Let’s face it, we’ve all fallen for a scam or two along the years. Whether it was that nice Nigerian Prince asking for our help and promising us the moon later or that pop-up notification telling us we won something on that silly games site we visit more than we’d like to admit, we’ve all been fooled, duped, hoodwinked, tricked, deceived or bamboozled. Every day we go online, we’re basically signing an unwritten agreement that someone will play a trick on us and we’ll either fall for it or not. But, in the end, despite knowing all of this, we can’t help but get upset and make all our complaints public on every single forum we can find. Am I right or am I right?
In online dating as well, like over any social network, you can get scammed. But there’s also a lot of bad press going around because of competition between sites. Googling “Eastloveswest scam”, for example, will produce a couple of results – mostly complaints on forums about scam profiles on our website. Sometimes we know those posts were created by the competition and sometimes we find actual fake profiles that we immediately ban. The point is that bad reviews are sometimes honest and sometimes invented and you can never really know for sure until you try that particular website whose review you’re reading.
This is why we thought it’s essential to write this helpful guide on how to avoid getting scammed on online dating websites, either by the websites themselves or by the users or simply because you didn’t read the bottom line.
- Look for the websites that verify their accounts.
Fake accounts exist everywhere. Just think about the many fake profiles on social networks such as Facebook. Ever get added by random individuals with whom you have no friends in common? Well, most of those are fake profiles, created to give Likes and increase Page engagement. Yup, it happens even on the biggest social network out there, so you can be certain that fake profiles exist even on online dating websites.
There’s always a person behind these accounts, with creative back stories and well-researched photos, so it’s pretty hard to figure out that they’re fake. Most of the times the same person will have multiple accounts, so if you’re surprised you’re receiving the same messages from different people, now you know why. These fake profiles sometimes try to scam users directly, either for money or to send them to various websites and get them to sign up. When and if you notice any inadequacies, inform the website you’re on immediately and if they have a good Support system, they will investigate the accounts and ban them if any suspicious activity is found. Make print screens of your conversations and write in detail why you think that account is suspicious.
Eastloveswest.com for example has a team dedicated to verifying the validity of accounts. We go through the photos of newly created accounts, as well as their info (age, ethnicity, name – if mentioned) and look for discrepancies in the information. If we encounter any, we ask those individuals for scans of their IDs in order to verify their identity. Of course, a professional scammer who has thousands of accounts has already gone through this process several times on various sites. He’s got his back covered, whether it’s by creating fake IDs or getting copies of real ones. Even when websites verify their accounts, it’s easy to have one or two slip through the cracks. It also takes time to manually verify every account so a scammer or two can easily do their business while we sort them out. Still, by opting for the websites that do this kind of verification, you lower your chances of getting duped.
Just remember that if you encounter any suspicious activity on our websites, report it ASAP to [email protected]. You’ll be helping yourself, us and others as well. Whereas, when you leave a complaint on a different website, it might take longer for us to find it. We actively search for these, but new content can sometimes take weeks or months to get indexed by Google, and we’d like to help you out faster than that.
- Read the bottom line when making purchases.
It’s free to register on Eastloveswest.com, for example, but we do offer special features for premium accounts, such as unlimited messaging with all members, the ability to unlock private photos, sharing of social media accounts and much more. Sometimes, however, like with every online dating website, users aren’t necessarily satisfied with our premium offers. Since we can’t promise you’ll find exactly the person you’re looking for (friend, long-term partner or hook-up), we can’t promise that these features will provide you with anything more than a better context of communication.
This is one of the reasons why users sometimes complain about paying for their special memberships. The fact of the matter is that we’re offering you exactly what we advertise: those premium features. We are not an escorting service, nor do we have any control over how other users will respond to your proposals. If you get rejected, it is not the dating site’s fault. In this sense, once you’ve used your premium features, even if it’s been for one day, we cannot offer you a refund. Whether or not those features have gotten you what you wanted, you still used them.
- Keep a calendar of your purchases.
Most online dating websites that offer paid plans, including ours, function via recurring payment. What this means is that every month, three months, 6 months or year, you will get instantly rebilled for a new period of premium membership. We often get complaints regarding this that Eastloveswest is scamming their users, which is simply untrue. On our premium page, we list every payment option we have, as well as the fact that it is a recurring payment. You can cancel it any time during your premium memberships, which means that it will not recur.
This is why we think it’s important you keep a calendar of your membership. Do it on your phone or on a post-it or notebook, just keep it close by. You can also put an alarm notification on your phone that will pop-up three days prior to your membership recurrence. If you’re satisfied with your purchase, you can let it slide, but if you’d rather not be a premium member anymore, you can cancel your membership directly on the website from your dashboard. You’re in control of your payment schedule. Online dating websites aren’t trying to trick you; they’re just trying to make their payment system as fast, efficient and user-friendly as possible. This is why recurring payment plans exist. As for an Eastloveswest.com scam, well, now you know there’s nothing like that going on.
- Websites go down. Don’t get upset, ask for benefits!
Another complaint we see all the time is about online dating websites crashing. This happens all the time with all websites. Even Facebook has been known to go down a couple of times. People will, of course, get upset because of this. Maybe they wanted to chat with someone; maybe they had something urgent to say or maybe they took a day off to rest and flirt. Whatever the reason, someone’s always upset when their favorite dating sites go down.
Websites crashing is a common occurrence. Some sites get hacked, some fall once every full moon because of large amounts of traffic, while some get moved to new servers and could crash several times during the same week. Instead of getting upset or writing complaints, we suggest you take a more proactive approach! Ask for some benefits.
Eastloveswest.com has had its fair share of crashes, especially when we receive traffic from all over the world and we’re forced from one week to the next to switch to more capable servers. This is why the site has gone down a couple of times. We’ve tried to accommodate all our users, but sometimes we cannot know how such a crash has affected you. We’ve had users write to us and we’ve offered them free trials and premium memberships to compensate for these issues, so if you encountered any problems when your favorite online dating website has gone down, whether it was Eastloveswest.com or another, simply write to the support team and see what benefits you could receive.
- Sometimes you’ll get scammed, but it won’t be the website’s fault.
Like we mentioned in the first tip, even when a website verifies their user accounts, fake profiles can slip in. Eastloveswest.com and other dating websites have no control over your interactions with these users. This is why we are not liable for fake members scamming you. Certainly, we’re always on hand to help you out and ban suspicious users, but we do require your help as well in order to do so. Inform us at any time of any shady activity that’s going down at [email protected] and we’ll try to manage the situation as quickly as possible.
To conclude, online dating websites are intermediaries between you and other individuals. As with any communication medium, misunderstandings can occur and it’s as much your responsibility as it is the website’s to stop suspicious profiles from getting away with scams. Keep your eyes open and so will Eastloveswest.com!