How to Avoid Internet Dating Scams: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
Registries are in China, the United States and Panama. Small person companies in the UK own most of the Branded Dating sites. They appear to be shells, often with many having the same address in small offices in the UK. There are also companies in Cyprus, Spain, and the Netherlands.
The companies register most of the branded sites anonymously. However, it is possible to go to the billing site and get the company name and address. From that information, it is possible to look up the person in the U. She is quite a lovely woman. No Natasha, the internet is not anonymous.
With some poking around, it is possible to find the owners of companies in Spain and Cyprus. The owner is Vlad Bulgariu — a Romanian Surname. One of the other tricks I use is using the DomainBigData website to cross index and find what sites an individual or company owns. Vlad owns at least 8 branded dating sites:.
By looking at the IP address of the dating billing sites I can see 3 different locations. This could be one company with distributed operations or 3 different companies. The other clue is the fact that there are so many sites, that it must be concluded that it is not a small fly-by-night operation — it has to be substantial to handle the traffic and the customer service phone call volume. A lot of the owners register their sites anonymously in Panama. Registrations and hosting services are business expenses.
I contacted the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists The Panama Papers team to see if they had any information in this area. I never received any type of response. It was a long shot. Typically, if you have a web site that you want people to visit, you take measures to help search engines find you.
The subject of Search Engine Optimization is complex, and people make a living off of it — far beyond the scope of this article. The best way is via illustration. There will be some paid and relevant news items first. They do this by putting program code on their website that helps the search engine understand what it is seeing, and provide the most valuable results to the user.
Contrast that to these branded dating sites. They take specif action to tell search engines not to find them in the robots file robots. The first line an instruction that this section applies to all search engines. The second line tells a search engine to not index any pages on this site. This is not a default setting in a website. This website owners create this code. However because the site owners have instructed the search engines not to find them, it does not appear anywhere in the search results.
Obviously, I cannot look at sites, but I have looked at a few dozen. They are all the same. The website owners build the web page to be used this way. That web page, where you are really typing your information, contains only the basic data entry elements and the hidden text. Contrast that to any website where you are signing up for a service, where you have a full page of content that describes where you are and what you are doing. Said differently, the owner of the Branded Dating site created a page specifically for someone else to use to sign up to their site.
It is the key enabler of this deception. The sites use a geolocation service that looks at your internet protocol IP address and displays the city or area code where you connect to the internet. This makes it appear as if the woman is near you.
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A person across the country would see the same woman as near them as well. Disguised small print terms and conditions hyperlink. Most sites you cannot see this link. When you can, it is very small. A hyperlink appears in blue text by default, but these sites will override that and make it blend in to the surrounding text. Spelling out the amount of the charge. Again, on most sites, you cannot even see this part of the page.
These sites sometimes have a checkbox that is pre-checked for you to sign up for their premium service that does not look like a checkbox. The Branded Dating sites and click generators are fairly static. There is no telling how many of the Date Verification sites there are. They come and go.
As one site goes down, another pops up. The hosting company might take down a site if they receive a complaint. The owner will abandon a site when there is insufficient traffic. Often they will keep the same site name and title but the actual site and address URL will change. They have a sort of brand themselves.
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This is just an easy way for the scammer to create a new site. They copy the code from one site to the next, typos and all. Each of the sites individually, only have a small amount of traffic. Assembling the web traffic from each of the billing sites that I am aware of, cumulatively they receive about 55, clicks per day. This will be two kinds of traffic:. I cannot determine how many people are caught in the scam from this data. I can guess based on the number of people who search for these sites and click on my website. The search pattern and number of clicks is confidential, but it is more than per day.
There is never a direct connection between the Date Verification scam and the Branded Dating site. Here is an example of how the connections operate. This is a trace from the click generator uetrk. You can see there are a few middle-man type operations here. Eventually the click generator directs the customer to the branded dating site. I this instance, the site is hrtpndgliv. This arrangement will have multiple benefits. First, it generates traffic from multiple sources. Most importantly, there is no connection between the Branded Dating site owner and the date verification site.
