Dating Sites that are Scams: How to Spot them and Protect Yourself?

Do you need to know if there is any list of dating sites that are scams? And you want to avoid being scammed in the online romance world? So, keep reading; in this guide, I’ll show you how to spot a bad dating site and know if you’re dealing with someone who wants to steal your personal information, or money, or cause other issues in your life.

So, don’t trust what you find on apps and sites like Tinder, POF, eHarmony, OkCupid, or even; there is no safe dating site anymore. Even if the company behind the app or the platform is a good one, romance dating scammers can always find a way to get into their database of users and hide their real identities.

So, others won’t even notice that they’re chatting with bad guys and girls. Now, here is how to tell if dating sites are scams or legitimate.

Signs of scam dating sites

Somebody sends you a message or likes your photo

This is one of the most obvious signs to tell if a dating site is a scam or not. If you create your account and after a few minutes, you get messages or emails that someone sent you text or details, don’t reply. They do that to show you that someone is attracted to you, and so that guy or female wants to hear from you.

Then, they play the psychological dating game to attract your attention and force you to upgrade your dating account in order to read their fake messages. Then, you’ll find that they get your money, and a robot will keep sending you those sexy messages that everybody else receives.

Scam dating sites send fake messages
 A scam dating site will send you fake messages

Additionally, you may receive emails telling you that a dating site user liked your photo or wants to chat with you; then, they’ll show you that famous upgrade page. If you get any of these things, just forget about it. It’s another scam dating platform you should stay away from.

New dating sites

How many times have you joined dating sites in the past? If you’re one of those who create lots of profiles on these sites, then, forget about them; you’re not the first one. There are hundreds of scam dating sites that bubble up each year, and luckily many of them don’t even see the light because good users reported them as being scammers. So, the web hosting company or the FBI can take action and stop that site from stealing people’s information and details if not money, directly.

If you find a dating site, and you like it, don’t skip verifying its history and check the Internet for scam alerts. Then, visit that website’s homepage and read their footer section. You may see the copyright notification about the first year they started the site. If that is not an old established site and you can see it’s from a few days or months ago, then, you should not use it until you’re 100% sure it’s trusted and certified to do business in the romance and dating world.

Few users

A dating site with few users is a sign of a scam, that’s because no one will join such a site if there are hundreds of users there. So, they should do their marketing to attract more people from the dating business.

If you search for some list of fake dating sites, you may not find them because these guys create different domains after people uncover their truth. So, don’t rely on what others tell you about where you should go online to find good dating sites.

Do your online research and see the history of the site, then examine the layout of their site and ask yourself if that’s a website you can trust or not. Just look at their social media presence and see if that dating site has a profile on Facebook and Twitter or not; if they don’t have one, then probably, they’re not been in business for many years.

No one is talking about them

If you search Google for the dating site you’ve doubts about, and you find no review, no comments, and not a single piece of information about them, then, that’s possibly another dating site scam that will stop working soon.

These scammers always change the name of their sites or apps, and then, when lots of people report them to federal agencies in the US, Canada, the UK or Australia, and New Zealand, they just shut it down and move to another domain name.

Next, they update a little information on the site and start another fraud. So, if you see that the site you want to verify is new, don’t create a profile and skip it until you see what others are saying about it. It could be the next online dating scam site.

They ask you for instant upgrades

This is true in most cases, if you signed up for a dating site and just after creating your account they bombard you with promotional offers and upgrading notifications, then, it’s probably a scam site. That’s because most trusted dating sites let their users explore the platform and know how it works. Then, some of these companies offer trials for their dating sites for a limited period of time like 3 days or so.

That way, the user can see that the site works and most profiles are real guys and girls who verified their photos and identities.

Is there any trusted dating site?

I don’t want to tell you that there are no legitimate dating sites. There are a couple of options that you can choose from. However, there is no guarantee that you won’t find fake profiles there and scammers among the good people on their databases.

