Looking for a list of fake dating sites?
In the mind-boggling expansive world of online dating, there are both legitimate and fake dating sites. Unfortunately, some platforms exist solely to deceive users and take advantage of their trust. From collecting your personal information or just wasting your time, it’s certainly annoying to find criminals when you only want to find love.
As you venture into the realm of online romance, it's essential to be aware of these fake dating sites and know how to avoid them.
In this article, we'll provide a list of known fake dating sites to steer clear of in 2023 and beyond, ensuring you have the safest and most enjoyable online dating experience possible.
List of Fake Dating Sites
The following is a list of fake dating sites. Due to the nature of their activity, these websites may either be shut down or rebranded by the time you read this. However, learning about them should give you an idea of what to keep your eyes open for:
Are you into Goth dating?
If you were using Phantom Hearts up until recently and thought it may have seemed like a gothic romance haven, you may have been fooled by its dark allure. This fake dating site once used bots and fake profiles to engage users and keep them hooked; however, it appears it’s been shut down for good with a stripped-down design. If you thought you received messages from other creatures of the night on Phantom Hearts, but found they were all shadowplay, well now you know why!
I know what you’re thinking–Match.com?! I thought they were legit!
In truth, this site falls into the same grey area as a lot of other dating sites, but still uses fake profiles and is pretty lax on the cybersecurity front–meaning that you’re probably going to be exposed to some sketchy activity at one time or another. Keep in mind that NOT ALL profiles on Match.com are fake. There are plenty of real users on the site, but it may be hard for beginners to know which users are real.
If that doesn’t scare you off or you still think the site could be useful (there are better options out there), be careful.
Apps Dating Experts Recommend to Men, Techy or Otherwise
Whether it's your first real relationship or you have a string in your past there are a few apps that dating experts recommend consistently. These are apps where you can meet great girls who want something long-term as well as those just looking to keep it casual:
Flirt Fiasco claims to be a flirty and fun dating platform, but it's anything but genuine. The site uses fabricated profiles to entice users into conversations, often leading to dead-end interactions or requests for personal information.
Editor’s Note: It’s currently shut down as of 2023.
[Find Locals in Your Area] Sites
This isn’t a specific site, per se. Instead, you’ll find targeted advertisements on some websites you search for–especially those on the seedier side. These targeted advertisements are usually branded as “[Find Locals in Your Area]”, with “Your Area” being your specific city:
- “Find Locals in Your Edison, NJ”
- “Monroe Singles Want to Chat Now”
- “Sexy Singles are Ready to [BEEEP] You Tonight!”
Once you click on these links, expect tons of popups, new browser windows, or other strange behavior. Even if there is a legitimate-looking website, STEER CLEAR (and run your antivirus ASAP).
List of Legit Dating Sites We Recommend
Now that you're aware of some fake dating sites to avoid, let's focus on the positive side of online dating. Here are three legitimate dating sites that have earned positive reviews and trust among users:
Chances are that you’ve heard of eHarmony by now. As one of the longest-running dating platforms out there, eHarmony is one of the most reliable ways for those looking for serious love to meet one another.
What makes eHarmony such a great, legitimate dating platform is its lengthy questionnaire when you sign up. This means that you can screen out the scammers and low-effort people, eventually finding a person who matches you and is serious about finding a life partner.
At BeyondAges, we only recommend dating platforms that get results. If you’re looking for a casual fling or want to satisfy your deepest sexual desires, Adult Friend Finder is the way to go.
First, AFF values your privacy, which means that you won’t have to worry about your profile getting out to the wider public. With image and profile authentication, you can already assume that everyone has the same goal as you: to find some steamy fun without the hassles that come with other dating apps.
Second, AFF is the world’s largest adult dating website. No matter what kinks or sexual preferences you’re looking for, AFF has it on tap! Simply use the site’s intuitive filters to search by age, location, preferences, and more. Chances are good that by using AFF, you’ll find what you’re looking for and won’t waste time–something we can all agree on!
In all honesty, Tinder is one of the most popular dating and hookup websites for good reason. From a familiar interface to an extensive user base, Tinder helps put you in touch with matches in a matter of swipes. Just by the sheer popularity of the app, you’ll have a better chance of success than most other dating apps.
