It’s been more than a decade since Tinder launched and changed the dating game forever. Since then, millions of Americans have turned to online dating apps to find that special someone. 

And while the stigma of online dating has faded, the issue of staying safe while using dating apps remains a concern for users. 

From identity theft and fraud to hacking and romance scams, sharing private information with someone online can create opportunities for cybercriminals. Since 2017, romance scams have cost victims $2.588 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). And in 2022, victims reported a record $1.3 billion in losses, which is up a staggering 138% from 2021 ($547 million). The median reported loss for individuals involved in romance scams in 2022 was $4,400. Overall, romance scam financial losses have increased by an average of 74.8% every year since 2017.

In order to help keep users safe both online and in-person while using dating apps, we created a guide to highlight the safest cities in America for dating app users. 

Which Cities are Safest for Online Dating?

To determine our ranking, we analyzed data from more than 200 metro cities and compared those cities across five equally weighted metrics, including identity theft reports, fraud cases, number of registered sex offenders, violent crime rates as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Each metric was calculated per 100,000 residents, and each metro area within our analysis had a population of at least 200,000 or more.

#1 Boulder, Colorado

Topping our list of safest cities for online dating is Boulder, Colorado. Considering Boulder is a college town and home to the University of Colorado, it’s probably not surprising that there is a large percentage of singles living in the area. According to the Census Bureau, 52% of Boulder’s metro area population aged 18 years and over are single. But how safe is it to date online in Boulder? In terms of safety, Boulder has some of the fewest identity theft reports (137 per 100,000 residents) and a low number of fraud reports (758 per 100,000), according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The city also has a low number of sexually transmitted diseases (637 cases per 100,000). And in terms of crime, Boulder has a low violent crime rate of 227 per 100,000. These factors helped Boulder land on the top spot on our list. 

#2 Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is the first of two Oregon cities on our list of safest cities for online dating. Located 110 miles south of Portland, Eugene’s metro area is home to many singles (51% of those aged 18 and older are single), which means there’s a large potential dating pool for those looking to meet someone. But how safe is it for those looking to take the plunge into online dating? In terms of safety, the city has some of the lowest instances of identity theft (118 reports per 100,000) and a low violent crime rate (324 per 100,000). And according to the FBI’s National Sex Offender Registry, there are 43 registered sex offenders per 100,000, which is the second lowest number on our list next to Minneapolis (39 per 100,000). 

#3 Salem, Oregon

We head 60 miles north of Eugene to find our second Oregon city on our list. Similar to Eugene, Salem also has a low number of identity theft and fraud reports. Overall, there are 103 identity theft reports per 100,000 and 529 fraud reports per 100,000, according to the FTC. Salem also ranks high for its low number of registered sex offenders (81 per 100,000) and low number of STDs per 100,000 (834).  

#4 Fort Collins, Colorado

Another college town landed on our top five list of safest cities for online dating. Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is the second Colorado city within our top five and the third within our list of 25 cities (Colorado Springs ranks No. 19). In terms of cybercrimes such as fraud and identity theft, Fort Collins is one of the safest. Overall, the city has 124 identity theft reports per 100,000 and 684 reports of fraud per 100,000. Violent crime is also low in Fort Collins with 219 violent crimes per 100,000.  

#5 Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Rounding out our top five safest cities for online dating is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids also has a considerable number of singles (47%), but in terms of safety, one factor that propelled the city to the top five is the low number of identity theft reports. Overall, Cedar Rapids has the fewest instances of identity theft on our list with just 86 per 100,000. It also has the second lowest number of fraud reports (463 per 100,000). Meanwhile, Green Bay, Wisconsin has the fewest fraud reports (440 per 100,000).  

Least Safe Cities for Online Dating

Staying Safe While Online Dating

Regardless of where your city ranks on our list, singles should always take precautions when it comes to sharing personal information online and avoid sending money or financial information, especially through dating apps. 

Among younger adults (18-59), social media and apps or websites are the most common methods scammers use to contact victims. According to the FTC, 31% of 18-59 year olds reported being contacted by a scammer through social media, while 30% of scam victims in the same age group reported being contacted through an app or website.

Cybercriminals can also find your personal information online with only a few details, such as your first name, photo, and location, so be cautious with the details you share on dating apps. Scrubbing your online data can help prevent cybercriminals and romance scammers from finding information about you. 

An unsecure internet connection at home or via public Wi-Fi can also make you susceptible to having your information and privacy breached by hackers. 

Along with taking precautions like researching potential dating partners and never sharing personal information with a stranger online, there are other steps you can take to make sure you’re protecting your privacy. For example, always update your passwords as well as any software or apps on your phone to make sure you have the most recent versions. Also, using a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to anonymously browse the web and keeps transmissions encrypted while you use your phone, desktop, or tablet. 

While privacy and security are never guaranteed, taking the right steps and using precautions puts safeguards in place when it comes to protecting your personal information online. 


To determine our ranking, we analyzed more than 200 census-defined metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more via the U.S. Census Bureau. We compared these cities across five equally weighted variables: identity theft (per 100,000), fraud (per 100,000), violent crime (per 100,000), sexually transmitted diseases (per 100,000), and number of registered sex offenders (per 100,000). 

Identity theft and fraud reports were analyzed via the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Sexually transmitted diseases were analyzed via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2020 report. STD cases within the analysis include HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Violent crime statistics were calculated using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Crime Data Explorer 2010-2020. Registered number of sex offenders was calculated using the FBI’s National Sex Offender Registry. 

Each variable was graded on a 100-point scale. To determine an overall score, each city’s weighted average was calculated across all metrics. 

  • Identity theft reports: 20 points
  • Fraud reports: 20 points
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: 20 points
  • Registered sex offenders: 20 points
  • Violent crime: 20 points  

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, FBI National Sex Offender Registry, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).    

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