January 24th, 2021

Be careful when using online dating sites

By Submitted Article on February 20, 2020.

Submitted by the Better

Business Bureau

Success stories in ads for online dating services can make it sound like true love is just a click away. However, in 2019 >the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 1,100 complaints about dating services. Concerns included billing and collection issues, poor customer service, refund issues, advertising or sales practices and difficulty cancelling the service due to automatic renewal.

While some consumers have found happiness using a dating service, others have been disappointed in the quality of matches or the number of suitable people they were able to meet using the service. Meeting people online may sound easy and safe, but consumers need to keep their guard up to avoid being swindled, hurt or worse.

Romance scams through social media and email are also quite common. Criminals posing as potential romantic “matches” may lead victims on for a while, then suddenly claim they’ve got big medical bills or some other emergency need for money. Some criminals are overseas, making it difficult for authorities to pursue them or for victims to get their money back. >

BBB offers the following advice on matchmaking and online dating services: >

Don’t fall in love with the advertising. >Be skeptical of claims such as “an exclusive network of people,” “for sincere daters only” or “beautiful singles like you.” >

Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. >Sales associates may tell you that a low price is only good for that day and ask you to sign a contract immediately. You should read the contract carefully and make sure you understand it, especially their payment and cancellation clauses. >

Know how to break up. >Consumers should not assume that they will stop being billed once the contract runs out. Many online dating sites automatically renew memberships. Usually you must call the company or send written instructions to avoid being billed again. Read cancellation policies before you sign up. >

Beware of demands by a match to send money. >Some scams that match men with foreign women typically include a request to send money to pay for a trip, using a wire transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union. The person never makes the trip, and the money can’t be recovered. >

Do your homework. >Ask to speak to other members or customers of the service about their experiences. Check a BBB Business Profile of the service by going online to bbb.org.

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