Are Internet And Matching Sites Scams?

Online dating is very popular today. In a world that is addicted to the latest gizmos and technology, it is just a natural evolution. Plus, it is so easy and convenient to browse through all the many different profiles and photos to find that perfect match. But sometimes not all is as it seems. Sometimes you pay for a membership to a site only to have it disappear along with your money. At other times, you may meet people who profess their love for you only to have them steal your savings and leave you in the poor house. These are called scams and they are very dangerous.

Online dating sites come with their share of risks. Ideally you want a reliable site that screens all their members but that is not always possible. Sometimes you just can’t be sure of a site. Are internet and matching sites scams? How do you protect yourself? Can you identify a site if it is a scam?

Look For Warning Signs

When trying to decide if an online dating site is a scam, there are some warning signs that you can watch for. The most obvious are sites with a membership fee that asks for a credit card before you have even filled out your profile. This is a sure sign that not everything is on the up and up. Another thing to look out for is sites that look like they were thrown together in a hurry. A reliable dating site should be well organized and easy to navigate. If you have a hard time trying to make sense of the sites design or it just looks like a jumbled mess, chances are it’s a scam.

When checking out dating sites, look at the photos. If all the women are young and hot and say that they are all online now, then it is not just a simple dating site. Many prostitutes advertise their profiles on online sites because it is a good way to meet clients. It is also safer than being on the streets. If the site does not have any ‘normal-looking’ people, then it is one to avoid.

Review The Site Thoroughly

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Before signing up on any dating site, you should review it thoroughly. Any reputable site should have some reviews about it from consumer sites and/or customer reviews. The best and most reliable sites have been around for awhile and will have several reviews. If all the reviews you find are negative with allegations of taking money and not rendering services, the site is untrustworthy. What is worse is if you can’t find any reviews at all. That means the site hasn’t been around long enough to garner any reviews and hasn’t advertised. That is a bad sign. Companies that put up new dating sites always advertise the site ahead of time in order to draw customers. So there should be write-ups about any new site if it is reliable.

Examples Of Internet Dating Scams

Some examples of internet dating scams include a type that has become more frequent: online mail-order bride scams. The most notable are the Russian mail-order brides. What happens is a young Russian lady will contact a target which is gentleman from a first world country such as the United States or Britain. The man is usually, but not always, older and financially well off. Most often the target will be gullible from the attractions of a younger and beautiful woman. The scam will involve the woman wanting to leave her country to come meet the man but has no money for travel or a visa. They will try to coax money out of the target. Once they receive any money, they may either disappear and the man never hears from them again or something will ‘happen’ and the woman is unable to make it and will need more money. The idea is to get as much money out of the target before quitting the scam.

Another type of scam site is the pornographic site that is disguised as a singles dating site. This site targets men and will feature profiles of beautiful women. The site has a membership fee in order to make contact with any of the beautiful ladies. The idea is to keep the man paying that monthly fee by keeping his interests in the women through emails and chats. Under no circumstance will the man ever meet the women for they usually don’t exist.

The Scam Artist

When discussing whether internet dating and matching sites are scams, one thing that should be mentioned is the con artist. This is an individual that acts as a member on the site. They have no association with the company that owns the dating site and they act separately operating their own personal scam. In much the same way as the mail-order bride sites, the con artist’s intentions are to milk you of as much money as possible before disappearing. Often the person will start out by just making contact and talking to their intended victim. Sooner or later, something will come up and the con artist will ask their victim for money. It could be so the two can meet or it might be for some medical emergency. If the con artist is really slick, he can manipulate it in a way so that you feel obligated to offer them money (either out of a desire to meet or maybe out of sympathy). The con artist will take that money and something else will happen so that they will ask you for more money. When they feel they have gotten all they can possibly get from you, they disappear. Women in particular have been the victims of such scams from men claiming that they loved them.

What Not To Do

Here are some things that you should always keep in mind when involved with online dating sites.

  1. Unless the site is 100% free, stick to reputable pay sites that have been around for awhile and have positive reviews.
  2. Beware of anyone who quickly claims to have fallen in love with you after only a couple of emails. Either a stalker or con artist.
  3. Never send anyone money that you have recently met online, whether they are in another country or your own.
  4. If someone loves you enough, they will find a way to come see you. Do not pay for someone’s travel expenses or visas.
  5. Never, ever give out personal information online such as home phone number or physical address.

See Also: Falling in Love with a Friend and Fun Questions to Ask Friends.