A date in a place but just no time

In my duties as writer for dating.org.uk, I see a lot of information fizzing through my feeds and alerts relating to the online dating industry. Much of it, no, the majority of it, gets trashed as soon as I open it up . There are two main reasons, namely:

1. it’s indecipherable ‘English’ pumped out by article mills in an attempt by a webmaster to dubiously ‘build [their] rank’, ie issue fresh content stuffed with keywords so that Google thinks it looks good but anyone with a minimum grasp of English will wonder what language the article is supposed to be written in, or,
2. the post is just crammed with figures and statistics that only perhaps accountants or mathematicians would have the faintest interest in.

However, one headline statistic did get me thinking, but only after I’d despatched it to the recycle bin; now I’m using the example, I wished I hadn’t, but the gist of it was that one woman, using her dating site membership, had managed to clock up $120,000 of free meals, all paid for by people she’d approached online on dating sites. Talk about your meal-ticket, or what?!

Whatever the membership fee was, she sure was getting her money’s worth.

What got me thinking was: how come this woman didn’t get a reputation so other members stayed well clear? Then I started considering the other numbers I’d seen flashing up on my screen after opening a ‘UK dating‘ feed or ‘online dating‘ alert. Some of the larger matchmaking sites boast membership numbers, globally and across the group brand, in the millions.

For argument’s sake, the hotbed of discussion being ‘how did one woman stay under the radar by scamming so many men into taking her out for a meal?’ let’s just say we’re talking about one site – the phenomenon of 2011 online dating, Badoo. Recent reports suggest that over 1.4 million new users are joining every day. Yep – that’s right. 1,400,000 new profiles, pics and life stories to crunch every day of the week.

Okay – this site is out of the ordinary, like I say. If it was purely in the social media category, it would already rank number 4 in the world, but there will be an independent review of that site another day. Back to the number crunching I absolutely abhor, but it has its place in this post.

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Home of 419 fraud to host dating site

Talk about the lonely Christian walking unarmed into a pit of Gladiators, but that was the first image that sprang to mind when I heard that a new online dating site is in prelaunch mode – in Nigeria. My secondary image was of being smothered in honey and walking naked into the forest where bears doze in anticipation of hibernation, but then that thought started to stray in more adult dating territory so nipped it in the bud before, well, before I was lost in the blizzard of a fantasy winter woodland.

Bolanle Olayinka has identified a specific need in the African country for introducing like-minded singles in typical matchmaking fashion, however, there are additional filters which enhance the search facility in conjunction with the user’s culture, history and background. It is hoped that the depth of information input in the first instance will nurture friendships and closer relationships that will last a lifetime

The dating site, BestD8, as well as the in-depth profile assessment, will provide many features that you’d expect to find on a dedicated contact site plus a selection of other mediums that allow all possible mediums of online communication within its domain.

Using features such as private messaging, online chat and webcam video conferencing onsite will provide some level of security as long as the website admin monitor and verify its members. Alongside all of the dating tips and notifications, given the website’s location, we would strongly advise checking out exactly what verification methods the dating site is using. You could even ask one of the one-to-one advisors about it, if you take up the site’s offer of chatting to ‘relationship experts’.

dating site hoping to connect singles across the web

Although the site is aimed at connecting African singles by matching their cultural preferences, it is hoped that the site will attract a global audience by connecting its membership to a  world-wide dating community. Given the millions of dollars that are illegally elicited from US and UK dating sites, however, and the awareness of the problem being hammered home here by publishing up-to-the-minute online dating news via sites like dating.org.uk, we would have to say: “Yeah, right – good luck with that!”

No doubt there will be the odd fly that will accept the invitation to join the spider in their intricate web, but we would have to remind dating site members that the moment you leave the security of the dating site’s domain when you are asked to, you are exposing a soft underbelly which predators on the internet can smell from the thousands of miles away, deep in the heart of the African continent, where they reside.

U-turn by DoJ in courting room query

Last month, here on dating.org.uk, we reported that dating site members who were, how shall we say, imaginative with the precise details of their online dating profile may be violating terms and conditions regarding internet misrepresentation guidelines.

There is a limited amount of tolerance permitted by dating site communities regarding acceptable levels of ‘artistic license’ when one crafts one’s dating site profile; indeed, results of many studies  have concluded that it is almost expected, to a certain degree, that new members will bend their profiles to specifically attract a particular member of the opposite (or same, depending upon the type of adult site you use) sex who has particularly taken their eye.

At one point, there were huge rumours that anyone found to be breaching the rules set out by membership sites – dating, social media, gambling, gaming – any online community that requires you to complete information about yourself and by clicking you confirm that you adhere to either the terms set out or that the information that you have entered is correct – would be liable to prosecution and brought to court.

