

FAQ: Safest and Most Dangerous States for Online Dating 

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