• Online Dating Background Checks-> How Important Are They?

    Online dating background checks are important, you never want to find yourself in a bad situation because you used an online dating site to meet someone.

    Online dating services are efficient at letting you know about potential matches in your area.  They offer the anonymity you don’t have when someone tries to pick you up in a public place.  On a dating site you can simply decide not to respond to an email or wink.  That same anonymity can sometimes have a dark side though, allowing those with criminal backgrounds to lurk around.  Thus making online dating background checks more important than ever.  Now that online dating service Match.com has settled the online dating background checkslawsuit brought by a woman who sued after she was sexually assaulted by a man she met through the website, some are questioning whether or not online dating sites, like Match.com, are going to do enough to protect its members?  It’s one thing to meet someone who has annoying quirks or only talks about an ex; it is quite another to find yourself in danger because you used an online dating site to meet someone.

    The lawsuit stipulated that Match.com perform online dating background checks on its members using state and federal sex-offender registries to verify that people who signed up for the service were not sex offenders. The man who attacked the woman who sued had been convicted for sexual assault six times in the past. The woman’s lawyer was of the opinion that once Match.com put these measures in place, other dating sites would follow and the world of online dating would be much safer.  Starting in 2012 major online dating sites stated that they would start doing background checks on subscribers against national sex offender registries and actively search for fake profiles, but has anything really changed?

    In 2012 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) , an accredited background check company, said “consumers should be aware that certain types of background screening do not produce reliable results.” The company president warned that companies may cut corners with “cheap” background checks that could create a false sense of security and “suggests if online dating sites want to protect members in online dating situations, they need to do a proper background screening, one which can include county court level searches carried out by a professional background check firm or private investigator.”

    What can you do to ensure your safety when online dating?   Run your own online dating background checks on a potential date using a third party service you trust.  If your potential date has a problem with that, that should be a major red flag that you need to cut communications.  You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about trying to protect yourself.


  • Online Dating Service

    Is Your Online Dating Service Screwing You?

    An online dating service make finding your perfect someone online sound so fast and easy.

    They brag about how many people they’ve matched up. They tease you with quotes from satisfied members who claim to have received dozens of date offers and found their special someone online. They post enticing statistics about the number of members that belong to their dating service. They promise that scores of these people live or work just down the street from where you live. They let you scan through page after page of hunky guys and gorgeous gals, leading you to believe that these folks are just sitting around, eagerly waiting to hear from you.

    The Minute You Type in Your Credit Card Number and Join an Online Dating Website, The Fantasy Starts to Unravel

    You look at all of this. You browse through the website and read the promotional come-ons. And you think, “This sounds great! How can I possibly lose?” But the minute you type in your credit card number and join an online dating website, the fantasy starts to unravel. The potential dates you try to contact never respond. The first one or two times this happens, you figure maybe the person is away on vacation or a business trip. So you try again – and get the same result. Spiders start spinning webs in your inbox. “Has the whole planet gone on vacation?” you wonder.

    60% of Dating Profiles are Either Inactive or Faked

    This is the online dating experience they don’t tell you about in those slick TV ads of happy couples. Your hopes crushed, you eventually have to face the music. After hopefully forking over pricey fees month after month, your online dating service is screwing you! And you are not alone. In January 2011, dissatisfied Match.com users filed a federal class action lawsuit against the well-known online dating service. In their suit, dating site users claimed that 60% of the dating profiles on Match.com were either inactive or faked.  It’s hard to connect with someone who’s not there!  Unfortunately, Match.com hasn’t changed their ways.  In November 2013 Yuliana Avalos, a mother and part-time model, brought a suit against Match.com for $1.5 Billion, because she claims that her pictures were used in hundreds of fake profiles on Match.com without her consent.  No wonder online dating is so frustrating.


  • How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of an Online Dating Scammer

    Online Dating Scammers are a real concern.  So how can you protect yourself?

