Ways to increase your safety
Get Confirm ID, and ask them to get it too. Confirm ID is a free service that offers to increase your trust in dating. When you see the Confirm ID checkmark on a profile, it means we've checked the ID of the member and verified that they are a real person who matches their registration information.
Get their background checked, especially when planning to take the next step and meet the other person face to face. You can find several services online, many for a reasonable price. Even if you don't notice any red flags or get a gut instinct to back off, it is a matter of respecting yourself and your safety.
Don't put off meeting in person. While online relationships can be full of romance and intrigue, your ultimate goal is to meet someone, date them and possibly more. Why put it off? Why invest in a relationship online if it is going nowhere offline? Make sure the spark you get from your chat sessions and email also exists in the "real world". Red flags are anyone who puts it off or avoids answering your questions about meeting. And remember, if you do not have the money to invest in a long distance relationship, don't start one. Online dating requires that your brain and your heart work together to make the best and safest decisions for you.