Beware of Badoo Scams (and other Dating Site Scams)

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I’ve never been a member of Badoo.  The first time I heard about it was through an email invitation several years ago, and when I checked out the site I felt it was too dating-site like so I didn’t join it.  Not that I have anything against dating sites or people who frequent them.  It’s just not my thing.  Although I did co-own a dating site several years ago but decided to take it down due to software-malfunction (Boonex Dolphin: AVOID AT ALL COST!) and the number of LIARS that signed up.

Webmaster Experience

It is easy for webmasters to spot a liar, especially one that isn’t meticulous with his/her work.  As a webmaster, we are able to obtain IP addresses of all registrants.  So if the registrant claims to be in USA but their IP address points to e.g. Senegal, I ban them.  This was a tough time-consuming job.  Most “liars (i.e. potential scammers)” were from the West African region, such as Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, etc.

Most of the time they will upload pictures of people who have signed up at other dating sites or pictures obtained from the internet and pass it off as their own.  These scammers were so careful to hide it from the admin account(s) to avoid being banned or discovered so I did the worst (and best) thing a webmaster could have done: I tracked them down using the database and not the crappy software.

The database allowed me to “pry” into my members’ private inbox and helped me identify suspicious behaviour.  There were several scammers sending out the same ‘copy & paste’ messages to as many male members as possible.  I even had some members replying to these scammers.  It was such a sad situation.  I spent a lot of time banning people so I was more than glad to get away from that “job”.

No matter how many times I warn people I know or people reading my blogs about being cautious online, many don’t seem to care or believe me.  Their minds are flooded with financial greed or marital desperation to the point where they’re looking at the situation through the eyes of desire that they fail to recognize reality.

Badoo Case Study

Recently, someone I know who is a member of Badoo was almost scammed.  This is a true story.  The lady (English isn’t her first language) was being chatted up by a guy who claimed to be British.  Except he was fluent in French (which the lady is literate in).  This “Briton” was apparently a businessman; his business takes him to places in Africa and Asia.  She later told me that she did find it weird that his English didn’t seem fluent at all, almost like he could barely speak English.  Anyway, he would chat her up via Badoo messages, text and even phone calls.  These phone numbers were always different – he was a traveller after all.  I can tell you that fortunately, this particular person wasn’t scammed.  She got out of it in the nick of time.  But some people aren’t as lucky.

The Scam

This is how this particular scam works: the guy tries to talk about how beautiful and wonderful the girl is. He talks about a relationship, and gives this girl a vision of what might be.  So the girl falls in love with the idea of dating a successful guy who gives her so much attention.  He then tells her that he will send her a gift.  The gift isn’t a cheap one, according to him it costs thousands of dollars or pounds.  Even tens of thousands.  He claims to have sent it through a “middle-country”.  I.e. he sends it from where he is and before it arrives to your country, it is held at the customs (or courier – *if there is a website link and tracking ID then the whole website is either part of the scam – check the authenticity of the existence of this courier service or website…or the ID number/password) of a neighbouring or the stopover country.  Now, because the item(s) are so expensive they require you to send several thousands of dollars or pounds for it to be released from customs (or courier).  You believe all this because it is a lady or another person from that country telling you that your items cannot be released until you pay the fees.

What you do not know is that there is NO item and that this customs (or courier) person is in on the scam.  You send them the money and they will either disappear or tell you that there are other charges/fees that you will have to pay before they can send you the item.

But…?

I know what you’re thinking.  “But…the guy showed me his pictures!”, “but the guy called me from England!”, “but…!” All these but questions can be answered.  For instance, Skype allows you to purchase an online number.  You can choose the country you want this number to be from, e.g. US, UK, Hong Kong, Italy, etc.  If you have this number, you can call any phone number in the world and they will believe that you are in that particular country because that’s what is written as your country code.  You can also text them through this number.

Pictures are easily obtainable.  For example, you can type up anyone’s name on Facebook and if their privacy settings are set to public you will be able to browse through (and download) the person’s personal pictures.  It could be holiday pictures, images taken at work or a park, in their home, webcam shots, etc.  So the variety of pictures will show the same person, at different locations.  If a scammer shows you these pictures it is easy for people to think that the scammer is who they say they are.

