Why are there so many scammers in online dating?

Gee, maybe it’s because there are so many gullible victims there.

Helmet

It’s a well known fact that online dating is full of scammers, dishonest people trying to get money or just wasting your time with their fake profiles or playing on your emotions with insincere romantic promises. OK, so there are many people on online dating who are dishonest, a little or a lot, but why? What are the reasons?

Reason # 1

One of the big reasons for much of online dating dishonesty is how easy it is for people to disguise and misrepresent their physical selves on the internet. That tall, handsome man’s profile could really be a short, fat guy. Same for the beautiful lady: she could could be very physically unattractive… or worse, a man! Everybody wants to look good, so what’s wrong with a photo that’s out of date or has been “slightly” photo shopped? Hmmm, I wonder.

Reason # 2

Another reason that attracts dishonest people to online dating is that it’s a great way to actually live out “other dimension” fantasies and construct whole “other” lives they can share and talk about with online contacts. Their victims have no idea what they’re learning about the other person is all made up.

Now, I’m not a mountain climber, nor do I want to be (I’m afraid of heights!), but I guess maybe once I connected with someone online, I could tell them I climbed Mount Everest (but didn’t have the photos and would show them some other time). Or maybe tell them I was a military veteran, decorated for bravery, but really didn’t want to talk about it. The false lives and lies to support them can be big or small, but they are limited only by the imagination and creativity of the dishonest people.

Reason # 3

However, the most serious dishonesty operating in online dating comes from those scammers seeking money or worse. (Remember, there are criminals and sex offenders lurking online.) The reason these types are busy hunting on online dating sites is that so many online daters are emotionally vulnerable and easy to be taken advantage of. Many of these “victims” turn to online dating , because they’re just coming out of a relationship, marriage, etc. They are scared, hopeful, maybe desperate to find that perfect someone for them. And they are super vulnerable for the “pros,” who are just cruising the internet like sharks looking for them.

And that brings us to the example below.

A scary “scammer” story and proof that some people just don’t learn

An Australian man spent more than $20,000 funding scam artists he thought were in love with him, now has plans to propose to his girlfriend in the Philippines, whom he believes is the real thing.

I’m not making this up!  And I’m using this example to show how people how people can get scammed MULTIPLE TIMES, and still believe in online dating.

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The young Aussie is Ben Ivey. He’s 32 years old, looks normal and has been scammed out of    $20,000 by three women over three years.

The reason he gives is his emotional vulnerability at the time: “I think the reason why I got  scammed three times was because of my loneliness and I just wanted to have someone to  love  and I was prepared to do what I could to make the women happy.”

The scammers are smart, and know how to play on a person’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Ben said, “Every time they asked me for money, I told them about the previous scammer and how upset I was by that, but they assured me it wouldn’t happen again. I believed every time this would come true, but it didn’t.”

Now he AGAIN thinks he’s found his perfect partner online and is going to the Philippines to meet her and her family. We’ll probably never know if there’s a good ending to his online search, but we know for sure his story is a good illustration of what happens when expert scammers catch a victim they can take great advantage of.

For the full article.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe learned some things from it. Remember, the best way to protect yourself from online dating scammers, is to use a reputable matchmaking agency like us, at Asian Western Love.

Please visit us here and follow us on Twitter @asianwesternlov

 

 

 

 

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Online Dating Sites’ Numbers Don’t Mean Anything

“There are now 274,557 registered members…4,323 online now.

                                                                          “Largest Asian dating site; over two million members.”

“Largest Thai dating site; over one million members.”

                                                     “Join 544,422 members at the biggest free site…”

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Online dating sites like to throw around a lot numbers…BIG numbers. Now any time you see a BIG number from an online dating site, remember there are a few things you need to take into account.

First of all, even if these numbers were absolutely true (which they’re not), they are all wildly inflated. Now, some would call that “marketing”, not lying. It really doesn’t matter anyway if you’re looking for a serious, single partner for a long term relationship. Scammers and serial daters need a large prospect audience. You, on the other hand, just need the RIGHT ONE, so it’s almost like a larger membership is not good news, because it means you are going to have to sift through more WRONG ONES.

A second word of caution just to keep you in the real world: when you see a claim of so many “xxxx members online now,” disregard it unless you don’t have a subscription to an online chat service and just want to “chat” with someone right now. First of all, again, these numbers are usually more or less made up. And what does it matter to you (unless you’re really lonely and don’t have the latest chat app on your device)?

