When you are using a dating or marriage website, the following could be potential red flags and I would urge you to proceed with caution and a firm hand on your wallet. The latter is not necessarily because the girl may ask you for money, but because you could end up spending a lot of money sending letters or using chat services to converse with a girl that is not serious. Remember, these sites always focus on “scammers” that ask for money, but the reality is, men waste considerably more money on communicating with girls and paying for website services such as translation, letters, chat and webcam. None of these pointers are definitive, but based on personal experience and the feedback I have received via this blog; they are an excellent indication of a red flag.
1. Check the profile pictures. Does it consist entirely of professional photographs? If the answer to this is yes, it is possible that these photos have been lifted from one of the many modelling sites on the internet and the individual behind the computer is someone completely different…and yes, it could also be a man. If you are suspicious and can’t see the girl on a webcam, ask for some ‘natural’ everyday photos.
2. Check the photos carefully. The use of “Photoshop” or its equivalents in Eastern Europe is commonplace. Contrary to popular myth, women in Eastern Europe age exactly the same as women in the rest of the world, but the use of photo enhancing software is commonly used to remove lines, blemishes and anything else that is considered unattractive. This does not mean the girl or the woman is a scammer, but it is a form of deception and, from a potential partner’s perspective, you want to see the real person, not an enhanced version. Once again, if in doubt and if you are interested in the girl, ask for a natural photo, preferable posed with friends or family.
3. Are the majority of the photos of the girl in scantily clad or in suggestive poses? If the answer is yes, you can be fairly certain that no self-respecting girl from Eastern Europe would sell herself this way. At least not if she was serious about looking for a future partner. These photos are designed to catch the eye and reel in naive men…and yes, it works. But these girls know that. Again, this is not a definitive indication of someone that is not serious, but it is certainly a red flag.
4. It is not uncommon to find that girls who are working for the local agencies are actually being paid a commission on income generated from men. As a consequence, some will set up fake profiles, especially if the website employs poor or non-existent identity checks or if they leave this aspect to the local agencies. Often, these identities are lifted from social networking sites such as VKontakte.com and Odnoklassniki.ru. Unless the website offers a webcam service, it is difficult to determine a fake profile from a genuine one. If you are suspicious it is worth asking the girl to send you a photo with something specific contained in it, perhaps a particular colour dress or with something (or someone) in the background or foreground that you determine.
If they have been lifting photos from a social networking site, this could prove difficult, though not impossible. Don’t accept excuses such as they don’t have a camera, girls in Eastern Europe love taking photos and you can be assured that they will have either their own camera, or access to one. In fact, the vast majority of girls have mobile phones with inbuilt cameras and, or a webcam that can take photos. The best advice I can give is of the girl resists or gets angry (a very common form of defence by Eastern European girls), is to save your money and walk away.
5. Another indication of a site filled with scammers and/or girls that are being paid a commission to communicate is the number of unsolicited letters or messages you receive, not just in the first few days of your membership, but also on a daily basis, especially when you are online. When you are on the site, the chances are you will go through the profiles and then contact a few girls you are interested in; this is a ‘normal’ approach.
Now read the unsolicited letters you have received. There is a very high possibility that these are generic in content, for example, they may not refer to you by name, they will most likely not relate to any personal information given in your own profile (hobbies, common interests, status etc), these letters will often include questions that you have already provided answers to in your own profile, they may be short, perhaps a question such as “Do you prefer girls that are blonde or brunette?” and if the website offers chat services, you can be fairly certain you will receive an invitation, because this generates income very quickly for the site, agency and more often than not, the girls. Let me make something quite clear, whilst some girls from Eastern Europe will be forward enough to make the first move they truly are a tiny minority, the vast majority, and I cannot stress this too highly, will expect and indeed demand that they are wooed and pursued.
Some girls will send out hundreds of letters as bait in the hope that a few naive men will respond and the reality is, this approach works. The best approach to use when communicating with these girls is to be a complete sceptic, these girls rely on the fact that men can be incredibly naive when contacted by an attractive girl and/or would not want to offend. Many of the girls that are on these sites just to earn a living are carefully coached and they know exactly how to exploit our weaknesses. I have spoken to two girls that were being paid a commission and they both told me that if they are willing to work at it, especially if they are using more than one profile, they could earn excellent commission through letters, without ever having to use chat or a webcam.
