Dating Sites Scams: How to Detect Scams on Dating Sites
A dating site is the best source for finding a relationship. You register at the dating services, make yourself seen to the public with your expectations, and text multiple potential matches. Unfortunately, online dating scams are still a problem for many online dating sites as scam artists find new ways to take advantage of gullible love seekers.That’s why it’s crucial to opt for a reputable online dating site. Are all dating sites scams? — Of course not, but you should be careful as the pool of fake dating sites is gradually increasing every year. No worries, as here you’ll learn how to detect a romance scam and cope with it promptly.
What’s the biggest mistake that an online dater can make? Well, they can be too confident and careless, and that may have very, very serious consequences. When looking for a date, especially on global sites, you should keep in mind that online dating scammers exist and that everyone can meet them. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to distinguish scam dating sites from safe and trusted mail order brides websites and how to protect yourself when looking for a match on the web.
What are Scams on Dating Sites?
What are scams on dating sites? Yet, not everyone is aware that they can get scammed not only via social media or through the ad. You can get into this trouble even while searching for an online relationship.
Online dating site scams, also known as romance scams are tricks involving showing affection to a potential victim, gaining their trust, and then using this victim for sending money or giving out some private information to commit fraud against the victim.
Lies romance scammers create an illusion of relationships with their online matches. They pretend to be caring, genuine, and kind at first. Gradually, a romance scammer may even propose marriage or switch to a committed relationship fast just to demonstrate their serious intentions.
Let’s look at the hypothetical example. You’ve tried dating online, the algorithms matched you with a perfect woman Sara. Sara looks stunning: great body, similar attitude to dating, she’s very initiative. She desires to know as much as possible about you, including your financial information and insists on switching to Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Telegram.
Later, Sara convinces you that you are the only person that makes her feel special and she feels something more than just affection. She sends you topless photos, and may even enjoy an audio call with you. Gradually, the woman lets you know that she’s ready to meet in person but as she’s a romance scammer there will always be something that will stop you from meeting.
For example, her brother is sick and she has to earn more money to treat him, and then she’s going to be ready for the real date with you, a lucky guy. In this case, the online dating scammer will ask you for money. When she gets the money, she will vanish promptly without you noticing.
Are All Dating Sites Scams?
Online dating scam scares many people depriving them of enjoying real possibilities from the platforms. But the truth is, that not all online dating sites are filled with persistent scammers. There are trustworthy dating websites that secure users from fake online daters.
For instance,— is a reliable dating platform that uses a specialized ID verification service to reduce the chances of bumping into a scammer. Here you can meet attractive women from Europe and Asia, enjoy fruitful communication, and set on a real date with a woman.
— is another dating service that takes the security of its clients quite seriously. Here you can protect yourself from identity theft by texting to only confirm profiles. Romance scams are rare here as unlike fake online dating sites, here customer care will always be on your side. They immediately eliminate a fake account or simply block the user.
Tinder, on the contrary, is one of the most popular online dating services and the number of dating scams here is relatively high as the platform itself implements special bots so that they can write to more users, attract them, and convince them to pay for premium features.
Common Scams on Dating Sites You Can Bump Into
There are different types of online dating scams. Sometimes a dating scammer would either combine 2-3 scams or focus on one purposeful scam. The only crucial goal here is to get as much money from you as possible and disappear as if nothing happened.
Here is the list of the common online dating scams:
- Fake dating sites
- Photo scams
- Intimate activity scams
- Sugar daddy scams
- Overseas doctors, or military romance scams
How to Detect Scams on Dating Sites? — Essential Hacks for a Safe Dating
Social media sites and dating websites are the golden sources for an online romance scam. Nonetheless, it was almost impossible to detect it in the past but has become easier to handle it in the present times. Let’s look at the warning signs of potential dating scams and the first actions you could take to unravel the scammer promptly.
Scam #1 Fake Dating Sites
Online dating scams cannot exist without fake websites that help you find love and companionship. In reality, there are plenty of platforms offering tons of opportunities for daters but all they need from you is your personal information and presence on the site.
It is quite easy to detect reputable social media:
- Before registering at the website, check out the number of reviews. Common scams on dating sites require money from you for premium features or bank account information. Therefore, if the website has a very small number of reviews or no reviews at all, treat it as one of the crucial warning signs.
- Ensure the website has customer service. Every trustworthy platform must have customer support for guidance and help.
- Look whether the website offers ID verification. This service connects you to only real dating profiles and reduces the chances of matching with a fake profile.
Scam #2 Photo Scams
You meet a person online, your heart is being faster as you realize this girl or this guy seems so perfect and right for you. Later this person offers to share intimate photos in exchange for money. If you’ve ever come across a dating profile where a person can ask for money report online dating scams immediately.
