Does your dating site do it for you?

Many of us have, at one time or another, been tempted to click on an ad which exponentiations the latest dating site offering you to ‘meet your perfect match for free’. Indeed, many of us have done more than click through, having liked what we have seen.

According to latest figures, in the UK alone there are 5.2 million registered online dating community members – roughly 10% of the nation’s entire adult population!

There are many ruses ‘free dating sites’ try to get you to sign up. A couple of the classics are ‘search for your perfect partner for free’ – great – you’ve found them; however, if you want to contact them, you will need your credit details registered before you even say hi. The other carrot dangled, and this is a tactic particularly popular with Asian and Eastern Europe dating sites, is that women can sign up for free.

However, if you’re the fellah trying to make contact with that illustrious beau, waiting for you to find them on their chosen personals platform, likewise expect to have to fork out before they are even aware that your dating profile exists.

So what should you be looking out for in an online dating service to help you decide whether it’s worth dipping into your pocket and leveraging its matchmaking amenities?

First and foremost, if a website does ask for your credit card details as part of the sign up process, be sure to check that there is not some small-print that goes along the lines of ‘free for 6 months, then $4.95/month thereafter’. This is not as prominent a feature as it used to be, mainly due to dating website competition, but many adult dating sites do have subscriptions, and many not-so single people have been caught out when a charge of $4.95 from Bosom Buddies (name changed to protect the not-so innocent) appears on the joint account after 6 months, irrespective of the sign-up member ever having used the service, or not.
And, yes, I am talking from my own very bitter experience on that one.

Some other things you may want look out for in your membership package are limits on the volume of messaging you are likely to incur, depending upon the price band you plump for.
Can you gain access to the chat-rooms and forums, where members can really break their online dating service down for you?

Is it possible to video chat or send private message, and if so at what cost?
Does a potential partner have profile photos and personal information that you can access beyond the public one?

And, perhaps most importantly, with a shift in the market undeniably in the undercurrent of online dating, if not quite yet breaking the surface, is does your internet-based contact site have integration with iPhone or Android apps?

So, before you are tempted to sign up for a low-cost dating membership, be sure it offers more than you could get for free on your social media platform.

Attention – dating in-line!

Polished boots and buttons, razor-sharp haircuts, pressed khakis and the youthful look a beret invokes makes that private on parade seem like the ideal date.

Who wouldn’t be tempted into a relationship with one of our brave boys and girls? Organised, responsive to instruction, regular income and whilst away at barracks or front-line duty, allows plenty of free time for yourself in the initial courtship stages? Seems too good to be true…
…and perhaps, sometimes, that’s exactly what it is.

There are growing concerns that singles advertising themselves on online dating agencies as being part of Her Majesty’s Forces are nothing of the sort. Evidence is starting to be gathered that some of those purporting to be looking for love on line from the front line are not just members of society with low self-esteem looking to bolster their online dating profile, either.

Rather more sinisterly, there are gangs of confidence tricksters downloading images of our brave forces on active duty ad incorporating the in their profile to gain the sympathy and trust of others using the same matchmaking service.

Predominant in the US, the Criminal Investigation Command serving their forces against such thievery, has formally issued several memos warning both their forces and the online dating community at large about the situation.

In one reported incident, one woman surrendered $127,000 to one such claimant, after being wooed by promises of love, commitment and financial security once the ‘soldier’s’ term of service is over. And this woman is not unlike many other single women looking for romance online in the 30-55 age group, which these gang have identified as being the most vulnerable; she was dragged in by charm, plausibility and an expert ability to ‘pull the right strings’ that these gangs have honed, with practise.

Like so many scams targeted at gaining confidence in the lead up to asking for cold hard cash, these gangs are believed to be operating out of Africa. Whereas in the past, the demands for funds have been disguised as ‘an opportunity to invest’ or emotional blackmailing tactics, this type of online fraud can be a lot more difficult to spot, at first.

If you are genuinely concerned that the person approaching you on your dating site is not all they claim to be, until we are privileged to similar apps available in the US that check government and criminal records against specific dating profile information, in the UK you can check the service history of anyone claiming to be a member of H.M. Forces, Military Genealogy  where there are over two million military service records accessible for free.