However, it seems that common sense has prevailed and the Department of Justice, although conceding that purposefully entering untruths about yourself is directly contravening the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, recognise the absolute volume of people who do fib a little on their dating site profile would never be able to be processed. Another misuse of computing, if the CFFA was to be followed to the letter of the law, is accessing a member community site other than from the one you own or signed up from; in other words, if you were to access your matchmaking site and Google+ from your work station PC, you are breaking the law. Again, although these instances are literally illegal, it is not what the legislation was created for.

Rather the law will remain in place to serve its original purpose. There are many documented cases where individuals have created false profiles to commit a crime, sometimes which has led to tragic consequences.

So, although it has ‘disavowed’ the law in a sense that dating site members will not be prosecuted for shaving off a few years or a few pounds, for genuine malicious cases or in the case of dating sites who are targeted by scammers who create multiple false accounts purely with the intent of grooming and later stealing from other community members who fall for their lies, it will remain a tool for the Department of Justice to bring these criminals to trial.

Scam dating site profiles broken down

Here at dating.org.uk, not only are we determined to bring you the best UK dating sites currently on trend, but we want you to remain safe when you leave our site, after utilising our search facility. Not only do we want to provide you with the best dating site comparison service possible, but we want you to come back and use us again and recommend us to your friends – there is no mystery, there.

To that end, we have constantly jumped on any news article, since we’ve been live, that will enhance your dating site experience and, as well as providing the odd how-to and tip advice, arm you with the knowledge and safeguards to save you from the woes of being duped online.

Dating site numbers continue to rise and, with more and more dating site members opting for paid rather than free dating site memberships due to the extra security it is perceived they offer, there are more and more crooks looking to tap into this stream of wealth flooding through cyberspace via the gateway opened up by online matchmaking and adult dating sites.

security apps are just a battle won, not the war

With the advent of applications such as the tru.ly app in the US that verifies an online dating site member against government records and the UK’s equivalent, Trusted Faces, it is hoped that these opportunities will be reduced considerably. However, there will always be a convincing sob story that tugs at a lonely single’s heart strings and acts like the pin number to the ATM of their account. It is these instances that, no matter what level of security is applied, are so convincing that they need to be eradicated before more dating site users fall for their snake-like charm.

We are glad to report that action fraud has produced a replica document of a typical tool used by these skilled online schmoozers in their deceptions. In the style of a letter, although this is just one tactic, it represents exactly the type of language used to build trust and rapport with gullible dating site members, with the single, profound goal of alleviating them of their cash.

These conmen are skilled professionals; however, there is growing police activity to match, as the realisation of exactly how much people are being swindled out of is revealed. The figures mentioned are staggering, truly beyond belief; that trusting souls so desperate for attention through loneliness have been so easily separated with their life savings is heartbreaking. It is this craving that these gangsters – oh, yes, it is organised crime – prey upon; the whys and hows, we will highlight over the coming week.

Stay tuned to this thread to protect yourself further and help win the war against online crime.

Dating Site Dilemma…part two

Not only is it key, when using an online dating facility, to know what you’re looking for in a partner, it is essential that the ‘matchmaking’ site(s) of your choice actually can do just that: matchmake.

As you set out on the long, arduous journey of finding that special one online you will have to face enough tough decisions, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, without the headache or time-consuming necessity of having to fill in your profile across the myriad sites on the internet purporting to deliver your life-long partner in just a few clicks.

Believe that last statement at your peril, by the way. Yes, you can get your profile up and running by using the method we’re going to look at in …part three, and you probably could get a date on your first visit to your new dating site.

But, as we touched on in yesterday’s article, funnily enough entitled Dating site dilemma…part one (you’d never have guessed, would you?), putting in the groundwork to build a systematic approach to each and every dating site you encounter will not only help you maximise swift access to prospective partners awaiting you on the menu, but also help you recognise, pretty much instantly, whether the site is going to deliver you results.

Take this very site, for instance. At present, we are merely your toe-hold into groundbreaking news and events relative to helping you have as much success, and fun!, whilst looking for love online.

However, as and when this site is officially launched, it will serve a much greater purpose. In the background, the ‘tech-guys’ are performing all manner of research, based on market information, algorithms, trends and new applications (oh, it’s so above my head it’s got snow on it; alas, I am only the writer), dating.org.uk will bring you the best dating sites, based on those equations. But in order for those results to be relevant, they have to be measured.

Looking for your soul-mate, your intended, or even just a shoulder to cry on should receive its due care and attention on your part, if you are to achieve whatever target you set yourself.

