online dating scams

Online dating can truly be a wonderful, convenient, and fun way to meet people. I suppose that  I am a bit biased about online dating because I own three legitimate niche dating websites that I’m very proud of. I know firsthand that there are millions of people worldwide who have tried online dating and succeeded in finding their ideal matches.

In fact, I used to scoff at people who told me that online dating was a scam. Although I still scoff at the notion that online dating as a whole is a scam, I now have know that there are companies that deliberately deceive gullible people that they are using a real dating site, but the truth is that the dating sites in question are filled with fake profiles and powered by people whose job is to respond to chat messages by pretending to be the person in the dating site profile. There really are legitimate online dating communities such as my sites that help real live people to find the love that they seek, but if you’re not sure how to tell the difference between a genuine site and an online dating scam, here are things to look for.

The profiles look too perfect

If you look closely at the pictures on the website, alarm bells should be going off in your mind if all of the photos on each member profile that you view looks as though they were taken by a professional photographer. A scam site will ensure that profile pictures look enticing, appealing, and memorable.

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We are fortunate to live in a time where we can take high quality selfie photographs with our digital cameras and smart phones, but it is easy to spot photos that were taken by a professional. This is especially something that you need to keep in mind if you are a member of a dating site that is geared towards casual fling dates. A picture where someone is posing on their hands and knees and smiling into the camera is obviously not a selfie pic. Ask the member who you’re interested in questions about who took their pictures. If that person avoids answering your question then they are probably not the person in the photo.

Terms and Conditions permit fictive profiles

I truly don’t know anyone who is serious about dating who would knowingly join a dating site that boasts of having fictive profiles. However, many people join dating sites without thoroughly reading through the terms and conditions of the website. The dating sites that you especially need to watch out for with regards to scamming are sites that promote discreet meet ups for people who are strictly looking for sex partners. Websites like British Sex Contacts and Shag City state in their terms of use that you must understand that the sites use fictive profiles created solely for adult entertainment purposes.

Legitimate dating sites don’t need to create “entertainment profiles” because they gear their advertising to real-life singles. If you see anywhere in the terms of use that you agree that the dating company can market false dating profiles to you, then you should refrain from joining.  After all, the point of joining a dating site is meeting someone who you want to eventually meet in person. If you’re interacting with people who don’t actually exist, then how will you ever be able to meet?

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Meetings never seem to occur

You keep texting, sending messages, and calling, and you have never once heard your lover’s voice live on the phone. I personally think that’s crazy! You might get along and have a connection through texting each other, but in person chemistry is very important. Have you been a member of the dating site for more than three months, connected regularly with a few of the site’s other members via phone, and the two of you have never met anyone yet? If so, you might have joined a scam.

Scam sites just want to lure you in and keep you purchasing credits or monthly subscriptions. People who are hired as chat operators are trained and paid to “keep the conversation going.” As long as you send a message, your message will be replied by a paid work at home professional who you will never meet because meeting you would be against the company’s rules. Plus, some of the chat operators live in a far away town from where you live, but you’ll never get a straight answer from them because they are being paid to present themselves via text as the person who is being portrayed.

Keep your eyes wide open when you join a dating site; be sure to read the site’s terms and conditions before you commit your life and your credit card to the site in hopes that a new relationship will blossom from joining. You can also check out websites like Dating Busters to review dating sites carefully before you join. If you’re fine with conversing with chat operators who are disguising themselves as the models in the profiles, then that’s totally fine. That’s your choice. However, many people are lured into joining dating sites without truly knowing whether or not all of the profiles are real. That can lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. If you don’t want that situation to happen to you, be sure to do your due diligence before joining a dating site.

Akua is a Canadian born and raised girl with Caribbean roots. She is a journalist, actress, music teacher, performer, owner and marketer of 3 worldwide dating websites, as well as an independent Pure Romance business owner selling passion products for singles and couples.

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