    Millions of men and women flock to dating sites each year in search of fun, companionship and even true love. What many find are online dating scammers, waiting to pray on the vulnerable and innocent. In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Mark Brooks, editor of Online Personals Watch, discussed the dangers of online dating, saying “On most dating sites, one out of 10 profiles is a scammer.” In fact, a study conducted by researchers at Cornell and Michigan State Universities found that 80 percent of online daters lie about their age, height, or weight. There are several ways to determine if you could be falling prey to an online scam artist. Learn how to use the internet and online dating sites safely to avoid becoming a “romance” scam victim.online dating scammer

    Spotting a Fake Profile

    Online dating scammers, often referred to as ‘catfish,’ generally make up fake profiles using fake pictures, fake names, and false information that will appeal to the masses. The anonymity of online dating has opened the flood gates to cheats, liars, and thieves looking to make a quick buck. There are several “red flags” that may indicate that a person is a scammer rather than a legitimate admirer. If the individual in question does any of the following, he or she may be an online dating scammer:

    • Invites you to check out his or her profile or pictures on a different website.
    • Sends you an extremely forward and flirty message even though you’ve never spoken or met before.
    • Sends you high-quality model pictures even though you haven’t even completed your dating profile or uploaded a picture.
    • The spelling and grammar on the profile is very poor and sounds foreign. According to Dating N More, many romance scams originate from West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana.
    • The person requests your full name, address, phone number, or other identifying personal information. They may be collecting information for identity theft.
    • If the message seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Protecting Yourself Online

    There are numerous ways to protect yourself and your identity from online dating scammers. First, never share personal information with anyone you’ve met over the internet, no matter how long you’ve been speaking back and forth. While your online ventures may seem safe, in hindsight, you’ll realize that you’ve been giving any precious information that could lead to identity theft and fraud. Stick to a first-name basis when you first meet someone online and never share your home address.

    In 2012, the IC3 received 289,874 consumer complaints regarding online scams, equaling an adjusted dollar loss of $525,441,110. Fraud can occur in a number of ways, including computer hijacking. To avoid fraudsters from stealing confidential information from your private computer, consider signing into your online dating service using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will keep your IP address and ISP hidden from potential scammers.

    Many online users also use fraud protection services to keep their personal information safe online. Services such as LifeLock offer state-of-the-art technology that will alert you early on if there are threats to your identity. Having an alert system in place can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing your identity is being protected. In addition to fraud protection services, it’s also important to keep an eye on your credit report to look for any inconsistencies. If you believe that you could be at risk for fraud or identity theft, visit one of the three credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit line.

  • Online Dating Privacy-> What are Dating Sites Doing to Protect You?

    Do online dating companies really want you to find online dating success? Do they care about your online dating privacy?

    When the Canadian government decided to investigate the policies of a well-known online dating website after a Canadian woman complained that her profile was not erased as she requested, the dating site defended this by saying that “40 percent of its members reactivate within a two-year period.”  privacy is a major concern with online dating websites, online dating privacyThe woman whose complaint sparked the inquiry contacted the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. While this Office did have some suggestions for as to how the dating site could do a better job handling its customer’s private information, they concluded that after the site made some adjustments, the site was acting within the boundaries of Canadian privacy law.  The report from the Canadian government does not say whether or not the woman wanted to delete her account and private information because she had found what she was looking for on the site.

    However, this raises another question: Do online dating sites really want you to succeed? That means you’ll stop paying for your subscriptions and they have to find someone else to take your place. This particular dating site claims that they retain customer information for the convenience of subscribers to the service–if your account lapses, it is very convenient for you to sign up again because they can just pull up the information you already entered. But is this really for your convenience or theirs?

    In some ways, aren’t they saying that they don’t think you will find lasting love? They are counting on you to be one of the 40 percent who returns and pays again to be a part of their dating pool. After all, the report from the Canadian government notes that, “the online dating industry’s revenues have been estimated at between $3 billion to $4 billion a year worldwide.

    Beat them at their own game with a well-written profile and eye catching online dating photos that get you noticed and increase your chances of meeting someone special.

    top ten online dating mistakes

  • Questions You Should Ask Before Joining an Online Dating Site

    Most people know someone who has found the love of their life on an online dating site. You probably also know at least one and probably several people who have had a bad experience with online dating. There are many reputable online dating sites on the internet, but there are also some unscrupulous operators out there that care more about collecting your monthly membership fee than making sure you have a date for Saturday night.