So, the real question should be how to protect yourself when using online dating sites such as Facebook dating, Plenty Of Fish, Badoo, Zoosk, and others. Then, make sure you apply the following tips that are proven to let millions of users fight against romance scammers in the US and in other countries. So, here is what you can do to protect yourself when using online dating sites.

Always do online research about the user

Whenever you find someone on dating sites, and you exchange text or show interest in each other, you should do an online background search about him or her. Some sites let you do that for free, but they don’t show any useful information in the end. However, paid background check tools can tell you more about that dating site profile such as their name, location, history, and if they lie or not because you see a full search report.

Next time, when you need to tell if someone on a dating site is fake or real, just type their full name or username in a search box of a background check system or even in Google and see if they hide things. Don’t be surprised to find that the person you chat with on or is not the one you expect, but he’s not even a girl but a guy from another country who already scammed others and vice versa.

Don’t trust guys on dating sites because many of them are girls who know how to attract men directly to their profile pages and steal their money and personal information later. Always verify their details.

Never share personal details

Your real name, home address, email, and phone number are your personal information that you should never share with anyone on dating sites especially. Scammers know that these valuable details can help them steal your identity or get access to your online profiles like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, and then they do what they want.

Now, even if you feel that the person you talked to on a specific dating site like Tinder or POF seems like a real one, never ever show them your real name or photos until you chat via video call with them or meet them in person.

Video call to spot scam sites
 If they don’t accept video calls, it’s a scam dating user

Don’t send your real photos

Stop sharing your real photos on social media and also on dating sites, we’re in the age of data breaches, and one day, someone will use your name, phone number, and even photos to create a fake dating profile and scam others just like you.

Thus, if you think that you like someone on dating sites, always verify their name or username with one of the best background check sites that works well for dating sites. These sites can show you who that mysterious user on dating sites is with a real name, location, social media profile, and even fraud alerts if there are any.

Never send money on dating sites

Sending money to someone on a dating site because they asked you for that and pretending to be in need is a big mistake. You need to understand that scammers especially from West Africa and other places are using dating sites to steal money from users who know nothing about the way these bad guys think.

For that reason, once someone on a dating app tries to show you how miserable he or she’s doing in life, just block them and report their profiles to the site. No one signs up for dating sites to tell others about their difficulties in life, and if somebody is doing that, that’s because they want to make you feel sad about them and do something as a favor. You shouldn’t do that if you really want to be safe when using dating sites.

Use a secondary email address and number

This is what you need to be aware of when using online dating sites, you should not use your real cell phone number and email address when signing up. Instead, use another number you have or just get a second phone number from an online service that you can change anytime you want. Burner phone numbers protect your identity, and no one will be able to spoof the number or steal your ID and other details.

Also, use another email like Gmail and always use a VPN when exchanging email directly with dating site users or ask your online dating app customer support if you can log in using a VPN. If they approve the use of a VPN, that’s what you should do to protect your real IP and other details.

Carefully read the person’s profile details

If you really care about your online safety and details, you should take this step seriously. If someone on dating sites sends you a request or contact details, don’t jump to the conclusion that they like you or want to be friends with you. Most of these users who send requests to others are scammers. What you can do instead is check their dating profile details like bio description, photos, and other details.

Next, copy their photos and search Google for them, you may find that it’s someone else, and the user on that scam dating site is using another person’s picture he got from Google Images. With Google Images, you can search by the dating profile image, just click on that photo, then save it in your local laptop or phone folder, or copy its URL and insert it into the Google Images search, then, see who is behind it in the search results.


These are some but not all the signs to spot scam dating sites and know if someone on those romance dating apps is trying to steal your personal details or money. Always keep in mind that by searching the name of the user on Google or through a background check tool, you’ll see who that user is in the real world, and get their social media profiles if they are available and public records or even found through private databases. Then, make sure to fill out a fraud report on any scam dating site or fake profile.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

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