This Tinder Scam Is Swindling Thirsty Users Out of Serious Cash
Posts of profiles/conversations with bots, ads, or fakes will be removed. with this tinder safe dating website, with an address of ordendelsantosepulcro.info for my credit card info, in order to verify "that people are older than 18". Scammers drive users to fake verification site that signs them up to adult webcam and erotic video websites. They will send you a link to follow, which will take you to a third-party website that features key words like “Tinder Safe Dating.” These sites often look legitimate.
The owners register most of the sites anonymously. Registries are in China, the United States and Panama. They appear to be shells, often with many having the same address in small offices in the UK. There are also companies in Cyprus, Spain, and the Netherlands. The companies register most of the branded sites anonymously. However, it is possible to go to the billing site and get the company name and address.
From that information, it is possible to look up the person in the U. She is quite a lovely woman. No Natasha, the internet is not anonymous. With some poking around, it is possible to find the owners of companies in Spain and Cyprus.
The owner is Vlad Bulgariu — a Romanian Surname. One of the other tricks I use is using the DomainBigData website to cross index and find what sites an individual or company owns. Vlad owns at least 8 branded dating sites: No need to pick on Vlad alone.
Remember he is just one example. By looking at the IP address of the dating billing sites I can see 3 different locations. This could be one company with distributed operations or 3 different companies.
This Tinder Scam Is Swindling Thirsty Users Out of Serious Cash
The other clue is the fact that there are so many sites, that it must be concluded that it is not a small fly-by-night operation — it has to be substantial to handle the traffic and the customer service phone call volume.
The Panama Connection A lot of the owners register their sites anonymously in Panama. Registrations and hosting services are business expenses. I contacted the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists The Panama Papers team to see if they had any information in this area.
I never received any type of response. It was a long shot. The Branded Dating Sites Purposefully Hide Themselves Typically, if you have a web site that you want people to visit, you take measures to help search engines find you. The subject of Search Engine Optimization is complex, and people make a living off of it — far beyond the scope of this article.
The best way is via illustration. There will be some paid and relevant news items first. They do this by putting program code on their website that helps the search engine understand what it is seeing, and provide the most valuable results to the user. Contrast that to these branded dating sites.
They take specif action to tell search engines not to find them in the robots file robots. The second line tells a search engine to not index any pages on this site. This is not a default setting in a website. This website owners create this code. However because the site owners have instructed the search engines not to find them, it does not appear anywhere in the search results. Obviously, I cannot look at sites, but I have looked at a few dozen.
They are all the same. The obvious question is why. I will leave you to decide given in the context of this article. Designed for Deception The website owners build the web page to be used this way. That web page, where you are really typing your information, contains only the basic data entry elements and the hidden text.
Contrast that to any website where you are signing up for a service, where you have a full page of content that describes where you are and what you are doing. Said differently, the owner of the Branded Dating site created a page specifically for someone else to use to sign up to their site.
It is the key enabler of this deception. The primary deception techniques are: Umm… no that never happened. Multiple statements that you will not be charged. An iframe command that completely hides the fact that you are connected to an underlying dating or pornography site. Other ways to deceive Here are other common techniques used by these sites to deceive you: The sites use a geolocation service that looks at your internet protocol IP address and displays the city or area code where you connect to the internet.
This makes it appear as if the woman is near you. A person across the country would see the same woman as near them as well. Disguised small print terms and conditions hyperlink. Most sites you cannot see this link. When you can, it is very small. A hyperlink appears in blue text by default, but these sites will override that and make it blend in to the surrounding text.
Spelling out the amount of the charge. Again, on most sites, you cannot even see this part of the page. These sites sometimes have a checkbox that is pre-checked for you to sign up for their premium service that does not look like a checkbox. Whack a Mole The Branded Dating sites and click generators are fairly static.
There is no telling how many of the Date Verification sites there are. They come and go. As one site goes down, another pops up. The hosting company might take down a site if they receive a complaint. The owner will abandon a site when there is insufficient traffic. Often they will keep the same site name and title but the actual site and address URL will change.
They have a sort of brand themselves. This is just an easy way for the scammer to create a new site. They copy the code from one site to the next, typos and all. Widespread Each of the sites individually, only have a small amount of traffic. Assembling the web traffic from each of the billing sites that I am aware of, cumulatively they receive about 55, clicks per day. This will be two kinds of traffic: People directed to sign up Victims investigating the strange charge on their credit card statement I cannot determine how many people are caught in the scam from this data.
I can guess based on the number of people who search for these sites and click on my website. The search pattern and number of clicks is confidential, but it is more than per day.
Obfuscation and Plausible Deniability There is never a direct connection between the Date Verification scam and the Branded Dating site. Here is an example of how the connections operate. This is a trace from the click generator uetrk. Eventually the click generator directs the customer to the branded dating site.
I this instance, the site is hrtpndgliv. This arrangement will have multiple benefits. First, it generates traffic from multiple sources. Most importantly, there is no connection between the Branded Dating site owner and the date verification site. They are probably wrong in that assumption. The general rule of international jurisdiction is if you are doing business in a country you are subject to their laws and you cannot use a disclaimer to get out of it.
Companies in the U. Regardless, it means that the sites do not follow the precautionary security measures that are required by most states in the U. Nor do they follow the required actions if there is a security breach of customer information. There is no spoon There is no age or date verification.
The woman is a bot with a stolen picture.
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Usually a TinEye reverse image search produces results of the same picture in multiple places around the internet. In some cases, if you dig deep enough you find that the sites have specific terms that state that they do not check the backgrounds of their members.
I did not receive any responses. If you have been caught in this Scam First, you are not alone. By analyzing search data of my site I know that there are thousands of people in the same situation.
You might be a little embarrassed. You you need to act quickly. Someone you met online pretended to be interested in you. Most of the conversation was probably a bot. The website states that it is a free service repeatedly. There is no verification. The Date Verification scam website sent you to a different website without you knowing it. The website hides the credit card charge from you. Some unknown entity has your credit card and personal information.
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