Are dating verification sites real
Companies in the U. Regardless, it means that the sites do not follow the precautionary security measures that are required by most states in the U. Nor do they follow the required actions if there is a security breach of customer information. There is no age or date verification. The woman is a bot with a stolen picture. Usually a TinEye reverse image search produces results of the same picture in multiple places around the internet.
In some cases, if you dig deep enough you find that the sites have specific terms that state that they do not check the backgrounds of their members. I did not receive any responses. First, you are not alone. By analyzing search data of my site I know that there are thousands of people in the same situation. You might be a little embarrassed. You you need to act quickly. This is a high risk situation. I am sure that Vlad the Romanian is a fine upstanding Cypriot, and that Natasha from Fluffy Bunnies is the quite proper British subject, but you do not want them having your personal and financial information.
In contacting the website operators, you will need to provide them more personal information and proof of the transaction such as a transaction number, which you might not have. Without the transaction number, you will need to provide them some credit card information. Each step in this process provides this unknown, un-trusted entity more information about you. Just calling them gives them a phone number. My opinion… it is not reasonable to continue to interact with parties who have deliberately deceived you.
It is a pain, I know, but it is the only safe thing to do. Some of the scam date verification sites try to put code on your computer. My antivirus software often blocks the scam websites or some component within them. I have to override the settings it to see what is going on. There are so many of these sites that come and go, I do not know what is out there.
This is a lot of information and a lot to absorb. You are probably thinking, oh crap.
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That reaction is justified. I have put together a page to help you through this process. Thanks for this article. So I too have been duped, however, I canceled the card immediately, and have followed the rest of your advice here. Is there a way to simulate a video call by using some old cam footage or something?
The Age and Date Verification Scam
I get that they can find pics all over the internet, but the video really threw me. Anyway, I guess it can be done, but if you could confirm it, I would be grateful. I also found It interesting that they sent me about a dozen pics, half of which were easily tracked by tineye. But…she stuck to her story. Have you ever heard of times that they used real women to actually play the role and get some sort of commission?
Thank you again for this great info. The whole thing runs on a commission. In the date verification sites where you are signed up for a crappy dating site, the money flows back from a white label dating service, to the person who owns the crappy dating site, to the click generator, to the scammer. In the cam sites there are sometimes real girls who are getting paid.
It is a cascading bonus arrangement that encourages the girls to get new members. And yes, they can and do have the ability to simulate video that respond to your requests, so you could be talking to some guy in a basement somewhere. I told them I dont want it but they still say I have too get it. They claim because I have violated the terms they will come after me for several hundreds of dollars. But I dont what too pay only too have them get more personal info or just continue the harassment. Can they legally sue me for not wanting this ID and not filling it out or signing up. No, you are fine.
My account got hacked on multiple sites missing a couple hundred dollars looking to get refund froM all sites? It could end more than your card that has a problem. I recommend that you read and follow the instructions on this post: First…and foremost…thanks for your time and efforts to put a vast amount of time into this. Secondly… I had found two of these culprits on a bank statement about a year ago. Everything was taken care of in short order. Some are not so diligent. Yep it got me good, too good.
New to a dating site first time ever on one. Within the first hour I had 4 msgs from Different women I decided to accept the one from Washington, claiming to be visiting Canada for 2 weeks. My companion article will show you in detail what happens from a consumer perspective, and why I do not recommend contacting them any further: Unauthorized Credit Card Charges […]. My companion artilce will show you in detail what happens from a consumer perspective, and why I do not recommend contacting them any further: Unauthorized Credit Card Charges.
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Ronin December 10, They direct their victim to a date verification website that states clearly that there is no charge for the service The website has purposefully hidden or hard to find charges that sign up the victim for a rotating set of dating or pornography sites. What you see on the scam website The website presents a page that shows fake information about a woman, whom you can meet, but first you must verify.
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