Online Date Bait! Stay Away and Don’t Bite.

Online dating is a multi-million dollar a year industry, no doubt, some companies will use “Date-Bait”  to get you hooked!    The plan is simple and it works like a charm…but in the end, the Online Dating Site is the only one smiling.

Since 2002, claims have been made against many online dating sites, both big and small, that profiles and “interested singles” are used by the online dating company to lure you to purchasing a premium membership.  Recently Match.com and Yahoo Personals have been taken to court for use of this tactic.  Both companies deny the use of Date Bait, but it is a serious concern if you are using a smaller, niche dating-site.

How it works:  You are single and sign up for a free membership to an online personals site.  Maybe you are there desperately trying to find the love of your life, or just curious and wanted to browse a few profiles.  Over the next few days you will receive “winks” or e-mails from attractive singles who are interested in you!  GREAT!  But now, to communicate, or read the full profile you must pay for a premium membership (nothing new here, its how all dating sites make money).  The problem is, is that some or all of those “interested singles” are Date Bait – fake profiles designed to get you excited enough to purchase a membership.  Once you have purchased a membership, suddenly the e-mails stop and you are left searching around the site trying to find new love.

How to stop it:  The oldest saying still holds true “If its too good to be true, it probably is”.   Males are especially lured in by young attractive women.  Problem is, when in real life does that ever happen.  Face it, if your 45, over-weight, still living with your parents with no job, beautiful women will not be “winking” at you.   Same goes for ladies; rich handsome doctors and lawyers most likely will not be flirting with unattractive, jobless, women.  Let common sense prevail.

Judge a book by its cover: Yes, it seems shallow, but it can save you a lot of hassle.  Far too many times I have seen profile pictures that look to good to be true.  Generally you can tell these right away as they are obviously professional models captured on film by professional photographers.  Don’t be confused with the fine work of LookBetterOnline .  They are a legitimate company who will improve your online image.  But their picture makes YOU look good; and doesn’t replace you with a model.

Look for the same profile picture in other cities:  Fool proof method!  If your online dating site is using Date Bait, they will be using it in all cities trying to lure as many people as they can.  Watch for profile pictures that are repeated.  Sometimes it won’t be in a directly neighboring city (they might get caught if you expand your search to with in X km/miles of where you live).  Some sites have even sunk so low as to steal attractive members photos to place in other cities as Date Bait to avoid being caught.  

Look for similar profile descriptions.  If pictures can be stolen and used in other cities, chances are the online dating company will still use its “tried and true” profile description lure.  These profile descriptions are expertly written to maximize conversions from free to paid memberships.  Once they have one that works, they keep using it. 

Sudden interest close to expiry:  This one is easy to catch as you can be prepared for it based on the date your “trial membership” or premium paid membership expiry date.  Its common knowledge that many sites will “bubble up” an expiring member to the front of the results page.  This will mean more hits on your profile, increasing the chance of a natural flirt or e-mail.  But also be aware of the Date Bait that suddenly wants to chat on the day your membership expires!

Using these tips, you should easily be able to spot the Date Bait on any Online Dating Service.  This will save you heartache and lured memberships and empty wallets.  All bait has a hook waiting, Don’t get Caught! 

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