It is also worth remembering that many of these girls are incredibly lazy (or busy), therefore it is not uncommon for them to send very short letters which include questions and therefore require a response from the man. This can be very lucrative for the girls, especially if they start to use the letters as a form of chat message. Also, because the scammers are likely to be communicating with other men, they often get confused, ‘forgetting’ things you have previously told them. Beware, unsolicited letters, generic letters and short letters are a good indication that the girl is either not serious, or she is writing to many other men.
I can recall that on one occasion, two different girls, from different cites (3 months apart) described an identical car accident they had “witnessed”. On the first occasion, this traumatic event demanded a sympathetic response from me and we exchanged several letters. Obviously on the second occasion, I realised that it was a ‘war story’ shared between the girls. It doesn’t matter how streetwise we think we are, we are all capable of being gullible and guilty of being too trusting. Girls earning commission know this only too well and they exploit these weaknesses with no sense of remorse, we are just “rich Westerners”.
I can name one very well known website that runs regular competitions, with great prizes, for girls who generate the most letters or chat minutes. So, for the most part, you can ignore all the assurances given by website owners, this is just a lucrative business enterprise and as long as they don’t get too much negative publicity, they will encourage girls to engage men in conversation, not to find a partner, but to fill their coffers. Website owners can honestly state that they don’t pay the girls any form of commission, I am sure that this is true, however, they know that their local agencies can or do…and they simply turn a blind eye to it, only reacting if someone complains and there is irrefutable proof. You have been warned.
6. It is also worth looking at profile numbers to try and work out how long a girl has been on a particular dating site. On Jump4Love for example, there are girls that have been active on this site for 2 years or more. I ask you, is it really possible that an attractive girl can’t find a partner in 2 years? Of course, some of these accounts may have been reactivated, as is possible with some dating sites, but this is an open door for local agencies to deceive because additional checks by the websites are rarely, if ever made. Local agents can choose to reactivate an account and allow a different girl to sit behind the computer, yes it happens…and a lot more often than you would expect. This active account can then be used with virtual impunity for chat (without webcam) and letters.
7. Many girls will have you believe that they can only communicate with you via the marriage agency’s computers or in a cybercafé. Perhaps this is so, but the vast majority of these facilities include web cameras, so if the dating site offers a webcam facility, don’t be suckered into believing that the girl “doesn’t have a webcam”. Not having access to a webcam can normally be considered a very strong indicator that the girl has something to hide and it may be, for example, that the person you are communicating with is not the same as the one depicted in the profile. It is worth noting that the majority of local agencies use laptops with built in webcams. I know, for example, that many girls ask their friends at the agency to cover for them, so one girl may be responding to letters and chat messages for several other girls.
Even if you chat to a girl using a webcam, it is worth noting that some girls will go to great lengths to disguise their identity. This could be because they only have similar characteristics to the girl on the profile and/or because the photos have been so heavily doctored, that they no longer look the same. I have read several posts from men who have complained that the girl they have seen on a webcam barely resembles the one depicted in their profile photos. I also recall one girl telling me how she was “embarrassed” by the portfolio photos provided by her agency photographer, because they has been so heavily doctored, that everyone though she was or Oriental extraction. I kid you not!
For anyone that doubts it is possible to disguise their true identities I can reveal that tricks used to do this include adding transparent tape to the camera lens to distort the image. This clever trick gives the impression that the camera is of poor quality. Another common trick is to use poor lighting, or perhaps a combination of the two. Girls will go to great lengths to look to disguise themselves and this can include using a wig, or even wearing something a little risky to distract your attention. This is not Hollywood, it is happening and I have personally experienced these examples. These ‘tricks’ are typically used when the girl is communicating from home.
Disreputable local agencies that employ girls on a commission will often supply them with the loan of a free laptop for use at home. In return, the girl must spend a minimum amount of time online and will often have targets to achieve in respect of letters, chat minutes and so on. For local agencies this is a business and for many girls it is just a job. Elsewhere on this blog you will find examples of adverts that have been placed online and in newspapers targeting girls (often students) to work on these sites offering lucrative commissions, a free photography session and “flexible hours”. The girls will then be constantly monitored to ensure that the agencies can get a return on their investment.
