- Gender and Relationships
Are Online Dating Websites a Consumer Scam?
There are many types of scams. But, one could think that any online dating\romance website where strangers meet in pursuit of true love, soul mates, could be a subtle fraud. One could say, that it is a false illusion of hope using the emotion of the those who join for $30 a month. These people part with a lot of money each month to access Match, Zoosk, Tastebuds, and hundreds more, based upon a false promise the websites make of finding your true love. Because these people who join are desperate emotionally for love, to be loved, to feel they are loved, the matchmaking websites, if effect, prey upon this need and lure them to join and to part with their money. This is no different than meeting someone online and over time you "fall in love" without physically meeting them because of distance. Then, there is a request of money from one party because of an urgent need. The money is sent and the love affair suddenly ends because the person receiving the money used a stolen identity or simply under false pretenses, used love to get money.
The problem with any of the romance online dating websites is that there is too much choice, whether your a man or woman. The stream of endless candidates daily means you never really decide because one thinks, "if I wait, maybe I will find one better or closer to where I live or better looking". Most members join with a lackadaisical, nonchalant, WTF, attitude, as if they themselves, don't really believe they will find the one true love of their life. Their attitude is more like, "I've tried everything else, might as well try this". When they think they have found the right candidate, both parties wonder if they other person is telling the truth, do they really look like the photo in person, is this a romance scam for money? These thoughts poison the chances from the start but are well founded. Then, even if there seems to be a connection electronically and anonymously, the next step, revealing their real identities, is problematic because of the fear element that it still may be a scam or stolen identity. If the online relationship even gets to the stage of meeting in person, many of the participants hesitate out of fear. This is not exactly a blind date! They know what each other looks like and know key elements of the other. The fear is maybe it is real and now getting to close to home to be comfortable. Maybe the chemistry that was thought to be there via email or texts was just an illusion of love, maybe in person, it is just different with no chemistry. Its the fear of failing after weeks or months of texting, talking on the phone, or email.
The other nefarious part with all these online romance website is stolen identity. There are many scammers out there using beautiful photos of men and women. In fact, many of the scammers are based in Ghana or Nigeria and target Americans and Europeans sending hundreds of emails out to targeted email addresses. They are also posting false identity user profiles to lure loveless people hoping to hook one. The photos are usually of male or female models from soft porn websites. These are not well known models but still striking and attractive in non-xxx mode. They may even post a US address. It is very possible that these models, themselves, do not know the scammers are using their images on dating websites. One popular female model used by scammers is Ann Angel and Nikki Sims. Scammers use these photos all the time. The scammer behind the profile is usually a man, although, women also scam using male photos. Many will begin a chat via the romance website but will suggest texting be done with a download app, like WhatApp. After a week of texting, they will request money for some urgent, logical, reason.
The easiest way to find a scammer on a romance website is to capture the image and save it. Then, open: images.google.com. Upload the photo, and google will search millions of photos to see how many others have used the same photo, if any.
People searching for love can be easy prey. The emotional need overrides common sense so many times. Movies show it. TV shows show it. It is such a powerful human need. Thinking a love will thrive and survive when the parties are hundreds or thousands of miles away is just false hope. A deception they refuse to believe, at least in the long run. Yet, the online romance dating sites prey upon these people with false hope, false pretenses, using the promise of a possibility of meeting your true love for your money. Yes, sometimes it does actually happen, but more often than not, it does not. The profiles may or may not be real and the websites do not check for fraud. Because the website offers a continuing selection of candidates, it is hard to be serious about just one, THE one.