That being said, Tinder’s popularity does draw some scammers and those just looking to waste your time (or join their OnlyFans). As you’ll see in the next section, it’s always wise to use Tinder with an eye to caution. Pro tip: If her pictures are blurry or look too good, they probably are.
How to Spot Fake Dating Sites
To protect yourself from falling victim to these illegitimate dating sites, keep these tips in mind:
Do Your Due Diligence
Before signing up for any dating site, conduct thorough research to verify if it’s 100% legitimate.
This is easier said than done, as it’s relatively simple for scammers are known to cover their tracks. However, there are plenty of clues you can find online just by taking the time–here are a couple of methods to perform some due diligence.
- Look for reviews and feedback from other users to get an idea of the site's legitimacy. Popular forums and sites like Reddit make it easy to get anecdotal evidence on what the app is all about. If lots of users call it a scam or have negative experiences (especially when it comes to getting their money back)
- Type in the dating site’s name in a search engine, followed by “scam”. If the first results that come up in the search are negative, click on the pages to see what the real deal is. Scam dating apps, sites, and platforms usually get a bad reputation and word gets out easily on the web.
- For apps that can be downloaded on the App Store (Mac) or Google Play (everything else), look at customer reviews on a rating scale. Pay attention to how many positive or negative reviews are posted. The quantity of reviews is a good indicator of whether the website actually has legitimate users instead of bot accounts.
Above all, trust your instincts. If it seems like a scam or too good to be true, it probably is.
Check their Contact Information
Legitimate dating sites usually provide contact information, such as a physical address and customer support email. Lack of such information is usually a red flag and you should proceed with caution.
One of the ways that scamming websites maneuver around getting caught is that they operate in countries outside of where local laws don’t apply to your home country. This means that scammers can hide in countries favorable to their activity and never face any repercussions. This can include never receiving a timely refund to having your entire identity stolen–all very bad things!
The following are the most common countries where dating site scammers operate:
Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and scammers can be located in many other countries as well. Stay cautious and aware when giving your payment details or personal information on dating sites to protect yourself from potential scams.
Avoid Suspicious Requests
Be cautious of users asking for money, or personal information, or making sudden and urgent requests. This is absolutely a sign that scammers are up to no good. A legitimate person you’d want to date would never do this–at least until you’ve met up in person and have established some rapport (and even then, you should be cautious…).
For example, you may hit it off with a woman you’re talking to on one of these sites and exchange messages for several weeks (on or off the platform). You might end up making plans and suddenly she needs cash for a sudden expense, like a car repair or rent–often with the implication that she won’t be able to meet up if she doesn’t receive the cash.
In all cases, do not contact this person further and block any further communication. Even if their claim is legitimate, starting a relationship with someone you’ve never met and already given money to is a recipe for heartbreak and frustration.
Beware of Overly Attractive Profiles
Scammer dating sites often use overly attractive profiles to entice users. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
There are a couple of signs to look for when screening overly attractive profiles:
- All of their photos look professional and possibly sourced from a modeling agency
- None of their photos have local landmarks or locations that match their stated location
- Their profile has “salesy” language that seems to be flattering to the reader without any specifics (“I’m looking for an older man that’s looking to settle down…”)
- Their profile seems to be generated by AI (artificial intelligence)
- Overtly sexual language meant to entice users
- Sales funnels like OnlyFans or contacting on alternative messaging platforms (like Snapchat for trading pics)
- A large difference between the quality of profiles for legitimate profiles versus ones you suspect to be fake. Not to be negative, but exceptionally model-tier attractive people tend to not use dating apps regularly (or they use exclusive luxury dating apps,). If you find too many attractive women on a relatively new app, for instance, you can reasonably assume that the developers are “padding” the available matches.
Let’s be honest: As long as there is online dating, there will most definitely be scammers looking to take advantage of those seeking love. By being vigilant and following the tips mentioned above, you can avoid falling into the traps of scam dating websites.
Remember, your safety and happiness should always be your top priority when it comes to online dating. Stick to legitimate dating platforms like the ones recommended in this article, and you'll increase your chances of finding authentic connections and true love.
Looking to learn more? BeyondAges has a vast amount of guides, how-to articles, and reviews covering every aspect of the modern dating landscape. Whether you want to learn The Best Bumble Openers for Every Type of Guy, Why is Online Dating so Hard for Guys (8 Common Causes), and much more, BeyondAges is your place for dating success. Good luck!