I see a lot of posts around the internet regarding the large adult online dating services complaining about two major things: Fake Profiles, and Scams. I really think that most people have unrealistic expectations when they join one of these sites, and I also feel that maybe some people are so desperate (or so horny) that they choose not to use common sense when it comes to whom they decide to contact from one of these sites.
As long as there are online dating/social networking sites, there will be fake profiles. Who puts them there is anybody’s guess, but I have my suspicions. The prevailing conspiracy theory is that the people who own the sites are putting the fake profiles up, with hot young women (or men) promising all manner of sexual deprivation or whatever to get people to sign up for a paid membership. I don’t think this is the case at all. I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting fake profiles, and one thing that most of them have in common is that they have links to sites outside of the site on which they are posted. This leads me to believe that these fake profiles are instead spammers or virus jockeys, trying to get you to click to an external site so that they can either obtain your email address or infect your computer with viruses.
Another common tactic is to send a message from their profile to yours asking you to hook up with them and offering you their yahoo or msn messenger ID right off the bat. This should be a HUGE red flag for you. If you look closely at most of them, you will note that many of the emails that are supposedly coming from several different profiles actually contain the same messenger ID. You should report these users to the site administrators immediately and move on, looking for members with real profiles.
This is probably the area that frustrates and amuses me the most. I see a lot of posts where this service or that service charged them for a membership, then offered them no way to cancel their membership, or continued to charge them after they cancelled their membership. I have paid for (and subsequently canceled) memberships with Fling.com, SexSearch.com, and AdultFriendFinder.com, and none of these sites have used such tactics with me. In fact, I found that if you just read the Terms and Conditions (“Who reads that stuff anyway?” You do, if you’re smart), and follow their directions on what to do to cancel your membership, you will have no such billing problems.
I’ve also frequently heard the complaint that “I paid for membership, and I didn’t get one single date”. There could be many different reasons for this. It could be that your approach needs some work. More than 9 times out of 10 the now-infamous “want to f–k?” email will not work. Try actually striking up a conversation via email, or join one of the chat rooms and establish rapport with someone and see if you don’t get some better results. It could also be that the people you’ve contacted just aren’t interested in you. This does happen, and often. The only recourse you have is to move on and contact someone else. You don’t really think that the first person you contact is just going to show up naked on your doorstep ready to have sex with you, do you? If you do, well, I don’t really have any advice for you.
So, there you have it. As long as there are online dating sites, there will be fake profiles. All it takes is a little common sense and a little time to weed those out and find the real ones. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, and that often involves time and a little bit of work. As far as scams are concerned, all you need to do is read the Terms and Conditions and follow their instructions, and you’ll be fine. And, most of all, don’t believe everything you read, and don’t the bad experiences of a few (which are largely self-inflicted or self-perceived) ruin your chance to find what you’re looking for. Get out there and join some online dating services and as always, happy hunting!