And last, but not least, understand what the words that connect to the BIG numbers claims really could mean. “Registered,” “active,” “verified,” etc. sound good when these words are connected to “members,” but actually could mean nothing. A member could have “registered” five years ago, never formally cancelled the free level of their membership and still be counted in the giant pool of “registered” members. Words are just words on these sites, and can be applied very generally.

If you are serious about carefully finding your special someone, you should consider a matchmaking service like ours, Asian Western Love. We take an approach to your needs and interests that doesn’t rely on thousands of “possible” chances. We don’t see your relationship search as the lottery with comparable BIG numbers. You only need to find the right ONE, and having to sort through thousands doesn’t make that any easier or successful.

 

Confused by All the Special “Niche” Online Dating Sites?

ConfusedWell, if you are confused, no one could blame you, since it seems there are dating sites for just about every “niche” under the sun. These sites say they specialize in matching individuals that share some overriding common characteristic or interest: Gay (and separately “Lesbian”), Millionaire, “Sugar Daddies” (although maybe that one should go with “Millionaires), Christian (and I’m sure there’s one for “Atheists”), Single Parents, etc. etc. etc.

I think you get the idea —there’s unlimited ways to slice the dating “pie”. Of course you can always go with the big, monster online sites like Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, even Tinder, but they’ve got their own problems, so maybe you’re considering going “niche ” i.e. targeted.

Below I’ll share just a few niche players that seem to be relatively established, just to give you the idea. Then I’ll add a couple newbies that stretch the envelope, so to speak, and prove that there are people trying to connect people with almost any interest.

And then, we’ll give you our take at Asian Western Love on whether you should even wade into the “online dating scene,” using a large or small site. Or maybe consider matchmaking as the better alternative way to find your “Right One.”

Millionaire Match  (http://www.millionairematch.com/) — All right! Here’s where you can find those rich partners who will make all your dreams come true…well maybe, if they’re not a sociopath and if they didn’t lie on their financial profile.

Disabled/Handicapped (http://disabledfriendsdate.com/) — This is actually a kind of nice site for those that want a partner that shares a disability with them. Of course, there’s nothing to say that they couldn’t find willing partners on the more general sites, who are happy to overlook whatever disability they have.

Geeks  (http://www.gk2gk.com/)  — Guess this proves there’s someone for everyone. Who knows? When they get meet, maybe they can share a gigabyte together. I know. Bad joke.

OK, those are pretty tame, but now to stretch the envelope here are two sites that, again, prove there’s something for everyone.

Extramarital/Cheaters  (https://www.ashleymadison.com/) Have no idea if there really is an “Ashley Madison,” but if you’re planning to cheat on your spouse, this appears to be the place to go. They’ve been around some time, so they are apparently successful and must be a good number of unfaithful husbands and wives out there.

Marijuana Smokers (http://420singles.net/) This is a new site and coincides with the pressure for legalizing Marijuana that’s  sweeping across the U.S. Wonder if it’s important to know/like more about your potential partner than they just like to smoke grass and sit around stoned all day? Guess that would cut down on domestic arguments, but two people with the munchies all the time might just blow the grocery budget.

So what do we at Asian Western Love think about the niche AND general online dating sites? Well, surprise, surprise. We think using any of them, or any ONLINE approach is a risky, time-wasting effort. We believe that you stand to gain more, have no risk by using a reputable MATCHMAKER. People-to-people drive the process of finding your life partner, not computer touch screens or keyboards. We can help you.

Please follow us on Twitter  @AsianWesternLov

 

Popular U.S. relationship columnist gets a female reader’s advice on what makes a good man’s online dating profile.

Saw this the other day and thought many guys might benefit from it. “Dear Abby“, is a syndicated newspaper column that’s been around forever, but we men can’t argue that the lady reader’s suggestions aren’t good.

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MEN POSTING PROFILES ON DATING SITES COULD USE A FEW TIPS
By Abigail Van Buren
June 17, 2014 1:00 AM
Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: May I sit in your chair and give some advice today? It’s aimed at men who place ads on dating sites and then wonder why they can’t meet “quality” women.

I’m an educated, decent-looking, middle-aged widow who has dated quite a lot through such ads and local social groups. Yes, it can be a jungle out there, but the Internet is a wonderful tool for bringing people together.

