Signs of a subscription rip-off on online dating platforms
Unfortunately, the internet not only brings advantages but it also contains many risks. Online dating can be especially risky as it is easy to scam people. Scammers know how to manipulate, and play with emotions. They prey on people who are already emotionally vulnerable.
But there is a solution. In the following article we will explain to you how to prevent a scam and recognize a rip-off before it’s too late.
We test dating websites on a daily basis and up to this point have tested quite a large number of platforms. The first and easiest step to check if a dating website is a scam or not is to check our homepage. You can also use our search function to find a specific dating site. Additionally, we have nearly all dating companies in our database and new reports are added on a regular basis.
2. Double-check using a search engine
We are not the only ones of our kind. There are many portals on the internet where users and customers share their experiences with a service or a website. You can use Google, Bing or any other search engine to find details about a dating website and, of course, its company. Portals that are described as a black sheep, negative entries, or experience reports are well-known so you should be able to find such information easily. Additionally, reports from damaged customers, are easy to find. Posted reviews from these people help identify the websites that are rip-offs, those with fake profiles, or those that are subscription traps.
3. Take a good look at the terms and conditions
There is a quick and easy hint that lets you know right away whether a site could be a rip-off. If the terms and conditions of the website are a graphic and not text data one should be a little skeptical. In other words, if you cannot copy and paste the terms and conditions this is a big red flag that something is trying to be hidden. Of course this is just a hint and not full evidence. But so far, all of the websites we have checked that do this have been some kind of scam. The graphic makes it impossible to check the content for any keywords with the search function from the browser. That means you have to read it in-depth which can be quite a challenge as no one really ever reads them.
Here are some other tricks companies use to conceal their agendas. Some websites show the terms and conditions in a small extra window or write it with a blue color on a darker background. A head office in a foreign country such as Hong Kong or Malta for example is a sign of a scam website. Next, is missing contact information of the company so that you can’t contact them directly. If you are about to register on a website that shows any of these signs you should act a bit more cautiously.
A dating rip-off can also often be identified by the way it charges its customers. A clear sign of a subscription trap is a trial or test membership/subscription. The price for that usually varies between $0.99 – $1.99. The trap in this is that if you don’t cancel the membership in time they will automatically extend for several more months which costs $70 or more after that. The terms and conditions promise that every customer is able to cancel the subscription every three months but the cancellation will not be considered at all.
As an example of the company Together Networks Holdings Limited which is the operator of many subscription dating websites such as BeNaughty.com.
If one chooses the 14-day test membership the fine print at the very end of the webpage states:
“If you do not cancel your 14 day trial membership, it will automatically convert to our monthly subscription at the full price.”
For the subscription that will run for three months apply the following rule which is mentioned in small print at the bottom of the page:
“To avoid possible interruptions the subscription you have selected will be automatically renewed at the original and not discounted price for the same duration.”
Of course the question is about the price as this point which should explain how to spot a subscription rip-off by the price. The problem is that such non-reputable dating website do not show any detail about the price until you registered on the page and are about to pay. No exact overview of the pricing will be displayed in the terms and conditions or in general information on the landing page.
5. Use the a search engine again but this time for a picture check
If you are already registered with a dating portal and you are not sure if the members are real or fake you can simply copy the profile picture of your chat partner into the image search engine. You can use Google image search, Bing visual search, or any other image search.
We also recommend that you check a few more images that you will find in the member’s area and copy them into an image search. If there are corresponding results related to these pictures from the erotic industry, or to some suspicious countries like Russia for example you should have a very strong indication that this a rip-off. Members should have pictures that are from the US and not any another country.
Most of the pictures had been manipulated
Unfortunately, the way to check the credibility of a website does not always work 100 percent of the time. First of all you have to check more than one member and all images that are found on these profiles. Some members might have lived in another country for a while so the results of a search engine could be related to another country. Why doesn’t the image check work perfectly? Because most of the pictures have been manipulated and added so the image search cannot clearly identify the image or the person.
These five points are the best-known way to recognize a scam or a rip-off dating website. If you have a website where one of these points seems to apply to it but it is not a scam, it might just be a dating website with a bad reputation. Still a bad reputation is also a reason to go for another provider and another dating platform. But if you find a dating website where all of those five apply the case is very clear. You have everything you need to verify that this is indeed a rip-off site.
This is our checklist for clear signs of rip-off online dating sites. We continuously work to add new rip-off methods of the scammers, tips and tricks on how to spot them, and how to prevent these scams to our list.