I am not so new. I am pretty new to the online part, which in some ways is way easier to get started than when I did it.
In my own opinion, things have changed so much because the economy has gotten so bad. Many ladies get into this now because they are desperate for money, so there are many new faces. But very few look at this as a career, or even take it seriously as an owner-operated small business, so many newcomers take chances and operate in ignorance. Unfortunately that makes this a little less safe for all of us. Even when I was not online I screened my new friends (albeit a bit differently than now), but I suspect many newcomers don't screen... and some of the rates I have seen make me wonder if they'd be better off doing web cam work and not putting themselves in danger via an in-person meeting.