Everyone has a little inner voice that tells them when something just doesn't seem right and warns them to beware. Listen to your little inner voice and act accordingly. If you call to respond to an ad and you don't feel comfortable with the person on the other end of the phone, hang up. Do not let yourself be pressured or cajoled into meeting someone that you feel uneasy with. If you go to meet someone and you don't like or trust them, make up an excuse, any excuse, and leave.

Meeting people through personal ads is no more or less risky than meeting people any other way. It may even be safer. Consider this:

If you answer an ad, the publication should have the information from the person who placed the ad: name, address, phone number, credit card number, etc. Yes, they could have made up false information, but it isn't likely.

You should always ask anyone that you are going to meet through a personal ad for their phone number. Find an excuse to call them before you meet them. If you call the number that they gave you and the person who answers the phone has never heard of the person that you are supposed to meet, that is probably a warning that you should heed. They may have given you the wrong number by accident, you may have written the number down wrong, or you may have dialed the wrong number. Listen to that inner voice.

If you place an ad, the person that responds usually gives you a phone number that you call to contact them the first time. Whether you placed the ad or are responding to an ad, you should at least have some information about them that is accurate even if everything else that they tell you is a lie.

The people that you meet through the personal ads are no more or less honest than the general public. Depending upon how cynical or optimistic you are, that may or may not be a very comforting thought.