In our last scam related post Lifting the Shroud: The Anatomy of International Dating Scams, we took a look at the different types of scams that befall men looking for love overseas. That article is true to its name as we broke down the business model and techniques used by dating sites, agencies, translators, and would be foreign brides use to take advantage of the desperate and the ignorant.
If you haven't read that post and you're considering looking for a woman overseas than I highly suggest that you check it out.
If you have read it, awesome. You're no longer ignorant. You know how the con is played and what some of the tell tale signs are of a bad company or suspicious woman.
But knowing what's wrong with the international dating industry is only half the battle. Now you need to know what to do about it. In this post we look what you should and shouldn't do while dating overseas.
Don't hate the players, leave the (PPL) game
Commandment 1: Never use a PPL site
If you notice our graphic from the last post on scams, much of the scamming happens through PPL dating sites. While this scam is probably the most pervasive and lucrative, it's also the easiest to prevent.
Don't pay to send a letter, have a chat, or message a woman. Don't use sites that use a PPL business model. It'd be rather difficult for a dating site or agency to rack up PPL fees if they don't actually charge you to contact a woman.
Monthly subscriptions: the healthy alternative to PPL
While they're still a minority, there are a fair amount of sites that charge a monthly subscription instead of using a PPL model. You simply pay a flat monthly subscription, during which time you're free to contact any woman you choose and send as many messages as you wish.
Commandment 2: Only use dating sites that allow you to take communications off of their site.
A legitimate site will allow you to swap contact info with a lady (assuming she wants to), in order to take the conversation somewhere else like Skype, Viber, Etc. A sketchy scammy site will try to keep all your interactions on their site so that they can continue to receive PPL fees.
If you keep these two commandments you'll most likely never have to contend with the huge behemoth of a scam that is PPL. That's one scam down.
Popular dating sites that meet the requirements of commandments 1 & 2:
Latin American Cupid
China Love Match
Spurn the classic online dating scams
Now we have the classic online dating scams. Even if you use a site that lines up with the first two commandments you may still come in contact with a lone classic scammer. If you're unfamiliar with classic online dating scams you can read our last post or check out the FBI's warning:
"To stay safe online, be careful what you post, because scammers can use that information against you. Always use reputable websites, but assume that con artists are trolling even the most reputable dating and social media sites. If you develop a romantic relationship with someone you meet online, consider the following:
- Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.
- Go slow and ask lots of questions.
- Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or Facebook to go “offline.”*
- Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
- Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally. If you don’t know them, don’t send money,...You will see what their true intentions are after that.”
*My only caveat to this list is that with international dating the opposite of number 3 is usually true, a scammer will want to keep you on a PPL site.
Basically a classic romance scammer lures you in with a nice photo, butters you up with intense/passionate confessions of undying love, and then asks you for money (usually to help with travel expenses, medical or financial emergencies, etc). A great tip here is to always be wary of women who seem to fall in love with you unnaturally fast over the internet. If they seem romantically desperate something is wrong.
Commandment 3: Never send money or gifts to a woman you meet online
The commandment though is this: Never send money to a woman you meet online. I don't care if she wants to buy a ticket to meet you, she needs english classes, or says her dad is dying. Don't do it!
If a woman starts acting suspicious and asks you for money, report her or flag her profile on the dating site you're using (honest dating sites will have this safety feature like this in place).
"Every week I get a sob story from some guy who’s out $10,000 or so. He was in love with a Russian (or Ukrainian) Woman. And after a long “engagement’ or love affair, he began to send her money. And everything went fine with their relationship until he became a little suspicious. And when he stopped sending money, she cut off all contact.
There was only one problem.
He never actually met her.
As much as I pity these guys, I can’t help but NOT feel sorry for them. For the same reason that I don’t feel sorry for someone who pays full retail for a car, at high interest, and also only gets 20% of the value of their trade in.
You can’t fix stupid."
Find the whole article here
Guard yourself in-country
With two major scams down there's only one category left: the in country scams. On romance tours and through dating agencies there are women who will feign interest in a man to fleece him with expensive restaurants, shopping trips, and translator fees.
This scam is a little hard to concretely define. Still here's a practical tip: When going on dates with women in another country be cautious with any lady who is overly enthusiastic about expensive venues or gifts.
Now if a lady mentions she enjoys the opera or eating caviar you don't have to freak out, blacklist her, and end your date. But if she keeps not so subtly dropping hints about a new trendy (ie expensive) club or restaurant, and quickly loses interest in the date the more you refuse,...that's definitely a red flag.
Commandment 4: Only date women you can communicate freely with
This next commandment will greatly decrease your chances of getting taken to the cleaners by a professional dater. When there's an intermediary between you and the lady you're dating, it not only makes communication more difficult, but it also makes it harder for you to read the situation.
You're heavily dependent on the translator to be honest and work with your best interest in mind. You're also depending on them to actually be good at translating (which isn't always the case). You have much more control over the entire situation if you and the lady can freely communicate with each other without a translator (or translator app).
Some guys may be wont to skimp on this commandment by winging dates with Google translate or other apps. I won't say that sort of thing could never work, but I will say this: ignore this commandment at your own risk.
To my knowledge all international dating sites list a woman's language skills (which languages she speaks and how well she speaks it). To keep this commandment simply pick women who have a high level in a language you also speak. Chances are the shared language will be English.
The only exception to this command will be if you're using a highly trusted introduction agency (of which there are few), that supplies its own translators.
Examples of trustworthy agencies:
These commandments aren't designed to sap your fun or ruin your dates. They are designed to help protect you against the massive scam industry that's closely associated with international dating.
There's no bolt of lightning coming if you break one, but there might be a shrewd scammer lurking in the shadows. I wish international dating didn't have to be this precarious and we could all easily meet honest and wonderful women anywhere in the world.
But I guess if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.