How to Avoid Romance Scams
Yes, it CAN happen to you
It’s no secret that dating apps are crawling with catfish. Romance scammers are everywhere and the dangers are real.
People write in to DateID with horror stories every day. They are routinely losing anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
I know what you’re thinking: It won’t happen to me.
Smart, savvy people get scammed all the time.
I’ve been catfished more times than I can count, including on all the well-known dating apps. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve nearly fallen for it more than once.
And I’m supposed to be an expert on this!
When you see a beautiful woman (or a handsome man) on a dating app or website, it can be hard to resist. Due to the “ostrich bias”, which is the natural tendency we all have to ignore negative information, digital daters are prone to overlook signs that there could be a scammer hiding behind the dating profile.
Dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid! and Match are all rife with scammers. The niche dating websites that cater to people with certain lifestyles or identities are even worse. They usually have no fraud team whatsoever.
Hookup sites are probably the worst of all. Some hookup sites, like BeNaughty, One Night Friend, No Strings Attached, Together Tonight, Flirt and Tonight’s Hookup don’t have any real women at all.
The more mainstream ones, like Adult Friend Finder and Ashley Madison have at least as many scammers as real people.
There are many, many, many scams out there, but the verification scam is the most common one. Only DateID does legit ID verification. Do not trust any other service claiming to do verification for dating.
Here’s an example of the beginning of the classic verification scam as seen on Tinder.
Here’s a prime example of a fake ID. The code, bar code and chip are all fake. Eliza Fox does not exist as a real person.
You’re on your own
Don’t count on the dating companies to protect you. They’re not interested.
Match.com recently lost a multimillion-dollar lawsuit after being found guilty of knowingly allowing scammers to remain on the platform (because it increased subscriptions and Match made more money).
The consequences of romance scams can be anywhere from mild to severe. Best case you waste a few hours of your time. Worst case, you get your heart broken and lose thousands of dollars.
Bottom line, you need to protect yourself. And DateID can help.
How to Avoid Romance Scams
Here are four sure-fire ways to avoid romance scams.
1. Ask your love interest to verify their identity
If you have any suspicions that you’re being catfished, ask the person to verify their identity on DateID.
They’ll need to level up to Gold for you to be 100% sure. That way they can do a “liveness test” and upload a driver license or passport. This combination is virtually impossible to spoof. If they won’t, they may be a scammer.
If they say they can’t afford a Gold membership, have them do photo and location verification, which is free. Read more about DateID verifications.
2. Ask them to verify their photos
You can also ask them to join DateID, for free, and upload recent photos. Photos will show the date they were originally taken once verified. If they can’t produce anything recent, they’re not the person behind the photos.
3. Ask them to verify their location
Verifying your location on DateID is also free, so why wouldn’t they?
4. Background check them on DateID
If you have a name, email address, phone number, social media username or profile URL, run it through DateID and see what comes back.
Date searches databases that contain virtually every digital record in existence, so if it can’t be found, it’s probably because they’re using a “burner” account. If that’s the case, there’s a high likelihood you’re being scammed.
5. Add your username and watermarked photos to dating apps
Your free DateID membership includes a unique username, profile URL and unlimited downloads of watermarked photos. Add them to your dating app profiles to show you’re savvy, and you’ll deter scammers right out of the gate.
Scammers know what DateID is (they hate us) and know our members are savvy. Once they see you’re a member they’ll move on to an easier target.
Save yourself time, money, and heartache. Always take measures to protect yourself if you have any suspicions at all.
Romance scammers be gone
If you’re reading this, maybe you’re concerned that you’re being catfished. I really want you to stay safe so, I’ll give you free background check. Use promo code CATFISH at checkout and we’ll waive any fees.
How does the payment work how much is it in one payment or part
They’re all a little bit different but most will require you to either put down a credit card very early on, or send a gift card. With a credit card, normally they will also sign you up for multiple other fake dating and pornography sites, with auto-renew. However, because those terms are hidden, you won’t know what happened until it is too late.
I understand why we have to do this
I’ve been on a few dating sites and the sites themself are low life thieves they stole money out of my account after I was confirmed unsubscribed from the site and the only way I could stop it was to cancel my card. I’ve had a lot of women ask me to get online dating ID but I don’t trust anyone online now. I don’t know if this is genuine either only your word. I’m not using my card to do this or any other type. Why is a current drivers license not proof of ID?
So sorry to hear that. If anyone is asking you for any type of verification other than DateID, it’s a scam–not that that’s news to you.
If you have concerns about our legitimacy I would suggest reading this review of us: https://www.datingadvice.com/online-dating/dateid-screens-potential-partners-before-you-meet-up
Exactly!!! THANK YOU!!! That’s exactly what I said.
Why is a current valid driver’s license not proof of Id?
This verification site sounds good so let’s give it a try.
