DMCubed brand Saucy Dates has published a guide detailing the telltale signs of fake hookup sites.
The advice comes after a survey of 21,343 users found that 42% had joined a fake site in the past. Of those members, 93% were unable to secure a refund.
On average, consumers lost $102 to the fake sites. According to Saucy Dates, these losses likely came after a high monthly subscription auto-renewed.
In some cases, the scam sites may have double billed target user accounts. This practice involves hiding a second, more expensive subscription plan in the terms on the signup page for the primary service.
A number of checks can be performed when looking to identify authentic sites. A key piece of information is the company location, Saucy Dates suggests:
“Within the terms and conditions you should find the company’s location. If the registered office is within the United Kingdom, United States, Canada or another EU country then you have some protection as the laws within these regions will penalise companies who defraud the public.
“If the registered company is in Cyprus, Malta, Ukraine, Russia or China then investigate further. There will of course be genuine sites from these regions but also many fakes.”
Another indicator is the ratio of male to female profiles on sites. Most hookup sites with real user profiles have vastly more men than women.
Some fake sites may claim to use ‘virtual profiles’ in their terms and conditions, or admit to being an ‘entertainment’ service rather than a dating platform. Such clauses are designed to exonerate owners in case of legal action.
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