At HOLY, we deeply care about creating a safe, Christ-like space for our community. While we do our best to manually review every profile, we cannot ensure the integrity and honesty of every profile. We do not conduct background checks.
For your safety and that of others in our HOLY community, we ask you to be cautious when communicating with someone you are just getting to know. Keep in mind that it is always possible for people to misrepresent themselves. Assessing someone’s integrity and honesty is ultimately your responsibility. Be alert when you feel something is strange or not right and take appropriate action.
Invited to a Bible study? It is possible for Bible studies to be used as recruiting tools for cults and possible harmful groups. Please read our guide on Cults and Bible studies.
Use your best judgement
As is with any personal interaction, online or offline, your first impressions, prompts of the Holy Spirit, as well as any gut feelings should not be ignored. They are there as your best judgment to protect yourself and should be acted upon. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable about someone’s profile or behavior, let us know immediately by using the “Report and Block” feature.
Here are some important do’s and don’ts to help you safely navigate your online relationship and what might follow. We ask you to read them prayerfully. We strongly urge you to follow these tips in the interest of your personal safety and well-being. Keep in mind that you are the best judge of your own safety and that our advice is not intended to be a substitute for your own judgment.
Involve family, friends and your church
Dating and making new friends is best done within community. We strongly suggest you let your family, friends and trusted brothers and sisters in your church know what you’re up to and who you are talking to. Tell them about the app and the people you’ve matched with. They can pray for you in this process, as well as cheer you on (or warn you), and may offer a very valuable second opinion as you get to know any of your matches.
Assessing someone’s integrity and honesty is ultimately your responsibility. Don’t ignore any facts that seem inconsistent or strange. Remember that you have control over the situation. If you’re chatting or talking to someone and they say things that raise your suspicions, consider ending the conversation. If you’re out on a date and you feel uncomfortable, leave.
Use the “Report and Block” feature in the following situations:
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason.
If quick after matching with you, someone tries to move the conversation outside our app to text, video chat, email or another platform. This might be an indication of fraudulent intentions; someone has something to hide.
If someone puts pressure on you or creates an urgent crisis and asks you to do something for them.
If someone asks you inappropriate questions.
If someone gives inconsistent answers or tells strange stories; don’t ignore any facts that seem inconsistent or strange. That is a red flag.
If someone harasses you or gets aggressive towards you. This could also be excessive and overly strong spiritual talk, trying to forcefully convince you of their faith convictions.
Never send money or give away financial or other sensitive information.
Never give out your credit card or bank information.
Never share your social security number, mother’s maiden name, or any private information that are commonly used in security questions. For example: first pet’s name, high school, first crush, etc.
If someone asks you for money, a donation (even for a seemingly good cause) or other financial transactions report them immediately.
For more information, review the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s advice to avoid online dating scams. FTC Consumer Information.
Be cautious about sharing personal information
Your last name, email address, phone number, home address, work address or any other identifying information in your profile should be kept top secret until you feel confident that you can trust the person you’re chatting with. If you wouldn’t share this info with a stranger in real life, it’s probably best to hang onto it. For example: don’t give your home or work address under the disguise that it is to send you flowers or gifts.
If you do not feel comfortable telling where you work in your profile, it is absolutely okay to just share your industry. For example: “Crew member” at “Fast food company” or “Account Manager” at “Law Firm”.
Calling or video chatting someone is a good way to get to know someone better. But before you share contact info, be sure to discuss how to respect each other’s privacy as you might not pursue the relationship further. Decide beforehand how to use and not use each other’s contact info. You can use your phone’s blocking feature for additional security.
Take your time when getting to know someone
Be cautious when someone tells you right away that your match is providential and ordained by God. You are not unspiritual for taking time to get to know the other person better before you take a next step. Remember: a match is not a ring.
It’s always a good idea to do a little research on your match, before getting more serious. Look up your match on the web using a search engine, as well as on social media. Do they match their HOLY profile description? Do they have friends or connections that seem trustworthy? Do you see any red flags? If you can’t find anything, be suspicious and ask for verification.
Before meeting anyone in person, set up a phone or video chat. This is good way to get to know someone better. It will help you verify if they match their photos and description on their HOLY profile. During the call ask them some questions about what they wrote on their profile, keeping an eye out for any inconsistencies.
Be aware that your own faith background and beliefs might be quite different from your match. Give each other time and space to understand what you have in common and where there might be differences in your beliefs. If your match does not give you this time and space, this might be a red flag.
Meet in a public place and use your own transportation
Meeting in a lively public space where there are people around that can help you if a dangerous situation occurs is recommended. If something doesn’t feel right, always prioritize your safety and ask someone near you, like a waiter or friend, for help.
Provide your own transportation when meeting up with someone you don’t know. Try a taxi service or drive yourself to the location. This also keeps the person from knowing where you live.
Tell someone you trust, involve them in the process
Making new friends and dating is best done within community. Please, let your family, friends and trusted brothers and sisters in your church know what you’re up to and who you are talking to.
Share your match’s profile with those you trust so they know what the person looks like.
When going on a date with someone, communication with your friends and family is important for your safety. Let your parents, roommate, family or trusted friends know that you are going to meet up with your match. Give them details about where, when and with whom you meet. Tell them when you plan to come home after your date. It is also a good idea to temporarily share your phone’s location with someone you trust.
Always report any suspicious activity or anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable
If someone you matched with on HOLY makes you feel uncomfortable, be it in a chat, or after having exchanged contact information, or having met in person, make sure to report their profile. This helps us monitor and look into the reported person for the safety of the whole community.
When in doubt, always report. Never hesitate to reach out to us via the chat. It is better to be safe than sorry. We want you to have the best possible experience on the HOLY app. It is our prayer that Jesus will guide and lead you through His Spirit. Be blessed!
For tips on avoiding romance scams, check out some advice from the U.S Federal Trade Commission in the video below: