Study Shows Signs of Possible Dating Scams

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A recent study examined what could be seen as deceptive practices targeting people on some of the world’s most popular dating sties. Although far from conclusive, the results are certainly interesting.

Recent US lawsuits have suggested that some dating sites “fish” for paid signups from trial members, so we thought we’d test some out. One way sites are said to hook free members into paid account upgrades is by sending phony signs of interest. For some, the apparent attention their ad generates is motivation enough to sign up for paid access. We signed up to a handful of popular dating sites to see what kind of response we would get. Although these results are far from conclusive, they are certainly interesting. Keep in mind that each profile was essentially identical. We used a 30-year-old male without a picture, included the same, unremarkable essay text, the same headline (either Ms Right?, Where is Ms Right? or Mr Right for gay sites) and minimal answers to other questions -- and then only if required. We only logged in twice over the two-week test period, once on the day we signed up and again on the day we checked to see the results. Here’s what we found:


“I would never personally join any of the sites that sent us correspondence during our test period,” said Doug Glazebrook, editor of “It’s highly suspicious behavior, whether it’s from the dating company or people on the site.” and have since been pulled from CupidsReviews top-ten list.

"If you don't post your picture or log-in regularly, you won’t get replies,” said Jordan Ravka, owner of “Beautiful 18-year-olds don't cruise the Net looking for men without pictures. Amazingly enough, there are still guys out there that will yell out, 'I can't believe this is happening to me' and happily fork over $29.95 to reply."

Again, these results are far from conclusive, but it seems clear that if you’re dating online, you need to protect yourself. We suggest the following:

-If you don’t have a photo posted, be cautious of every email you get.

-Do not pay for membership to any site solely because of the amount of people who send you signs of interest.

-Never pay to reply to people who send you signs of interest.

There are a great many dating sites doing an exceptional job at providing a real place for singles to meet. If you know what to look for, you may not avoid every trap that comes your way, but you will be better prepared to concentrate on what is truly important – finding love online.

To schedule interviews or for further information:

Doug Glazebrook


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