BBB warns of fake dating sites to get personal information – NBC Chicago
Those looking for romantic relationships have more to watch out for these days than just a potentially fake profile.
The Better Business Bureau on Tuesday warned of high online dating scams involving an illegitimate dating site with membership fees and fake dating profiles.
Some users may be missing photos or other basic information, the BBB warned. The site might also have profiles that disappear at random.
“Turns out those other date stamps aren’t real!” The site is full of fake profiles that make you think the site has a lot of members. Once you find out about the hoax, you try to cancel your membership. But the site keeps charging you, ”said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois.
In some cases, users have been asked to pay bogus users on the site in order to contact them. One person said they had to buy “coins” to chat with other members, the BBB said.
“I was bombarded with messages from almost 200 different users in just a few days and without even completely filling out a personal profile,” she told BBB Scam Tracker. “I paid for parts three times and billed twice each time. This site hires operators to steal photos, assume false identities, and then bombard users with messages to trick them into buying coins to converse by lying and guiding people.
How to spot fake dating sites, according to the BBB:
- Do research by registering
- Search for the name of the dating site with the keywords “reviews” and “scams”.
- Understand how the site works
- If the payment system is not well documented or is confusing, choose another dating service instead.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
- If you haven’t filled out your personal profile and people are lining up to meet you, it is likely a scam, the BBB said.
- Use a credit card to pay for online services and subscriptions
- Paying with a credit card allows you to dispute any unauthorized charges or fees charged for bogus services. The same may not be true if you are using your debit card or your bank’s account and routing numbers.
- Never give money or personal information to a stranger
- According to the BBB, some crooks will ask for money to be able to buy a flight to come and visit or for some other “noble” reason. If someone asks for information about a credit card, bank card, or government ID, stop contacting the person.