The Dark Side of Online Dating

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For years, I have been on and off dating sites , including Lavalife, POF, Tinder and Bumble. I’ve learned much about the scams out there and the disinterest several of the big companies have towards protecting their legitimate clients. Criminals take advantage of the security gaps dating sites provide. I hope my experiences will help you spot fraudulent dating accounts and avoid being a target.

My first eye opener happened several years ago. I was not able to log into my Match account, so I contacted their support department who said my account was hacked and taken over by someone else. With a new password I re-accessed my account and found that my pictures were replaced to show another man, the status was changed to widower, and the city was changed to Oshawa. I also saw incoming messages from women who were ready to meet for a date.  I warned the women about the hack and told them not to meet with the person.  I reported the fraud, but unfortunately, Match did not seem interested in the details, accused me of giving out my password (really!!!), and refused to refund me the membership fee. I can only hope that the scammer did not actually meet up with anyone. For this reason, I would never recommend Match to anyone.  The following statistics show some scary facts of online dating.

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A friend of mine actually opened up a false account by retrieving a picture of an attractive woman on Australian social media so that she could see if the guy she was “exclusively dating” would ask her fake profile out on a date. She was able to lure the guy with her fake profile and set him up by arranging a date. Proving that he was not planning to be “exclusive”, my friend had the guy drive about an hour out of town to a location for a date, but obviously that girl, nor my friend ever showed up. Later that night she broke up with the guy.

I too was communicating with what I later learned was a Nigerian dating scam profile which used pictures of Talia Shepard. Apparently, this porn actresses’ photo is used by many scammers to lure guys, like me. The on-site conversations were quickly continued on direct messaging. There were several “red flags” suggesting that something was not right, especially in hindsight. The “a-ha” moment came when I was asked to provide some money for her travel to Ottawa because she claimed having credit card problems. That’s when I did Google Images reverse check and found out I was dealing with a scam.

If ever you come across an online dating scam, I recommend reporting it to police and www.antifraudcentre.ca.

There are likely thousands of attempted romance scams. Are you willing to share an experience you had?

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References:

https://www.grendelproject.nl/tag/dating-scams-on-instagram/

https://www.datingadvice.com/online-dating/fake-dating-profiles

4 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Online Dating

  1. I can appreciate the concerns surrounding security at dating sites. I haven’t used any for a long time but from what I remember, there were issues with fraud as well as other criminal activity. I was able to keep myself and my data safe but I do remember hearing horror stories.
    Hopefully, as the stories of compromised security continue, the companies will take the issues more seriously, especially after what happened at Ashley Madison.

  2. Thanks for your comment. The Ashley Madison breach was brutal. What was supposed to be a site where people could secretly have encounters, ended up revealing the names of all their customers.

  3. Really interesting perspective to consider with online dating. It’s definitely a scary thought that you never really know who the person on the other side of the screen could be. I always made sure I thoroughly vetted potential dates before agreeing to meet up in person, always somewhere public, and shared my location with friends so they knew exactly where I was should anything go wrong. Worrying about personal safety is certainly the least romantic part of dating, but always better safe than sorry.

  4. Thanks for the comment! I agree with your methods. We never know, and it’s best to do things in the safest manner possible. Although a coffee shop may not be the most exciting thing to some people, it is the best and safest way to really get to know a person. I wish you the best in dating adventures.

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