I live in a small town, and the pool of eligible men is smaller here than in metropolitan areas. That said, there are few profiles that attract my attention and that of my divorced/widowed friends.

Gentlemen, some pointers:

1. Smile! A dour expression is unpleasant.

2. We may want to see you with your shirt off after we get to know you, but it’s not the most appealing or refined pose for a first look.

3. Be realistic. If you are Joe Average, we Jane Averages would enjoy meeting you. Are you really going to hold out for a model who is a decade or so younger than you?

4. Be kind to the English language. You don’t have to be a genius, but it would be nice to know you can competently communicate in writing.

5. Consider a shave. Some women like men with facial hair; the majority of the ones I know do not. About 75 percent of men over 50 have a mustache, beard or both. What are you hiding under there?

6. If you’re married and miserable, for goodness sake, go for marriage counseling or get a divorce. But please don’t deceive women who want to meet a nice guy to share life with.

In case you think I’m being too harsh, we gals welcome any suggestions from men who scroll through those female profiles looking for love. — SURFING IN PETERSBURG, ILL.

DEAR SURFING: I’m printing your letter, and I’m sure the reaction will be interesting. The No. 1 complaint I’ve heard about Internet dating has to do with misrepresentation on both sides of the gender divide.

Full article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Dating Giants Spending More and More on Advertising — What Does It Mean?

Media sources report the two biggest online dating players, Match and eHarmony are cranking up their media advertising in 2014.

matcheHarmony

 

According to media tracking service, iSpot, through May 31, the online dating industry has spent more than $214 million on national TV spots in 2014, dramatically more than the $241 million for the full year in 2013. Of the 2014 total, the top five brands account for nearly 95% of total spending.

And of that greatly increased TV advertising spending, two brands, Match and eHarmony, together spent $130 million or over 60% of the industry TV spending in just the first five months of 2014.

So we have increasing total industry spending and giant increases in TV for the two leading players.

What can it mean?

1. Online dating is a large and, evidently, continually growing industry.

2. The top five online dating brands want to capture some of that growing customer audience.

3. Match and eHarmony each want to maintain a strong competitive position versus the other.

What it also means:

Online dating has some characteristics that are almost a bit like a scam. With claimed “member” totals infiltrated by scammers and inflated by counting those who have left the sites and “gone missing” and are inactive, online marketers need to continually attract new users to replace those lost from their proverbial “leaky bucket.”

That’s why many who have tried online dating to find a meaningful, long term relationship feel they are being emotionally churned about without any real progress toward their goal. Of course, from the industry perspective it’s all good, because each one of those people counts as a MEMBER!

And that folks is why the industry HAS to keep aggressively marketing its services. They need the NUMBERS, when it comes to member counts. Not successful relationships, not satisfied members, but large and increasing member totals … and those are increased by marketing and one of the most successful marketing tools is television advertising!

So there you have it. Big brands in online dating advertise a lot to keep their member totals up. And as their member databases grow, don’t you feel better about finding your special someone among them? I didn’t think so.

There’s got to be a better way ….and there is.

Stay tuned and please follow us on Twitter: @AsianWesternLov

 

 

 

 

What do “tigers” have to do with online dating?

Tiger_Profiles

Evidently, at least in the United States, many guys have started adding photos of themselves, posing with a tiger, to their online dating profiles.

The Wall Street Journal reports there’s been an big increase of tigers in men’s profiles on online dating websites.  Whether the idea is to just be different, suggest he’s well traveled, a brave guy or something else, the use of tigers in online dating profiles seems to be reaching almost epidemic levels, with more and more big cats showing up in profiles of guys hoping to connect.

Now, we recognize everyone wants to stand out in their online dating profile, seem special and different…in a good way. However, if you’re using a tiger photo to juice up your appeal, and a large a large number of competing profiles are too, then the risk is you seem to be “just one of the guys,” and worse, lacking any real creativity. Then again, if you are a safari hunter in Africa, maybe it works.

In the Wall Street Journal article, one female user of a dating site reported the more tigers she saw online, the less original the photos seemed. She now compares tiger photos with writing “I love to laugh” on a dating profile—a cliché and, for her, an automatic rejection.

Our advice is it goes to show that you need to make your online profile uniquely and sincerely about YOU, not the photo set, props, or location. And maybe, just maybe, that means less is more.

Then again, it doesn’t seem that elephants are being used much in online dating profiles … yet!

 

 

 

 

In online dating it’s not good to catch a “Catfish.”