Another strategy photo scammers are using is creating a fake identity. This term is also called catfishing when a person sets up a fake identity and uses it to manipulate and trick others. Catfishers usually scam people out of money or blackmail them.
The warning signs of catfishers are:
- Their photos seem too good to be true
- They don’t want to shift to any other social media
- They don’t want to meet in person
- They gradually ask you about your financial information, want to know your phone number and other personal details
- They show romantic interest very fast
The best thing you can do here is to consider the warning signs, not share your personal information, and not rush into a romantic relationship with them too fast. Also, report a person to customer support.
Scam#3 Intimate Activity Scams
Intimate online dating scammers usually bond with their victims on social media, gain their trust, and ask them to undress in front of the camera or exchange intimate photos. Unfortunately, these online dating scams work really well, especially among teenagers who stumble upon an online dating scammer on social media sites.
In this case, you can detect the following online dating scam by observing the behavior of a person and their requests. If they insist constantly on intimate pictures or videos, avoid communication with this person and report the customer support.
If you send photos or videos and the romance scammer blackmails you to send money to him or her, all you can do is to:
- Make screenshots of your communication (blackmail texts)
- Report customer support
- Contact the police
Don’t send money to a scammer as usually in these romance scams when they gain what they want they will keep on blackmailing their victims for more.
Scam#4 Sugar Daddy Scams
This is one of the least common but possible romance scams where an individual pretends to be a wealthy person looking to send money to someone younger in exchange for online companionship. When they build your trust, they will ask for personal information before sending your allowance or upfront fee.
Here’s how you detect a sugar daddy scammer:
- They always say they are far away and can’t meet in person
- They have a perfect profile
- They try so hard to be friends with you
- They break promises to visit you
- They don’t want to join a video call
- They are too curious about your personal life and rarely want to talk about themselves
If you detected a romance scammer, your next moves could be:
- Not sharing any private information with them
- Setting up a video chat early
- Doing a reverse image search
- Not paying them anything
- Stopping communication with them and reporting the incident
Scam #5 Overseas Doctors, or Military Romance Scams
Online dating sites are ideal for these dating scams. Here’s how they work. A person pretends to be a highly-paid doctor or military. These jobs are the perfect excuse for why they can’t meet in person. Simultaneously they instill trust in the victim.
When you get hooked on the relationship the romance scam artist will ask you for money to help their family back home or for some investment opportunity. They will claim to have some banking issues because they’re overseas but they promise to pay you back everything.
When you send the money, you will notice that they don’t pay anything back. If you keep asking for your money back, they will ignore you and vanish. The main warning signs for the following dating scams are:
- They claim to have a high-paid and overseas job
- They’ve come across a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity overseas and yearn for you to be a part of it
- They are suddenly in legal trouble and cannot pay fees
- They never go on video calls due to “poor connections” or time zone differences. If you call, they won’t answer
If you bump into the following online dating scam, report the scammer to social media or a dating site. Also, don’t send any private information or money to this person. Lastly, drop communication with the scammer.
Protective Measures Against Dating Site Scams
Online dating romance scams hurt and demolish the lives of people. It’s not always easy to detect a scammer especially when they’re charming, supportive, and kind to you. But you need to understand that your safety is a priority and no one has the right to spoil your dating experience and take advantage of you.
Here’s how to safely immerse into another dating experience:
- Search for a reputable dating site. Spend some time reading reviews and ensuring the website offers customer support help and ID verification.
- Don’t post any private information about yourself on your dating profile (phone number or email).
- Contact members with verified profiles and still don’t hesitate to check their photos on Google.
- Try to get a person to a video call as early as possible before building any serious relationships.
- Don’t fall for their wishy-washy promises or extremely initiative desire to commit to you online. If they tell you they are in love with you and barely know you, treat it as a major red flag.
- Don’t send any money, intimate photos, or personal information to a person online, especially when you know nothing about this individual or haven’t seen them over video calls or in person.
Luckily, many romantic websites do their best to decrease the possibility of online dating scams: they offer special ID verification badges and customer care.
Romance scams on dating platforms usually whirl around catfishers who pretend to be someone else. They may do it for fun as they lack connection with people in real life, because of low self-esteem, or they strive for more ominous goals — use a person and vanish forever.
It’s easy to handle catfishers. One effective way is to propose a video call. If they constantly say no, or stop writing to you after that, it means you were talking to a potential scammer.
What distinguishes scam mail order brides platforms from good sites?
First, we’d like to emphasize that legit and safe global dating sites exist. So do scam platforms. So, how to distinguish scam sites from the platforms that are worth using? Here are a few things that are considered red flags:
- Low-effort profiles
- Fake photos of ladies that can be found on different sites on Google search results
- Photos of different people in one profile
- Tons of messages from incredibly hot women per minute
- Similar messages sent by different people
- Weird messages obviously generated by bots
- No email verification, no moderation
- Low-quality support
If you notice anything from the list, this is a bad sign. If you notice a few things, this proves that this is definitely a scam platform.