    Online dating controversyWe’ve been discussing some of the complaints people have with online dating sites and how daters can spot and protect themselves against predatory sites. If you’re new to online dating, it can be hard to tell the good guys from the crooks. Consumer protection agencies say the best way to protect yourself is to be a proactive consumer and take steps to prevent problems before they occur. It’s like your grandmother used to say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    Before giving your personal information to an online dating site or signing a contract, review the Better Business Bureau’s Reliability Report on the dating service at www.bbb.org. Consumer advocates recommend asking these questions when you interview an online dating service:

    1. What is your minimum enrollment period?
    2. What is the monthly fee? Is there an additional membership fee or any fees for other services?
    3. Once it’s posted, can I update my online dating profile and dating headshot? How do I do this and is there a charge or limit to the number of revisions that can be made?
    4. What is your cancellation procedure and how do I stop monthly deductions if I cancel?
    5. If I am dissatisfied with your service, what can I do?
    6. Ask for contact information for 3 or 4 current members in your area. Contact them and ask about their experiences with the dating service.
  • Find Love Online Without Falling Prey To Cyber Criminals

    There’s no longer a stigma associated with finding love online. In fact, the demand for online dating has grown so high that IBIS World reports the industry grew nearly four percent between 2008 and 2013 while generating more than $2 billion annually. With the potential for love, however, comes the very real risk of dealing with online threats. Phishers, scammers, hackers, and all manner of unscrupulous people prowling the Internet in search of someone willing to hand over their personal information in the hopes of finding a mate. If you’re an online dater, make sure you’re taking the proper steps to protect yourself with these tips.Don't Fall Prey To Cyber Criminals

    Keep Personal Information Personal

    When getting to know someone on the other side of the Internet, you can expect to hear a lot of the same questions: your likes and dislikes, your hometown, whether you have pets of children. Be scrupulous about sharing personal details at first, since the Attorney General reports that unsecured websites represent targets of opportunity for identity thieves. To steal your identity, a thief only needs your name, your date of birth, and the city or county where you were born. If they photo of you, that only makes it easier. A potential suitor who is just trying to get to know you is likely is not a thief, but when they persist in asking about personal information, cut them loose and go on to the next candidate.

    Never Download Attachments

    A phisher or hacker can send a million virus-laden emails to your inbox, but so long as you do not open them and download their contents, your computer will remain safe and free of harm. Netcraft reports that phishers have ramped up their use of virus-laden or fraudulent HTML attachments in email files since their first appearance in 2005. Avoid opening any kind of attachment when a connection sends you a message. Instead, request a link to the restaurant he’s recommending, or ask him to upload the photo she wants to share, onto her online dating profile. For further protection against an accidental download, use a virus-screening platform like CenturyLink antivirus. Remember to regularly update your computer’s anti-virus software, so that hackers cannot confuse an older program with their new tricks.

    Never Make Financial Information Available

    Though many people have it ingrained in their heads that you can never be too careful about spending money online, many e-tricks exist to swindle people out of their hard-earned finances. The Better Business Bureau reports that an online dating connection who asks for money by wire transfer nearly always represents a scam. Likewise, potential sweethearts who claim to be in a serious situation, often stuck in a foreign country without money, tend to be fishing for anyone with a soft spot. Never enter credit card information on a site unless it is secured, and whenever possible use an e-money platform like PayPal or Bitcoins to minimize the risks of having your financial data stolen.

  • What You Should Know Before Joining an Online Dating Site

    A majority of people know somebody that found love on an online dating site. You possibly likewise understand at least one and most likely a number of individuals who have had a disaster with on the internet dating. There are numerous trusted online dating business on the internet, but there are additionally some unscrupulous operators out there that care much more about accumulating your month-to-month subscription charge compared to seeing to it you have a date for the weekend.Online Dating Contraversy

    We’ve been reviewing several of the issues people have with on the internet dating sites and exactly how daters can see and run away from unscrupulous dating sites. If you’re brand-new to online dating, it could be hard to tell the good ones from the bad. Customer defense companies state the very best means to protect on your own is to be a proactive customer and take steps to prevent problems prior to they develop. It resembles your grandmother utilized to say, “An oz of avoidance is worth a pound of cure.”.

    Before providing your personal details to an online dating site or signing a deal,Better Business Bureau’s Reliability Report on the dating service at www.bbb.org. Customer advocates suggest asking these questions when you speak with an on the internet dating site.

    – What is your minimum enrollment period?
    – What is the month-to-month charge? Are there any additional membership fees or fees for other ad on features?
    – Once it’s posted, can I update my online dating profile and dating photo? How do I do this and is there a cost or restriction to the amount of modifications that can be made?
    – Exactly what is your termination policy and how do I stop month-to-month reductions if I call off?
    – If I am dissatisfied with your program, what can I do?

  • Is Your Online Dating Site Playing Fair?

