These days, many people choose to look for life partners or just friends on dating websites, but experts warn that many of them rely on shady methods to make their customers sign up for all sorts of paid membership services.
ScamBook experts have identified a number of dating services that mislead their users: xDating.com (470 complaints), SeniorPeopleMeet.com (85 complaints) and ChristianMingle.com (44 complaints).
The numbers may not seem high, but the duped individuals have reported a total of $775,000 (620,000 EUR) in damages.
For instance, after users create an account on xDating.com, they’re bombarded with messages from individuals from their area, but in order to interact with them, they must pay for a full subscription.
However, once the subscription is paid for, the messages stop coming in. This may indicate that the messages received before the payment is made are actually automated, not from real people.
Other services simply don’t tell their customers that when they create an account, they’re actually signing up for premium membership. Well, they do, but not with big red letters, but in the fine print.
In some cases, when users attempted to cancel their subscription, they were unable to do so because they couldn’t reach the company’s customer service. Furthermore, some of them were forced to cancel their credit cards in order to stop the payments from flowing to the dating service.
To avoid falling victim to such schemes, users are advised to be highly cautious when being asked to hand over personal or financial details. Furthermore, experts recommend the use of legit sites such as OK Cupid or Meetup.com.
Also, if you do find your (soul)mate, be sure to meet them in a public place, tell others about it to make sure that you will not end up missing without a trace, and avoid providing them with too much information before actually getting to know them.
Here’s this week’s ScamBook video presented by Kevan: