Online dating scams

As exciting as love is, we must admit that the dating process can be intimidating. Online dating is a convenient and increasingly-mainstream way to find your new mate, BUT technology can complicate the process IF you don’t know what to look for. Luckily, the team at Sitejabber has been watching out for you; our specialists have analyzed over 10,000 reviews of online dating sites, and we have identified the top three heartbreaking online-dating scams.

1) Fake Profiles

She may not be who you think she is
Photo Credit: Flickr

 

Weeding out dating prospects is essential for anyone on the market; unfortunately, that process is further complicated when dating sites promote and spread fake profiles. This is a tricky tactic reported by approximately 18% of our reviewers. Often, these profiles are used to entice users into signing up for the website, and then they magically disappear once you’ve signed up for the site. Often times, users will get messages and emails from their dream dates, but as soon as they commit to the website, those dream dates magically become unavailable or just plain nonexistent. Even worse yet: these fake profiles can turn out to be scammers or escorts! Steer clear of any suspicious behavior from your potential mates – if it seems fishy or too good to be true, it just might be!

2) Hidden Fees

Watch out for unexpected fees
Photo Credit: Flickr

 

This is one of the most common marketing tricks in the book: advertise a “free” website, allow guests to make profiles and complete the signup process, send them enticing emails showcasing profiles of potential dates…and then hide the essential information from those emails until the guests upgrade their accounts. A reviewer put it perfectly in this statement:

This site is set up to entice women with the good looks of the men on the site just to get them to upgrade and pay for the site’s services.” 

Beware. According to 16% of our reviewers, sometimes “free” really isn’t free. Make sure you know exactly what a free membership entails before you sign up for a dating site. 

3) Never-ending Charges

Sometimes billing doesn't stop
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About 6% of our loyal reviewers relayed horror stories of recurring charges to their credit cards, even AFTER cancelling their dating-site memberships. Some of the biggest dating sites around have hidden contracts that lock you into several months of payments, and sometimes those payments can double or even triple after a set amount of time. To add insult to injury, often times the customer service departments on these sites are notably absent in times of need. Be SURE to read the fine print when you sign up for a dating site, or you might be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise!

 

Tips to Stay Safe

How to have a happy online dating ending
Photo Credit: Flickr

 

 

  • RESEARCH! Before you sign up for a dating site, be sure to log onto Sitejabber and read some reviews! Not only can these reviews tell you about the site itself, but they can also be a good source of alternative recommendations.
  • DOUBLE CHECK! Once you sign up for a dating site and give them your credit card information, be sure to review your bank statement to ensure that you haven’t incurred any surprise fees.
  • BEWARE! Beware of any fishy behavior from potential dates; too-perfect profile photos, requests for personal information, requests for money, and over-enthusiasm can all tip you off to a fake profile!
  • COMMUNICATE! From the get-go, be sure that the customer service department at your site of choice is responsive (and existent). This will help to ensure that the site will be reliable in the case of any issues.
  • STAY SAFE! Once you’ve weeded through these technological obstacles and set up a real date, be sure to use your own transportation and keep your friends in the loop so that they know where you are! Stay safe, and have fun!