A fraud is sweeping online dating sites, according to a special report in this month’s issue of Glamour Magazine.
The scam typically works like this: A con artist, usually based in an Internet cafe overseas, will lift a photo from Facebook or another social networking site.
“I’ve also seen my own photos and name used.” (The image of Grisham that was used by scammers is pictured, left) With a few of the largest player like OKCupid, Match, and others, there are precautionary measures in place.
However, on smaller or niche dating sites like and datanta, there is no security system to spot a fraudster.
For this reason, Cupid.com, the online dating network behind and Black Match.com, announced a partnership this month with Rec Sys Ltd, an anti-scammer technology. With the new system, any individual identified as a scammer is added to the master database, which other online dating companies can access.
To identify rogue behavior, the algorithm factors in the user’s login location, IP address, profile photo, and behavior patterns.
Craigslist also has a page dedicated to fraud prevention as well as information on how to report if you've been defrauded by someone on Craigslist.
Check out their Avoiding Scams page for more information.
The ICCC is a good place to report more serious crimes involving: online extortion, identity theft, Computer Intrusion (hacking), Economic Espionage (Theft of Trade Secrets), and other major cyber crimes.
The e Bay Security Center: General Marketplace Safety site can assist you with reporting auction related fraud / and scams to the proper authorities and also provides a way for law enforcement to find out if someone is trying to auction merchandise stolen from you if you have been the victim of a property theft.
The Facebook's Security site will allow you to report account hacks, fraud, spam, scams, rogue applications and other Facebook-borne threats.
[Update: the site contacted us to notify us of the precautions they have in place, including a human editor who responds to complaints and reports, and Threat Metrix, a cybercrime prevention software.] “On some dating sites, as many as one out of 10 profiles is a scammer,,” Mark Brooks, editor of Online Personals Watch told Glamour.
The lesson here is that online dating startups will need to step up their game to keep consumers safe.