It is widely acknowledged that the Internet has opened up many doors for people everywhere, giving them access to all sorts of products, services and information that they would never have had before. However, it has also opened up the gateway for millions of con artists to take advantage of people that do not even live in the same country as them! UK online dating is no different in that respect. You can meet people from all over the country but can also fall victim to them as well.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell the legitimate UK online dating sites from the bogus ones at a glance. They may look the same and navigation may feel the same, but this is exactly why the bogus UK online dating sites are successful. The incidence of online dating scams has risen in the last year or so but you can avoid falling victim to them by reading on!
There are two common types of UK online dating scams – the email scam and the fake site scam. The former is when an email is sent to you regarding a site that you are already a member of, but the latter is a UK online dating site that has been set up specifically to lure people to it with the sole intention of ripping them off. The following lists will give you a checklist so you know exactly what to look for!
The Email Scam
The majority of emails sent to you by UK online dating sites will start with your member number or real name. A bogus email will start with your screen name. For example, instead of John Smith it will read jsmith007.
The email will always have a link contained in it. Whether or not you think that the email is real, always log in by inputting the web address into your browser. Never click on links to sites in emails.
If you are doubly suspicious then go to the site via Google. No search engine will index a duplicate site because it is usually hastily set up so it can easily be taken down again and leave no tracks for law enforcement to follow.
If you suspect that a phishing email (the correct term for them) has been sent to you then report it to the UK online dating site itself. They will confirm whether or not it is real.
The Bogus Site Scam
A bogus site will often be introduced to you via an email. Again, search for the site through Google or Yahoo to make sure that it appears on the search engines to verify its existence.
Check out the UK online dating profiles. Bogus profiles will appear to be very similar in most cases and will almost certainly seem hastily put up. Most people take a little time over their profiles.
When you go onto a payment page, it may be difficult to tell the difference, but always check for a little padlock appearing in the corner of your browser. This means that it is verified and secure. Another indicator of this is a web address beginning with “https” and not “http”.
Finally, search the Internet for reviews of the individual site. If it is real then there will be a number of reviews written by real people available for you to read.