The highly respected United States reference resource, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate® Dictionary, has added new words for 2014, including catfish “a term that refers to a person who sets up a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes”. To be included in the dictionary’s annually announced new content, a word must be used and understood by a significant number of people.

catfish

Gee, if a lot of people using online dating services know and understand this new word, it probably means there’s a problem, don’t you think?

How to spot ONLINE LIARS.

I wrote a post a few days ago that highlighted some of the dangers and disadvantages of “online dating.”  The two major negative points were: 1) the extensive presence of downright “scammers” and 2) users that misrepresented themselves in their profiles or email exchanges, e.g. marital status, physical attributes, age,  income, etc.

liars

Now, it’s pretty hard to catch an online liar right off, especially if you can’t see them or research their claims and self-descriptions. However, Elizabeth Bernstein’s recent Wall Street Journal article on “How to Tell If Someone Is Lying to You in an Email,” provides a number of tips to give you an at least a fighting chance to detect when an online acquaintance is being less than honest.  Things to look for include the omission of personal pronouns and references, hedging or changes in subject when asked something and changing tenses in the middle of an exchange. There are many more, but for that you should read the article.

There should be a better, safer way to meet new people rather than online … and there is.
I will post about it in coming posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good news and bad news about “online dating”.


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Online dating is very popular these days. In fact, if you believe the Pew Research report from February, 2014, (conducted in the United States, but the results probably reflect most developed countries) more than 20% of under-35 young adults have used an online dating service, with 6-8% of older adults also saying they did.

That’s good news, right? Well, not necessarily. Before you put all your hopes in the online relationship sweepstakes, think about what’s good and bad in doing so.

The Good News

  1. There are MILLIONS of people who “appear” to be online, saying they’re looking (just like you) for a relationship. That’s a pretty big talent pool, even at the “older” end. Obviously, everyone on planet Earth who’s online is not going to be geographically of interest, but in the U.S. alone, research from StatisticBrain.com  claims there are over 40 million who have tried online dating.
  2. You can meet total strangers, while you’re dressed in your underwear or less. Yep, that’s one of the good things about doing most anything online, from dating to shopping to…well, you know. No need to get dressed up, burn gas to meet or buy dinner. Just click your mouse.
  3. There is no Number 3 under “Good News,” so let’s get right to the “Not-So-Good News” about online dating.

The Not-So-Good or Downright BAD News

  1. Online dating is THE place for what are called “scammers.” And “scammers,” in this sense, definitely are not looking for a relationship. They only are looking to get something from you, and it is NOT love … money, sex, gifts, sympathy, etc. Dating online is the perfect place to work their scam. They don’t have to be truthful and can pretend they are someone they are not. Their victims many times are emotionally vulnerable, maybe lonely or recovering from a previous break up or loss.
  2. Although there are a lot of people registered with online dating services, there is a large segment of them who really aren’t seriously looking for a relationship, or may be just “playing around.”  While not scammers, these people are just time-wasters. In fact that same Pew Research above says that 33% of those online have NEVER gone on a date with someone they met online. They may be married or seriously committed, and just like to play pretend-games anonymously after their husband or wife has gone to bed. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of them. They may chat back and forth online for an long time, but they never plan on meeting in person.
  3. Many online dating services show large numbers of members as active, but they’re not. They may have given up looking, found someone and gotten married or died. Whatever the reason and wherever they’ve gone, this practice keeps the dating service’s “total members” numbers high, but it’s very misleading. And once registered with a service, they can make it very hard to delete your account and profile. Personal note: I’ve been married over three years, tried (unsuccessfully) to delete two online accounts I had, and I STILL receive “interested ” queries from members seeing my (apparently still active ) profile.
  4. Inaccurate or downright false profiles/descriptions. Oh really, who would lie, fib, exaggerate (choose the verb you prefer) about their profile. Well, as it turns out …most everybody. Some are big lies, some are small ones, but everyone wants to present themselves in the most favorable light. Men lie most about their age, height, or income; women lie most about their weight, body type and age.

Well there you have some things to think about. Online dating is BIG and EASY. It can also be misleading, disappointing and, careful please, potentially dangerous (StatisticBrain: 10% of sex offenders use online dating to meet people).

Is there a better way to avoid some of this bad news and meet people who are real and sincerely  interested in a long term, serious relationship? Yes there is, and we’ll tell you about it in some upcoming posts.