    The allure of online dating websites is like a siren song, full of promises. Online dating sites promise love and romance. They boast about how easy it is to find your forever love online. They tout their matchmaking prowess with commercials showing happy married couples. For the millions of busy single people struggling to get through another hectic day, the promises are compelling. Who wouldn’t want to wave a magic wand and discover true love — or at least a hot date for Saturday night?

    dating website controversyYou’re hooked, and that’s what they’re counting on. Online dating websites want you to fill out an online dating profile and post a dating headshot. They deal in volume. More members, naturally, mean more dating choices; but increased membership also means more fees, either from members or advertisers or both. Once they’ve hooked you, some online dating sites seem to abandon you. Online daters often complain about:

    1. Sites that inflate their membership lists by never updating membership rolls or removing inactive members.
    2. Sites that “scrape” members from other online dating sites to boost their entries, leaving daters with no way to contact the person because they never actually signed up for the site you’re on.
    3. Sites that claim “millions” of active members in your area even when only a few members live within an hour’s drive of your home.
    4. Sites that boost their hotness quotient by creating fake profiles for phantom members that don’t exist.

    There are many online dating sites that deliver on their promises to their customers and make every effort to create and maintain useful sites and updated membership lists, but there are quite a few who take your money and run. Figuring out which is which is the trick. In our next few posts we’ll give you some pointers that will help you choose wisely.

  • You Have Rights: What Your Online Dating Site Owes You

    Online dating websites  seem to hold all the cards. You’ve probably traded horror stories with friends about fake flirts and winks, bogus computer-generated emails, membership lists that haven’t been updated since the millennium, memberships that never die, and phantom members created out of thin air. Online dating sites target your most vulnerable spot, your heart. They take advantage of your desire to be loved with promises of romance and forever love that they don’t make the slightest effort to keep. Not all online dating sites are predatory. Many dating websites are honest about their services and upfront about their fees. Unfortunately, when you’re deciding where to post your dating profile and dating headshot, it can be difficult to figure out which sites are legit and which are on the prowl.

    Online Dating Website FrustrationAs on online dater, you have rights; but it’s up to you to protect yourself from predatory dating sites. Reputable sites provide members with a contract that spells out their rights and yours. (Don’t give your information to a site that does not allow you to read the contract before you sign up. Signing up blind is just asking for trouble.) Typically, the terms and conditions of the contract are presented in tiny type with a prominently displayed “I agree” box. Hundreds of software installations have conditioned us to click “I agree” without reading the fine print. Online dating sites count on this.

    In their contracts, online dating sites usually specify how the site can collect money from you, but are not as interested in providing instructions on how to stop payments. Before you click “OK” force yourself to read the fine print so you know what you’re signing up for. If payment and stop service instructions are not clearly spelled out or something doesn’t sound right, trust your gut and keep looking. There are plenty of other online dating sites out there.

    More about your online dating rights next time

  • How to Protect Yourself from Predatory Online Dating Sites

    Like so many things in life, signing up for an online dating service is “Buyer Beware!” It’s up to you to protect yourself from predatory dating sites that take advantage of their members while failing to make good on their promises. Many reputable online dating sites are available on the internet, but the few bad apples have left a bad taste in the public’s mouth. Complaints to consumer protection agencies about online dating sites are on the rise. They haven’t muscled their way past cell phone and television service providers to earn a spot on the Better Business Bureau’s list of least-liked industries, but they’re moving in that direction.

    Online Dating Website ControversiesThere are things online daters can do to protect themselves from unscrupulous practices, but it’s up to you to protect your rights.

    • Prevent problems by asking questions before you sign a contract. Find out about additional fees, cancelation and renewal procedures, and what the online dating site will do if you’re unhappy with their service. (Refunds are rare, but they may extend your contract at no charge.) Ask if the company is insured and bonded and ask for the names of their insurance and bonding companies.
    • When you sign your contract online, take time to print out a copy of the contract to keep with your records. If you start having doubts immediately, call your Better Business Bureau or State Attorney General’s office to see if your state is one of many that allow consumers 3 days to cancel a contract without penalty.
    • Watch out for automatic renewals; don’t assume that your membership will stop at the end of the contract period. Most states require online sites to provide a way to cancel automatic renewals. Follow the cancellation procedure and make sure you also cancel any automatic bank withdrawals.
    • Don’t let yourself be pressured into signing a contract. Take time to review the details before you sign.