8. Another useful clue that a girl may not be serious and/or the profile is fake is the amount of time they spend online or the hours they work. For example, it is not uncommon to find the same girls working identical hours each day. As with many businesses, these girls will often work ‘shifts’. Mornings, afternoons or, for the more determined, days, nights and/or weekends. It is not unusual to see a girls profile continuously active for 8, 10 hours or even more. Does anyone truly believe that any girl, especially an attractive one, would need, or indeed want to spend so much time on a dating site looking for a husband? Apply some objectivity here and you can quickly see a pattern emerging. Human nature tends to persuade us to give the benefit of the doubt, to trust or to be optimists…but I would urge anyone using these sites to retain a high degree of objectivity and yes, scepticism. Even the streetwise, intelligent and the wise amongst us have been successfully scammed or deceived.
If the girl tells you she is going to university or working, then ask yourself if this is compatible with the amount of time and the hours she is spending online?
9. Girls using webcams will often choose, or are required to use the facilities of their local marriage agency. This can often be confirmed by the fact that they look like as if they are in an office. In my experience these are typically the girls that work (yes, this was a deliberate use of the word) regular shifts. Worth noting however, is the fact that some of these girls will be operating several profiles and/or their own profiles on different sites simultaneously. Therefore, you should be wary of any girl that is often distracted and/or constantly asks to be excused whilst she has a drink or goes outside for a smoke (although most girls deny they smoke!). Sometimes, they may be distracted or amused as another girl in the office completes a “dance” for some pervert…yes this happens too! If the girl appears to be typing all the time, yet you receive very few messages, you need to consider the possibility that they are holding several simultaneous conversations either on the same site, or even a different one. Some sites, such as Jump4Love allow an unlimited number of men to communicate with a girl at the same time and view her webcam. Hardly romantic or conducive for an intimate exchange.
Regular users of chat will also be familiar with the some girls taking an incredible amount of time to respond to chat messages. This is can be as a consequence of the girl conducting a number of concurrent conversations or, because they are fully aware that the longer you chat, the more commission they will earn. So again, if you experience this type of behaviour, consider it another red flag.
10. Always remember that letters and chats on these websites should invariable mimic life. We all love to speak about ourselves and to exchange information about our past, present and future, often referring to the day’s events and people involved in our everyday lives such as family and friends. Whilst the ‘professional’ girls working on these sites will be experienced at inventing a character, it is unlikely they will want to write long letters, because they get paid the same amount of money, irrespective of the number or words written and let’s face it, many of these girls have very busy schedules! Similarly, it is unlikely that a girl you have never met will express her undying love after a few exchanges or be willing to discuss her dire financial situation. Too many men leave commonsense and logic at the door of the login page and it those that are susceptible to being scammed or deceived. I have to say I was also guilty of this, but based on feedback I have received and other posts on the internet, I was in the company of many, many others.
Finally, remember one very important point. The owners of these websites will constantly reassure you by telling you how they always attempt to minimise the risks of fraud. Always they will refer to girls that attempt to scam money directly from men, but they will never tell you about the most obvious and lucrative form of fraud and deception which benefits the websites, local agencies and the girls…and that is the money generated by girls that are paid a commission for communicating with you. By far and away, men will spend more money communicating with these girls than they ever will by sending money via Western Union.
Also be conscious of one other thing, if a girl is serious about you, then she will not want you to spend vast sums communicating via the website. Some sites will allow the exchange of personal information and some will force you to pay for it…but one thing is for certain, if the girl wants you to communicate directly with her, she will know exactly how to do this. Websites are keen to tell you how using the site allows them to monitor what is going on and protect you from the risks of fraud or deception. Whilst this may be true to a small extent, one thing is absolutely guaranteed, this ‘protection’ is limited at best and non-existent at worse. The bottom line is, if a website genuinely wants to protect you, they would employ more checks on their local agents, they will complete thorough initial and ongoing checks on the identity of the girls and they will monitor things like the amount of time a girl spends online each day, the number of letters she sends each day and the length of time she has been on the site. They won’t because they know what they don’t want you to know; these are the girls that generate the biggest returns.
If you are reading this article, the chances are you have already had your suspicions raised, or you want to use one of these dating sites for the first time. My advice is to approach with caution, or better still, try using a free Eastern European social networking site. Unless or until these marriage and dating websites clean up their act, they don’t deserve another cent!