Think i have been had, i reached out to someone on a site, she gave me this site where you get an id so she knows you are “safe”, sends incredibly hot photos, how i got hooked, but this girl has not actually stroked my ego, in fact is a bit cold. Calls it “the process”, well, Im a dumbass because i fell for it, guess i should have been suspicious when they wanted money sent to Phillipines..i actually dropped quite a bit on it, not dropping anymore, any chance there is any way i will see my money again, she claims you are “refunded” after first safe date,, God i am so stupid.. site she first posted called racingtoyour heart.com, plus i saved her supposed email address and the address of the supposed id company in Phillipines, any way i can get em busted? I expect that i wont see money again..girl hasn’t cut me off…yet so maybe i can expose it!
Sorry Paul. Your money is probably gone at this point, most likely it’s a waste of your time to try to get it back. If you can find a way to expose it, I definitely encourage that!
Jeremy Galyon I sent 300 in 3 payments to Philippines on account of a lady I have her name and I also gave 3 60 gift cards for verification dating I’d now girl trying to extort me for not paying 209 to pay pal for I’d Ali a brown from hangouts.
I would recommend that you cease all communications and cancel any credit cards.
I encountered this today. Red flags were going off in the back of my head and then when the dude asked me to get a DatingId and provided a link to a website using typeform (the free version) that can’t even be customized I knew it was a scam. First, a credit card is not legit used to verify ID — a driver’s license is. Next, you cannot store credit card data on a website with all sorts of audits and prerequisites – making most sites use a 3rd party that can appear seamless . However, all real companies that ask for credit card data validate it. This dude didn’t even bother to add basic validation.
I confronted him until he knew it was up. I also told him all the things he did wrong that had my suspicions up to begin with, then told him my background as web developer heavy in all things financial and credit related.
Next, i go right to typeform and report what happened. Entire form is removed from their site in about 40 minutes and responding validating my concerns.
Then, I go to dating site and report user as instructed and also include what happened with typeform to validate my claim. They respond 1 hr later saying the user was verified and legit. I write back with all my credentials and doc proving they were not – no response.
All while this is going on, a new member contacts me. Almost same exact type of things in profile and how the conversation was being directed. I ask them as if I have one did they have a DatingID. They played dumb The the same exact steps followed from the first attempt. I did not let it get to the point of opening their form. I asked them to take a a new photo of whatever they wanted around them making sure to keep any metadata That would have told me if they were real. Totally ghosted me after that. I reported the 2nd user to the website. 5 Hours later – nothing from the website.
I also found a lot of fishy stuff with the site itself in between this.. like how any photo uploaded becomes their property automatically to use in marketing and advertising as they see fit. They are creating fake users scattered among a couple of real people and a scammers. All of it is designed to keep you busy and thinking that you’re talking to someone real.
Just because I was bored and felt like I was doing a 20/20 investigation, I was going in a changing my status and whatever else was public that a large number of users would see… Only got one response show all the “real” members how their data was being handled. There was zero response from anyone else.. That just doesn’t ring true in my book
Thanks for sharing your story, Jason, and for helping to fight back against the scammers! Sadly, the dating sites cannot be trusted to do it themselves.
So had to confront a girl who’s been being REALLY pushy today, met her on PoF, already deleted the app and my account on it, I’m just about done with trying to date or even meet women at this point.
Anyway, first she begs me for personal information when I let her know I’m in between jobs, then she gets angry when I catch her mentioning to someone if they are getting a card, I know it’s not directed at me, but she sent me that directly. I ask her to at least provide SOME sort of proof she’s real, and she blows up, practically yelling at me for accusing her of being a scam, which I’m pretty damn sure she is despite what she says.
I’m hoping that this system will be a big deterrent to scammers in the future, and definitely plan on getting gold regardless of whether it’s a one time payment or a subscription for the duration of my attempt to find happiness.
Glad you’re exercising healthy skepticism, Ryan. Keep up the good work!
Welcome to the Hell of 2022! Since trying online dating I have had countless interactions with various young women from various sites. To date, all of them…without exception…have proved to be a scam. Several were obviously bots because they all used the same phrases, the same poorly constructed grammar. They all wanted either a store card varying in value from $50 AUS to $250. Some asked me to verify my ID with a number of sites including Jumio, HookUp, AngelEyes…
I had a lovely time (sarcasm) arguing with several girls as to why their ID site wasn’t verified or affiliated with DateID? They claimed DateID was a scam and not trusted by the industry and only their ID would allow me to date girls from sites. By the way, if you want the list of sites I have been on, just ask me. I also found it amusing that in the T&Cs on some of these sites it states that they “won’t negotiate or interfere with disagreements between members” and several even stated “We do not conduct background checks on members and therefore you are liable at your own risk”. Mind you, those sites I knew were ringing alarm bells but I couldn’t help myself. I just had to go fishing for another scammer. I’ve caught quite a few, I must say. Nothing happens though. They just delete the profile and tap into the next pre-generated bot they have lined up.
Getting a bit depressed really plus over the expense of having to buy “premium” to answer what are going to be fake messages anyway. Some sites are charging ridiculous rates for memberships as well. I think I need to quit my job and start a bot-site…
Thanks for sharing, Nigel. Glad to hear you figured out how to see through that scams.