Online dating behemoths, eHarmony and Spark Networks (which operates JDate and the less buzzword-y ChristianMingle) issued a joint statement Tuesday pledging action to protect users from sexual predators and financial scammers.

The statement is nonbinding and carries no enforcement penalties, but, still, what a nice idea.

Among the safety measures the companies have vowed to implement:

  • Checking subscribers against national sex offender registries
  • Providing a rapid abuse reporting system for members
  • Offering members online fraud prevention guidance
  • Regularly supplying members with tips for safely meeting people offline began performing background checks on potential members using the National Sex Offender Registry last year, after a woman went public with accusations that a man she met on the website sexually assaulted her on their second date. The man already had multiple previous convictions for sexual battery when he created his online dating profile.

All three agencies emphasized that they had had measures in place to protect their users prior to today's agreement.

According to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, who announced companies' the public pledge, 40 million Americans used an online dating service in 2011.

Are you one of them? How did it go? Dish, please.

[Image via AP]