How can you recognise a fake chat rip-off?

What’s a fake chat? Pretty much as the name suggests. Usually you create an account on a dating portal to meet someone with the goal to meet them in real life or fall in love. You chat a little first, get to know each other and see what could blossom from it.

Many operators take advantage of this and use so-called “professional animators” or chat bots. Their job is to encourage users to send as many messages as possible. The operator earns money with every message that is sent. A real meeting will never happen as the chat partner will find new excuses again and again.

It can be risky and expensive as well. Here we tell you how to recognise a fake chat scam and save yourself the hassle, time and money.

1. Use the search function of

We’ve listed almost all operators and many of their scams on our dating portals in our database. We take a good look at each website and make a judgement based on facts. If the website is a good one and passes our strict criteria, we mark it as reputable. If there is a dating website that uses fake profiles and professional animators we would make a negative review. We constantly add new reviews to our website as the rip off operator creates new dating portals on a daily basis. In our test reports you can easily find out if there is a threat of a rip off on the corresponding dating site.

2. Read the terms and condition either way

Every website must have terms and conditions. If you can’t find any, this is a first sign of a scam dating website. Anyone who runs a moderated chat must also indicate this in their terms and conditions. Fortunately most operators do mention fake profiles and a moderated chat, though the terms and conditions are often hidden or hard to find. Many times, the operator may show their terms and conditions as graphics. This makes it difficult to search for certain keywords which is a hint that the site may be a scam. If you can search for keywords you should take time to read the terms and conditions. This might save you a lot of unnecessary trouble and money.

Here are the keywords to look out for in the Terms and Conditions:
  • Moderator
  • Animators
  • Agents
  • Operators
  • fictitious profiles
Here is an example from the terms and conditions of Festivus Media BV the operator of MilfFindr:

“Festivus Media BV explicitly reserves the right to create profiles on the Platform and to send messages to the User on behalf of these accounts. By accepting these Conditions of Use, the User understands and accepts that some of the profiles on the Platform are therefore fictitious and they have been created only to exchange Messages with; real-life meetings are not possible for such Accounts.”

3. The imprint, general terms and conditions are displayed as a graphic.

If the terms and conditions or the imprint are displayed as a graphic, pay attention and act very carefully. A graphic makes it impossible to search for certain keywords. It is a strong indicator that the operator is trying to hide something.

In any case you should read the terms and conditions very carefully – or refrain from registering with this provider.

4. The company headquarters is abroad.

Even though you should never judge a book by its cover, the location of the headquarters of a company that runs a dating website can be another hint. Check out the imprint and check the name of the company in a search machine. Locations like Malta, Cyprus and Kosovo are unusual places for dating websites in Australia. If such a location is displayed you should be cautious – especially if they have no locally based offices. A reputable provider should have it’s headquarters in Australia or at least have local contact details, an address or phone number in Australia.

5. Use a search engine

Use a search engine

If it is a scam website, chances are that someone has already been ripped off and may have left a review or comment online. Search for the name of the dating portal and for the name of its operator. If it is a black sheep, you’ll also find negative reviews or experience reports from damaged customers. Additionally, you can find articles and official test reviews from our website. If there are negative reviews, or  people have complained about a scam or professional animators: Keep your hands off that website!

6. Check out the costs and the value

A reputable website will display all important information, including a detailed costs break down. If you can’t find any information about the price per message or subscription costs, you should be very careful. If you do find details on the costs, have a think about what you will pay and what you will get in return. As yourself whether it really makes sense to pay a dollar or even more for every message you will send. A professional animator will try to entice you for a long conversation which is completely senseless. The only reason for the chat is to get your money. The more messages you write the more money the operator will earn.

7. Use the picture search of a search engine

Use the picture search of a search engine

A fake chat means that professional animators operate fake profiles. The profiles will show a fictitious person, but of course the profile pic must be of someone. This is a quick and simple way to check if the profile is real or a fake to try to scam you. Simply copy and paste a few pictures from the member’s area of the dating portal into a search engine like Google or Bing and you will see.

If the image search shows results that are related to an erotic website or to profiles from countries like Russia, then you have your answer. An image search of pictures from an Australian site should naturally bring up results from Australia. If they don’t, we advise you to use extreme caution.

Be very careful

Unfortunately you can’t always rely 100% on the image search.  We advise you to exercise caution either way. The operators are always one step ahead. Nowadays operators manipulate the pictures in their fake profiles, making an image search more difficult or even impossible.

So be very careful if one of these points applies. If two or more points of our list apply for a dating website you should really stay away from that platform. If you’re unsure but suspect a dating rip off you can also report this dating portal to us. We will then look into it and create an extensive test report.

To be 100% sure we recommend one of our test winners!