When searching personals, or on a dating site someone responds to you. They asked you to verify yourself for their safety. They direct their victim to a date verification website that states clearly that there is no charge for the service. The website has purposefully hidden or hard to find charges that sign up the victim for a rotating set of dating or pornography sites. This article will explain exactly what happens. This is a high-risk situation and signing up exposes the person to identity theft.
I give advice at the end of the article to help anyone caught by this scam. A person wants to meet you but wants you to visit a free verification site, for their safety. It is important to note that these scams abound on online dating sites and applications. The truth is that even the most reputable online dating sites have scammers lurking in them. You see a person that interests you, and you send them an email. The most common is for the person to offer an email address to contact them away from the platform you are on. The reason for this is simple — this puts you into the robot Bot script of an automated email process.
From this point on, there is no real person on the other end of those emails. It is a simulated conversation, and if you pay close attention, it is always a little off. The bot expresses interests and creates an artificial banter. The website presents a page that shows fake information about a woman, whom you can meet, but first you must verify.
The first technique of the deception is prominent and repeated declarations that this is a free service. Thru use of a web programming command called iframe, you are entering your credit card information on another website without you knowing it. The second page looks like the below. Take note of the difference in the grey areas of the web page:. Your access to Dates. Hookup includes a 2-day free trial promo to Go Find Dates.
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If you choose to remain a member of Go Find Dates beyond the trial period, your membership will renew at thirty nine dollars and ninety nine cents. The way that the scam site uses the iframe command, you cannot see the fine print, you have no ability to see it — unless you go to the source code, and click on the iframe link.
This is something that the average consumer could not know how to do. Here is a picture of the iframe command from the website code, with my emphasis:. The dating sites rotate. The click generator connects to a different dating site each time someone uses the date verification site. Eventually, the path from the click generator lands the billing page of what I am calling a Branded Dating Company sometimes called private label.
The way it works is that the White Label company provides an aggregated membership database, and operations for the website and billing. Individual entrepreneurs create their own company brand and website theme. The white label company collects the payment from new members as they sign up to the website. They take their service charge off the top, then pass the remainder to the branded site owner. Each of these Branded Dating companies, will have two sites.
The click generator directs you to the billing site sign-up page. This site has a seemingly gibberish name, for example, Stgved. When it appears on your credit card bill, it will use the billing site, followed by a toll-free number. My investigation has found more than branded dating sites. Also, the click generator can route you down a pornography path, depending on which click generator is active in the Date Verification scam site. Instead of landing on a branded dating billing and signup page, you land a branded pornography sign up page.
There are more than branded pornography sites. The corresponding pornography sites are explicit and mostly X-rated, so I will just leave it to the imagination. It is clear they know people are being charged without their knowledge. They discourage you from disputing the charges with your bank, and they want to handle it themselves. They do this for two reasons: If you sign up for the site, you will not meet the girl — There is no girl. You will receive multiple emails that encourage you to sign up. Next the bot will send several spammy emails for you to join other hookup sites.
Then the scammers sell your email to spam marketers. Sometimes the scammer will send an email that gives you a credit card number, including a Card Verification Value CVV and expiration date. What I do know, is that using a credit card that you are not authorized to use would be a felony. A person doing could be exposed to blackmail. You are going to get a monthly charge on your credit card. Some sites will have instructions to check your email. The email supposedly articulates the charges.
I have yet to hear from someone who states they received such an email. Even if they did, there are a few problems. The charge, which could be 30 days old or more is completely unfamiliar to them. The gibberish site will not appear in their history at all until they visit it. These sites operate outside of the US.
When I first started investigating this scam, they usually came from Bangladesh and did not register anonymously. More and more, perhaps due to my blog, they register anonymously. Here is a recently active scam site that is not registered anonymously. Ahsraf Tarafdar, from Dhaka, Bangladesh owns this site:. Owner information is from whois functions readily available on the Internet. I like to use cqcounter. Their whois function combines hosting, geography and registration information in one page.
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I have found several different generators. The owners register most of the sites anonymously. Registries are in China, the United States and Panama. Small person companies in the UK own most of the Branded Dating sites. They appear to be shells, often with many having the same address in small offices in the UK. There are also companies in Cyprus, Spain, and the Netherlands. The companies register most of the branded sites anonymously. However, it is possible to go to the billing site and get the company name and address.
Online Dating – Date Verification Scam Video
From that information, it is possible to look up the person in the U. She is quite a lovely woman. No Natasha, the internet is not anonymous. With some poking around, it is possible to find the owners of companies in Spain and Cyprus. The owner is Vlad Bulgariu — a Romanian Surname. One of the other tricks I use is using the DomainBigData website to cross index and find what sites an individual or company owns.
Vlad owns at least 8 branded dating sites:.
By looking at the IP address of the dating billing sites I can see 3 different locations. This could be one company with distributed operations or 3 different companies. The other clue is the fact that there are so many sites, that it must be concluded that it is not a small fly-by-night operation — it has to be substantial to handle the traffic and the customer service phone call volume. A lot of the owners register their sites anonymously in Panama. Registrations and hosting services are business expenses.
I contacted the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists The Panama Papers team to see if they had any information in this area. I never received any type of response. It was a long shot.
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Typically, if you have a web site that you want people to visit, you take measures to help search engines find you. The subject of Search Engine Optimization is complex, and people make a living off of it — far beyond the scope of this article. The best way is via illustration. There will be some paid and relevant news items first. They do this by putting program code on their website that helps the search engine understand what it is seeing, and provide the most valuable results to the user. Contrast that to these branded dating sites.
They take specif action to tell search engines not to find them in the robots file robots. The first line an instruction that this section applies to all search engines. The second line tells a search engine to not index any pages on this site. This is not a default setting in a website. This just saved me! Is a dating site member asking you to send money?
These scammers commonly live in Nigeria, Ghana, and India. Steve, Thankyou for the cooperation and giving your information to us. Real Verification The only method that legitimate dating sites and apps use to verify the identity of the members is by using a system that background checks the members, websites may also require their users to provide a valid credit card to get verified.
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