BBB Warns Consumers about Online Dating Scams

  
     
February 09, 2017

Signing up with a dating service or using the internet to find love has become the norm these days with many people focusing on school or their career. Matchmakers and dating websites have made it convenient for people to spice up their social life, but it is important consumers are careful, assome sites leave consumers frustrated, distraught or broke.

The BBB offers the following advice on matchmaking and online dating services: 

  • Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. Walk away from a sales person that pressures you to sign a contract on the spot. A reputable matchmaking service will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly and make an informed decision at your own pace.
  • Review the contract. Make sure the contract lists all services, as well as any additional fees and charges. Consumers should not assume that they will stop being billed once the contract runs out. Many online dating sites automatically renew memberships. Usually, you must call the company or send written instructions to avoid being billed again. Know in advance what you need to do to cancel. BBB recommends taking a sample contract home to review in a quiet environment.
  • Read and understand privacy and security policies. Setting up a dating profile requires personal information. Make sure you understand how your information is being protected. Most companies make such policies available on their websites or hand them to you in writing.
  • Ask around. Odds are your family members, friends, and coworkers have used or are currently using a matchmaking or online dating service. They can tell you about their experience and if it was successful for them. Take their advice into account when deciding which way to look for love.
  • Beware of Matches asking for Money. Be very skeptical of any “match” who tries to sweet-talk you into sending them money, especially via wire transfer. Criminals have been known to set up fake profiles, oftentimes posing as a military member, and start relationships online only to ultimately guilt their victim into sending them money for various reasons. Under no circumstances should you ever wire money to someone you have never met.