Never send money
No normal person will ask for money from someone they have only met online. Even if they make an amazing reason, never send money. They are a scammer.
Check what people say
Use social media to see if people's stories back out. Before you meet in real-life you may request the other persons social network pages. Follow them and take a look.
Meet in public
Choose a busy place for a first date like a cafe. You don't have to meet at night, go out for an afternoon tea!
Tell a friend what you're doing, who you're meeting, where and when. Then tell them when you return back home.
Charge your phone
Take your mobile phone, ensure it's charged and has credits.
Use your own transport
Take your own car, taxi or bus. Don't accept a lift from your date.