Looking for love? Do not fall into the trap of a fake dating site!

You have probably heard of romance scams where scammers trick unsuspecting victims into falling in love – and parting ways with their money. Lately, BBB Scam Tracker is receiving reports of a new type of romance scam. In this scam, the entire dating site is a sham.

How the scam works

You sign up for a dating service that seems legit. The site asks you to fill out a profile with your personal information. This includes your credit card number, which is used to pay for your membership.

However, when you start browsing other users’ profiles, you notice some red flags. Other members who contact you have incomplete profiles that lack photos and other basic information. The site may encourage you to get in touch with people who don’t match your dating profile. For example, they may live in another city or be outside of your preferred age range. You may also notice that profiles frequently disappear from the site, even after chatting with them.

Turns out those other daters aren’t even real. The site is full of fake profiles that make you think that the site has many members. Once you figure out the hoax, you try to cancel your membership. Corn the site keeps charging you.

In some cases, the scam dating site forces you to pay to contact other daters. One victim said she joined a dating service where she bought “coins” in order to chat with other members. “I was bombarded with messages from almost 200 different users in just a few days and without even completely filling out a personal profile,” she said. BBB Scam Tracker. “I’ve paid for coins three times and been charged twice each time. This site hires operators to steal photos, assume fake identities, then bombards users with messages to buy coins from currency to converse by lying and dragging people.

How to spot fake dating sites

  • Do your research before signing up. Do an Internet search of the name of the dating site with the words “reviews” and “scams”. Keep an eye out for negative reports or former users who suspect the website is fake.
  • Make sure you understand how the website works. It’s not entirely unusual to have to pay monthly fees or small fees for one-on-one connections to dating services, but make sure the website is clear about how its payment system works. If their payment system is not well documented or you find it confusing, choose another dating service instead.
  • If it’s too good to be true, don’t believe it! For example, if you haven’t even filled out your personal profile and people are lining up to meet you, it’s probably a scam. The same goes for people who make unrealistic claims about their love and devotion to you, especially if you just met online.
  • Use your credit card to pay for online services and subscriptions. When paying with your credit card, you can dispute unauthorized charges or charges for false services. The same may not be true if you use your debit card or give a company your banking information, such as your account number and bank routing number.
  • Never give money or personal information to a stranger. Some scammers will ask you for money to buy a flight to come visit you or for some other “noble” reason. If someone you’ve never met in person starts asking you for information like credit card, bank, or government ID numbers, cut off contact immediately.

Source: BBB.org

Read it BBB study on romance scams to find out more and avoid becoming a victim. To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker. To find reputable companies, go to https://www.bbb.org.