However, until such time has passed whereby we can absolutely guarantee you that selection of the top online dating pages every time you load our site (which will be soon, promise), here we go with a simple, classic Blue Peter-style How-to-work-your-dating-site guide, in Dating site dilemma…part three

Dating site dilemma…part three

Welcome back to the final piece of the jigsaw, which will hopefuly help you find an online dating partner with the least amount of fuss and greatest amount of efficiency, whenever the fancy takes you to go looking for love online.

One of the avantages of browsing technology that has helped us to navigate more swiftly than in days of yore is the ‘auto-fill’ option. As most dating sites require you to fill in similar information, do take the time before you start searching for love online to fill in this ‘under-the-hood’ tool with up-to-date information; your personals will be dangling before prospects in no time.

Do, however, take note of adult dating sites asking for credit-card details and the related implications, especially when registering for free dating sites.

Done? Okay, back to you browser, your window to a whole array of internet dating sites.

Next, we are going to create a new folder on your ‘bookmarks’ ribbon to keep tabs on your favourite dating sites. If you’re not sure how, here are links to four of the provider’s instructions on how to bookmark using their service:

Do that for this series, first, so you always have your how-to guide to hand, and then you can start ‘bookmarking’ your favourite dating sites, and keep adding them to the same folder.

If you are a little more technically gifted, you can also create a stack in ‘delicious’, where you can group all of your personals sites, write your own tags and comment on each one; even share them with fellow ‘web-site collectors’, if you so desire.

Another good tactic is to have your ‘other information’ typed (and saved!) on a document so you can simply copy and paste that detail once you complete the more specific areas of your online dating profile. If you take the time to do this ‘off-line’, you can hone, polish and tweak it, whether you have access to the internet, or not. Then just upload the details, next time you’re logged on.

Talking of tweaking – if, like me, you’re in between life stages, you may want to change certain snippets of your dating profile to target a particular dating community. If I was registering on a 40+ site (for seniors, allegedly), the fact that I go surfing may not win as many admirers as my penchant for writing; on a 20’s+ site, I may choose to reverse the tactic.

And the final stage is scoring (isn’t that what we set out to do [ooh-er!]?).

This applies to both your potential partner and the dating websites you’re assessing.  For this, create your own scale, using the key aspects that you look for in a dating community or website; this could be:

  • forum/chatroom availability/response
  • web-cam
  • paid upgrades
  • age-sensitive zones
  • feedback, updates and other correspondence

Then, prioritise those aspects and score each website, accordingly.  This will provide you with a very accurate ‘report’ of how good each dating site is.  Match that with your perfect partner profile from …part one and the know-how from …part two and you really are ready to go!

Hot to foxtrot

More often used to scoring professional dancers and their ‘star’ partners on screen, Dancing With The Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba has scored off-screen, dating online!

As is the want, this year, of contestants sharing the intimacies of their personal relationships, Carrie Ann has followed suit, giving us the background of her online dating experiece with Jesse Sloan, choosing the platform of ‘Access Hollywood’ to do so.

So, exactly how did Miss Inaba floor her man?

Following a succession of dates with a younger singles base, Carrie Ann decided to chance throwing someone with a more mature dating perspective into the mix. Jesse’s profile picture prepossessed an element of familiarity, as she confessed to ‘Access’ a sense of already knowing him, before they even made contact.

And there’s a lesson about online dating that we can all heed: taking time to choose a picture that does yourself justice on dating sites proves its merit here as in March, on ‘Live! With Regis & Kelly’, Sloan got down on one knee to cement their relationship once and for all.

From Mr Sloan’s viewpoint, being the exception that breaks the above rule, Carrie Ann posted neither profile picture, nor information about her celebrity status, instead relying on solid, honest content. It was not until their online relationship had progressed a deal further than the standard introductions that Jesse was granted a photograph.

Even then, and this was several months down the line, the picture was one of Miss Inaba stripped of all make-up, very much as nature intended. The transition from online dating to actually meeting, albeit a supervised date to one of Carrie Ann’s friends places, occurred not long afterwards.

Following a steady courtship, their relationship appears to be building pace. When questioned about when the engagement will lead to the inevitable wedding, Carrie Ann told ‘Access’ that other needs were more pressing than formalising their current dating status by placing rings on their fingers.

With Jesse approaching the age at which life begins, and Miss Inaba slightly past that milestone, she is very conscious of the speed dating and engagement has taken thus far, and would welcome the patter of tiny feet just as much, if not more than, settling on dates for nuptials.

In her own words, she ‘suck[s]’ at wedding planning, so getting ‘moving on the baby’ front may be the priority.

All of us here at dating.org.uk offer our heartiest congratulations to the happy couple, as a real-life testament that online dating works. And hurry up and get out of that studio and away on that honeymoon, Carrie-Ann – before the wedding, you do not want to see the last of your tan go!