One of the more frequent complaints against free online personal ads is that they are full of stalkers and scam artists. But the same is actually true for the so-called “safe” paid subscription dating sites.
Emma Hurt is a good example and writes about the perils of online dating sites and her own personal stalker experience on Match.com in her blog Yep That Hurts – Life after the Romance Scam.
Emma fell victim to a romance scam, also known as an online dating scam, a Nigerian romance scam, or a 419 scam. We’ve all been getting those emails from Nigerian spammers for some time now with those too good to be true business propositions, but you don’t expect to find these a-holes on Match.com supposedly looking for love. But Emma did, and the damage was done – in her case it was more emotionally damaging than financially, but others are not so “lucky”. This problem has been becoming so prevalent there’s even a website devoted to it www.NigerianScamDating.com. It pokes fun, but it’s really not very funny if it does happen to you.
The truth is, there’s not nearly enough screening going on to prevent such things from happening on dating sites where you would expect, for your $60 a month, to provide a safer environment. As Emma points out in her blog, photo recognition technology exists – it’s used in databases on Websites like RomanceScam.com and Stop-Scammers.com, which are devoted to exposing online dating scammers. FREE sites are using this technology, but Match.com, which charges money, is not.
And after you’ve been burned and just want to get away from it all for a while, they don’t make it easy for you to cancel your membership either.
You can read all about that fun experience, her online dating scam from hell story, and the resulting pain and anguish it caused in Emma’s blog.
This is a rather unusual case, but it does happen. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Let’s be careful out there.