Dating scammer list: 3 real examples of mail order brides site scams
How to understand how mail order bride scam works? The best way to do it is to look at the platforms that use the most popular dating scam techniques. We’ve found a few most typical scam sites, so why not analyze them?
- Cherry Blossoms. Cherry Blossoms has been a pretty popular dating website, and there was a time when it really connected people worldwide, but those times are gone. Over the last decade, the number of fake profiles became overwhelming — now, finding a real woman on the platform is nearly impossible. Fake photos, fake profiles, women asking for money in the chat, and very poor-quality support that seems to know nothing about how the site works prove that this is now a scam site.
- GoDateNow. Users call it a scam-machine for a reason. For many reasons, actually. The girls on the site look like top models, but it seems that photos are provided by ladies who’ve never been registered on the site. Ghostwriters are contacting men using their profiles. How did we understand that? The thing is, every man receives tons of messages like “Hi, you seem interesting” per hour, and that’s more than just suspicious.
- J4L. J4L works pretty much like GoDateNow. Once you create an account, you get hundreds if not thousands of messages from women, and the vast majority (we mean, 99% of them) are generated by bots. And you can notice that immediately—they really look like auto-generated text. Photos are fake, and those we assume that the small part (very small, actually) of profiles may be real, this is a website you definitely shouldn’t use—the main goal of J4L is not to connect you with a woman but to make you purchase credits again and again.
And there are pretty many sites that use the same scheme. Find Bride, Dream Singles, Elena’s Models, BridgeOfLove — you should avoid these and similar platforms at all costs.
How to avoid dating site scams: Safety tips
Some may argue that you can spend pretty much money before you understand that you’ve joined a scam site. That’s true. Use these tips to spot the scam sites much faster and protect yourself and your money.
- Read the reviews on the website published by trusted aggregator websites and written by real users. Try to learn as much as possible about the platform.
- Take a very close look at the profiles, Google random photos (use search with an image) that seem suspicious to you. If you see them posted on other sites, just leave the platform.
- Read the information in members’ profiles. Is it written by real people? Are there many similar self-descriptions?
- How many messages from ladies do you receive? It’s pretty normal for mail order brides to contact you first, but there should not be dozens or hundreds of messages in your inbox right after you create an account.
- Read messages carefully. Are they written by real people or seem to be auto-generated?
- Use call services and video chat — having a conversation in real time is the best way to find out if a woman is real.
- Make sure that there are no hidden costs — a transparent pricing policy is a good sign.
- Never, never send money to anyone, no matter how “close” you are. Even if it seems that you meet your soulmate, and they tell you about an “emergency,” just don’t.
- Create a strong password, create a new email for a dating site.
- Choose the platform that uses good data encryption software.
Yes, dating sites scams exist. Data leaks, money loss, all this can happen. However, there are ways to avoid such a scenario. The first rule is to be careful and not think that this will never happen to you. There are good mail order brides sites, too. The thing is, you should never choose the first random site that promises you to find the love of your life just because it looks good. Careful analysis will take time, but safety is worth it. So remember the tips that we provided in this guide and use them to protect yourself and date safely.
In the following article, you’ve gone through the answers to one essential question for all the daters online, “How to detect and deal with dating sites scams?”. You’ve learned that not all dating platforms are scams. On the contrary, they do their best to eliminate scammers on their own.
The most common types of online dating scams are fake dating platforms, photo scams, intimate activity scams, sugar daddy scams, and overseas doctors and military scammers. The key way to protect yourself from online dating scams is to be suspicious of too speedy romantic promises and gestures, not to send any private information about yourself, not to send sensitive photos, and not to loan anybody money online.
- Catfishing — What is catfishing and how to spot one
- FBI — Romance Scams
- Norton — Romance scams in 2023 + online dating statistics
There are some fake platforms pretending to be real dating sites. However, you can easily detect them. A truly trustworthy website needs to have plenty of reviews, both positive and negative; a responsive customer support team, an easy and transparent monetary policy, and an ID verification service. If one of the points is lacking, then this might not be your perfect fit.
It all depends on the type of online dating scam. However, the most evident scam is the one when the user wants to know as much as possible about you without letting you know their story; it’s a user who tries to manipulate you for money, pretending to have sick relatives or money issues; it’s a user who asks for intimate photos; and lastly, a user who avoid meeting you via video chat or in person.
There are a few red flags showing you’re dealing with a scammer: their photos seem unreal, their stories don’t add up, they have everything in common with you, they use fake photos, they offer very little information about themselves on dating profiles, the confess for love right away, they hesitate to talk through video calls, they ask you for money.