From time to time we will review dating websites for Scammer Activity.
Low - Medium Risk Website
Match.com, from our own observations appears to have a low to moderate percentage of Scammers from Africa and Eastern Europe at this time. Over the last year, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of scammers on this site. This is no doubt due to the litigation under way at this time.
Right now, we see the most likely scammer candidates as profiles without photos. Remember, that while Match.com is doing a better job, there appear to still be scammers in their member, so be on guard.
Scammers are fairly easy to spot from the following:
- Beware of profiles without photos - this is the scammers latest trick, since they know so many people can easily spot their stolen photos.
- Anyone that uses a last name (though this is only about 10% of the scammers that do this)
- On-line hours - real people are usually on-line in normal hours for your time zone - very late at night is a hint that it's a scammer.
- Look at the age of the person and the photo - they will not match - it is possible that a real person is not using recent photos, but do you want to talk to them anyway?
- Look at the Verification: they have text message phone numbers so this means nothing, they have Facebook and Google plus accounts so this means nothing too!
- Look at their location. For example: they list Miami or Los Angeles - we all know that ever big metro areas have numerous districts and towns within them, but they list the generic place.
- They tend to cluster in certain towns and cities. Testing their knowledge about these proves fatal to them, so they generally don't answer these questions (go on Google and look up some business in that town that a local should know) (local parks and landmarks are also good tests)
- Anyone that lists a ridiculous age range, such as "Wants to date with guys, 23-65" - but you will also see "Wants to date with guys, older than 30"
- Real people have a lot of photos - scammers generally have a couple too about 6 - one trick they use is to reload them several times to make it look like they have a larger album
- When your popularity goes up, you are probably being scanned by the scammers, especially as time goes by - since this site is all about "Who's New"
- Military personnel - scammers love to impersonate military personnel, but don't get Military structure - if you do, use it to your advantage - they are great ways to catch them in stupid answers.
- Look at their interests - you will find odd and out dated interests, like: CSI Real people have quirky interests, and interests that are local and make sense. Or they have NONE Also, if they have an interest that you don't recognize, Google it - if it is mostly European or African - run away!
- Anyone that claims to be using a family member or friends profile is a give away, and a violation of the site's terms and conditions - by definition they are impersonating someone else
- Look at the age, a common mistake is that they put they year of birth in as their age! Stupid scammers!
- In messaging, the scammers trip themselves up in several ways!
- Claim they have languages they don't have
- Use scammer grammar - watch for it
- Refuse to answer questions about their town in detail
- Don't seem to read previous message posts that should be right in front of them
- By pass certain topics
- If you mention scammers they claim not to know what you are talking about
- If you catch one and confront them, they don't know what you mean - a real person accused of being a scammer would be upset
- If you ask out of the blue: "Do you live in a suburb or Accra or in the city proper" (same for Lagos) [Lagos is the Nigerian city where the activity clusters, and Accra is in Ghana]
As a user on the site, we suggest that you make your photos PRIVATE. That way you can share them when you want, but keep them hidden from the scammers.
We strongly urge Match.com to do the right thing, and do a comparison between the location given for the profile and the login IP addresses - this is easy tech and something all dating sites should do. If they don't match, send them for a human review or delete them - this is the best way to restore faith in your site! We also suggest that they use image comparison technology, to compare against know scammers. They should also compared against known scammer phone numbers and email addresses.
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