Short answer: Sadly yes, many dating sites themselves can be a scam! It just so happens that some are way worse than others.
Let me expand on this and give you some solid well-researched examples.
DO NOT trust the independent dating review sites either because most of them are in bed with these criminals as profiting affiliates.
Check out Consumer Reports (Are Paid Dating Sites Better Than Free Ones?) if you’re looking for unbiased advice.
Dating sites used to be a more reliable way for well-meaning singles to meet someone special. Not any more folks. It’s bad enough you have to watch out for other members trying to scam you.
Now, you can’t even trust the company running the dating site. They may even be worse because they intentionally feed off of your loneliness and users mistakenly trust them more. I never expected the dating sites themselves to be in on the con, but quickly found out I was wrong the hard way.
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How to Spot Dating Sites Who Scam You?
After some thorough online research, I found the following common traits that should set off red flags in your head. Run, don’t look back, and put your money away! You do not want to waste your time or money being duped by dating sites that have these scam features.
No Membership Fee, Only Credits
If the site you’re considering only allows you to purchase credits to participate, you’re getting ripped off. Not only are these credits way more expensive than a membership anywhere else, but they also won’t last you very long. The cheapest you can buy credits in most cases will be 20 cents per credit. Guess what you can do with a single credit? That’s right boys or girls, nothing. And since they know you probably don’t pay attention to every action you take, they’re counting on you to “top-up” without knowing about it. Dating site reviewers fail to mention how fast you can go broke patronizing a site that uses this credit model.
Spending Dating Site Credits Are an Even Bigger Scam
As if buying credits wasn’t bad enough, spending them is way worse.
I went ahead and priced each action from this dating site to give you an idea of just how utterly expensive things can get…and very fast. Here’s the thing too…they obfuscate and hide the pricing model very well. You need Sherlock Holmes sleuthing abilities to find this on their sites.
- Live chat (2 credits per minute with one particular member);
- That’s 40 cents per minute for each member. Let’s say you’re feeling like a chatty Cathy. You chat up 10 members at the same time. You’ll spend all of your 750 credits in just over 30 minutes. A phone call to Siberia would be cheaper than this!
- Chat stickers (5 credits; you can send stickers during the live chat session);
- Want to send a smile emoji? $1, per favor
- Chat photos (10 credits to send a photo);
- Want to share a photo? $2
- Chat videos (50 credits; you can open a video in the live chat but please be aware that you’ll be charged immediately after clicking the link);
- Lover sends you a video? $10 to watch it, please
- Photo Comments (2 credits per comment under the member’s profile photo);
- 40 cents to leave a photo comment
- Profile videos (25 credits; you can find it directly on the member’s profile; you’ll be charged immediately after clicking on it);
- $5 to view a profile video…
- Uploading your own profile video (100 credits);
- $20 to post a profile video
- Sending letters (10 credits for the first letter, 30 credits for each consecutive letter to one particular member;);
- $2 to send a cyber letter. This isn’t USPS folks!
- Opening letters (the first letter is free to open; 10 credits will be deducted for opening all consequent letters from one particular member);
- Could you imagine having to pay $2 every time the mailman brings you another letter? That’s some expensive junk mail!
- Opening photos in the letters (10 credits per photo);
- $2 to open a single photo? Are they Playboy models or something?
- Opening video attachments in letters (50 credits per video; please be aware that you’ll be charged immediately after clicking on it);
- $10 if you open a video…better not be what I think it is…
- Make a request for a real meeting (625 credits; the fee doesn’t include your travel expenses and translation services);
- $125 to go grab a cup of coffee??? This better be one hot date!
- Make a request for a member’s personal contact details (free of charge; it requires you to spend 3000 credits on the communication with a member);
- Free? Really? Just kidding! Only after you spend $600 communicating with ONE member.
The moral of the story is that if you come across a dating site that wants to sell you credits, don’t do it. You’ll be homeless before you can spend enough money to actually meet a real human being that’s genuine. And I don’t care how gorgeous you are, I’m not spending $600 just so I can get your phone number.
Risks Notice: We Pay People to Scam You
Have you ever been on a dating site and get a ridiculous amount of attention? You’re no Brad Pitt or Richard Gere, so what gives?