Ray, I think you're looking at this more from the point of view that a scammer would just be after money, and that is true generally. I think what most women are concerned about on a dating site though is men who would hurt them in some way - be it lying to them, assault and/or rape, etc. And, obviously this is not as much of a worry for men (since generally they are physically larger/stronger than women). And, this has been known to happen. There are 2 incidents out in the press now about what happened to women on match.com. One woman is in the hospital - almost lost her life. The second woman was raped I think and she settled out of court with match. com. The woman in hospital has filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit. After the out-of court settlement, Match.com did slightly alter some of it's procedures. This current case though may totally change the way online dating sites do business because however this suit is settled will likely affect the way all of these sites handle things.
I would hope that the men on this site would be a bit more sensitive to the concerns of the CM ladies. I myself in the past spoke to a gentleman with impeccable credentials - symphony conductor, doctorate degree, lived in a very nice suburban area, supposedly good Catholic. In the course of our first telephone conversation (and fortunately I had not given him my phone number and blocked my number) toward the end of our conversation he told me how he had considered killing his ex-wife and then killing himself. He also sounded extremely angry towards her. I suggested to him that perhaps it would be beneficial to him if he saw a therapist, and he said that he was seeing 2 therapists but it wasn't doing any good. He also said he was restrained from seeing his children (thank God). So, of course, I said goodbye and good luck, and he then sent me a quite nasty message on the site (which was another Catholic site). This is the kind of thing women are worried about. What if he hadn't revealed these things and I had gone to meet him? The kind of anger he had could result in him lashing out at any woman. Now, could a background check have stopped this? Possibly, depending if there had been a police record, which I think was entirely possible since he had a restraining order against him. And, since I didn't have his last name and most men will not give out there last name right away, there was no way for me to do any kind of So, I do think that it would be helpful if the internet dating sites were able to do at least some type of minimal criminal/sex offender checking, and my guess is that at some point in the future that is what will happen, because otherwise I think in this litigious society we live in, the lawsuits are bound to multiply.
For the sake of some brevity, I was commenting mainly upon scammers. They do look for vulnerable people, but there is that time element that could eventually give them away.
There are common sense precautions that everyone should (i.e., must) be taken to feel at least a reasonable degree of safety. These should be followed whether meeting someone from online or personal encounters. Sadly, a lot of which you speak probably won't appear in public records.
When dating CM women, I've done what I can to make sure the lady is comfortable in her surroundings. While there's no need to worry, I can understand she is initially meeting someone unknown to her. Accordingly, there's no pressure to go anywhere that would cause discomfort or worry. Causing fear in someone isn't conducive to a pleasant date.
I do believe that even the best of precautions can't prevent all acts of violence or threats -- and that is unfortunate. Will that eventually doom online dating? We'll have to wait and see.
For now, I see limitations of online dating mainly because the guys just aren't getting together with the gals. Unless meetings and dates take place, no one will find the type of person they are seeking.