/ Technology

Looking for love? Be struck by Cupid’s arrow, not a scammer…

Man pulling off face mask

One in four Brits have used a dating website at some point in their lives. But not everyone has come away smelling of roses – there are scammers and fake profiles lurking online to catch you out…

In today’s busy world, it can be hard to find that special someone, and so a growing number of people are turning to dating websites.

Promisingly, of those that have used a dating website, the top reason for leaving is due to them finding a partner, whether online (27%) or offline (29%). Those are some quite heartening stats.

Dating-website-scam-statisticsBut it’s not all hearts and rose petals – as a recent story in The Observer shows. A hoaxer used fake photos to pretend to be an eligible man, fooling two women along the way. That’s an extreme example of swindling online daters, but there are also the little white lies. An OK Cupid survey in 2010 found that most of its subscribers had lied about everything from their height to their income.

Our own survey found that one in five online daters have been asked for money by someone they were contacting, and two in five have stumbled across fake profiles.

Dating website scams and fake profiles

Thankfully, if you find you’ve been targeted by a fake profile, you can report it. Different websites have different policies, so make sure to check out all the details on your dating site in order to dob in the naughty scammers.

To save yourself from scammers, be cautious of anyone who quickly asks to talk on an outside email or messaging service, or who disappears from the site and you suspect has reappeared under a different name.

You should also be careful not to click on any links within an email, as it you could be falling for an online phishing scam. For more tips, see our guide on protecting yourself on dating websites.

Are you a member of a dating website? Have you ever come across any fake profiles or other problems?


I’m not sure that you will get many responses to this, since the use of dating sites, is a very personal thing and not something readily discussed in public. The sites, themselves are impersonal. They offer a service – matching data (probably to a computerised formula) and they get a revenue from subscribers. The emotional aspect is very much down to those who seek the company of others in this way. Perhaps, too, there is a vulnerability here, as those who seek hope to find and must have thought seriously about it before subscribing. Sadly, those who invade and deceive for financial gain of one sort or another, are amoral beings who have no scruples. They need to be identified and, if the law does not cover such cruel behaviour, then it is time it was changed to do just that. Of course, those who embelish in the hope of improving their chances of a match, have only themselves to blame if it all goes wrong. They, also, can disappoint more genuine seekers with their white lies.

I was on POF Free Dating site I was removed without any explanation.I never subscribed at any time even though life is not full of Roses being Divorced;without any partner and 62years old no close family and only very light drinker;I had enough to sink a Battleship when I was young.
I had almost given up hope Until I started to listen to Smooth Radio more they advertised Smooth Radio Free Dating site I thought Oh that sounds genuine turns out like all the rest its not Free its a Scam they only let you look and I’m no fool.One Scottish guy spent £6;000 to find love I sympathise with the guy Its known many of these sites use photos and false IDs there should be regulation and prosecutions against those claiming to be free.When one is young its easy to find a friend partner when one is older unless you go Church its extremely hard and I will not go to any church because religion in my opion It causes too many wars.There are millions of older people like me but not brave enough to admit it.How many times do we see in the Media a person has died and been dead for weeks because they have no-one?. My grammar is poor lost a lot of early years through illness not many Jabs when I was young&poor parents.Christmas is hell for me even those living on the street enjoy a Christmas through charities.

Kamil says:
9 November 2016

I supposedly received many responses to my profile on eswing and adulthub. However, I couldn’t read the messages because the message was blurred out. I was requested to pay in order to view my messages on both these websites. So, I opened the website in google chrome, right click and select “element” and one is able to search out the message, change the code from “blur” to “clear”, hit return and presto the message becomes visible. It was gobbledgook. Fake messages, random words and letters. There ought to be a law againt this sort of blatent theft.

Norman says:
22 July 2017

Having tried both the ‘conventional’ and ‘casual’ dating sites, I am afraid that almost all the ‘casual’ ones seem to be full of scams and fakes and just a way to part you from your money. I wasn’t born yesterday so they can try all they like. They won’t fool me, ha ha. I recently tried a ‘casual’ one called ukfornication.com. I haven’t paid a penny but if ever I try to add even cryptic contact details, or criticise their site for containing ‘fakes’, the site owners censor my profile.

Meanwhile I get an e-mail every 15 mins. or so from implausibly attractive women – I’m worth 6/10 to at most 8/10, I’m not George Clooney – wanting to draw me in to a conversation and pay ~£1.50 a time to send back a message or four. I hesitate to use the words ‘models’, ‘deliberate deception’ or ‘prostitutes’ but that seems to sum up all but two or three of the casual sites. Friends with Benefits Site is OK, honesty-wise, no sign of fakes at all, but it lists very few women in a rural area within 50 miles. So again that doesn’t really work.

FWIW, these four ‘normal’ dating sites all seem fairly genuine and honest, no sign of fakes:
1 Guardian Soulmates
2 Love and Friends
3 Natural Friends
4 Muddy Matches

3 may be a bit run-down, full of old profiles and in need of new management. But a divorced friend found his new partner on it 5 yrs ago and there’s nothing dishonest about it.

I’ve been on different dating sites getting people looking at my profile hadn’t even completed it fully so not good won’t mention any sites but all have been bad two sites allegedly free all the women were from Ghana asking for money and from Russia within a couple of days since deleted accounts been bombarded with fake emails and regularly delete messages in spam box

LeeDay says:
25 July 2018

Adult date sites it getting very very hard to find one that works Evan a lot of the recommendations are fake made to look like a magazine page the mag doesn’t Evan exist! I’ve been on senior swinger’s but got nowhere so I signed up for adult hub and ges.. What the pages are identical same people same faces!! And then you realized you’ve been had..badly way its all done is all most a work of art so carefully crafted so you won’t drop the Penney they have got down to a science out side gold and oil the most expensive commodity is loneliness and they know it .its a cold and ruthless and is probably against in human right s act if it isn’t it bloody well should be !! Dating online should be controlled and strictly vetid by the the guverment ..somewhere out in the med ithere are guys in big boats and lots of girls laughing there head’s off and that the rub! Cos you ant getting eny lady’s jus finger cramp!!!.