Competition Bureau alerts consumers about deceptive tactics used by online dating sites
February 10, 2017 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
When looking for love or companionship online, consumers need to be aware that online dating sites may contain hidden terms and fees and can use fictitious profiles to entice you to pay for their services.
Know that joining for free doesn’t mean that all the services are free. Some online dating sites that let you join for free can purposely hide information about services that require payment once you create your profile. These services could include sending and receiving messages, and even deleting your profile. Never give out your credit card details or commit to anything before reading all the terms and conditions. These are often found by clicking on links at the bottom of the screen. If you are unsure about something, find the company’s contact information and ask.
Additionally, some online dating sites use fictitious profiles to give the impression that there are a higher number of members than in reality. These profiles are also meant to lure consumers into paying for additional services that allow you to message these fictitious profiles, highlight your profile for greater exposure, or access other premium content.
To avoid falling for fictitious profiles or paying more than you expect on online dating sites, keep the following tips in mind:
- Trust your instincts
- Ask questions
- Read the terms and conditions before signing up
- Know which services are free and which ones cost money
- Understand what is involved when cancelling your account
- And remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is