Please browse through these recommended links and read the experiences of people who fell victim to these crimes and therefore lost a lot of money.

Recommended Links:

PLEASE BE AWARE!!! ….. PLEASE BEWARE!!!

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    6 Comments

    • At 2011.11.05 07:47, lilyyao said:

      i know a man from badoo,his name is anthonybrown,first he really so sincerely,and after 5-6 letters,he start ask me for 1200dollar,then I said I don’t have,then after few letter,he ask me buy IPHONE FOR HIM,i told him I never buy gift for man,then he still wrote the loving letter to me,then another day he ask me again buy the perfurm for him,then I still didn’t buy for him,(he also ask me send money to him from westen union)but he still wrote the letter to me,but not often as use to be,anyway he really handsome,I fall in love with him,can anybody pls tell me he is real or scamer.if he is scamer,I will not contact him anymore.

      • At 2011.11.05 09:36, Sabrina Sabino said:

        Thank you for sharing this. It’s important for other readers to be aware of this person to avoid any potential scam victim. I can’t know for sure with only the given information if this guy is indeed a scammer. But it does seem as though you should watch out because he is asking you for a lot of things that cost a lot of money.

        The safest thing to do right now is to report him on Badoo as a member who is misusing the service. At the moment, I’m not entirely sure how serious Badoo is with scam protection. But if they are willing to do some basic research on this guy with the information they receive (e.g. private message checks, or if his profile details match his IP address location even) they could ban him if they feel it doesn’t add up.

        Most scammers will use someone else’s identity (e.g. name, profile pictures, etc.). Search for him on Facebook. If he doesn’t have a Facebook profile that itself might be worrying…mainly because the people who do not have Facebook pages are generally people who are not into the online socializing thing. Also, do an image search of his profile picture on Google (images.google.com) simply click and drag the picture into the search box. If the profile picture appears on any other website it might give you a lead.

      • At 2012.01.24 17:04, Stephanie Pang said:

        Thanks for sharing your sets of story about scammers to me. yes i did encounter dating scam in April 2010. before i came to know it about the word scam, i was not aware of it. so i share with my three friends and they ask me to be careful of scam. there are a lot of people fall in love with you at the beginning, in the end they find a way to trap you with a sum of money. i have one of the african guy that forward gift to me, then they ask me for RM4200.00. in the end i am smart that i did not give a single cents to him. yes i did fall in love with him after few email. Thank god he rescue me for the danger of dating scam. In this world there are million of guys that god will plan for me. Sabrina there are a lot of blind women who believe that the guy trully love them. in the end they lost million of dollars of these african guy. Oh my god there are lot’s of african guys in malaysia love the scam women money. Anyway i am very good in dealing of dating scam of my past experience. of course i will be aware of Badoo. Again if i encounter dating scam over in Badoo i will crease communicate with them.

        • At 2012.01.25 01:30, Sabrina Sabino said:

          Thanks for sharing your experience, Stephanie. I’m very glad you didn’t fall for the scam, and you were able to realize that the person was after your money. It’s a very sad situation for those who have had their hearts broken and then to have that traitor take money from them. It’s hard to believe that some people in this world can be so cruel, and have the sole intention of getting people to fall in love with them so that they can scam money from them and then leave the victims high and dry. They will get what they deserve one day. Be safe, and take care.

          • At 2012.01.25 09:45, Stephanie Pang said:

            Welcome if you want to know how i deal with the african scammers, i will explain to you step by step. men you will never never know those african was being trained to scam money of both man and women. you can reach me of my hotmail account. Anyway it’s very common over in Malaysia. of course there were lot’s of women over here scam million of dollars. on the another hand, there are group of stupid women regardless of races that have relationship with the african man. and they are thinking that they will marry them eventually. Honest speaking all those african man they are not interested to marry them, and they will make them to borrow money to loan shark or make them to be prostitute in order to earn money to them, after they grab the money, you know what i mean. of course they will leave malaysia to african.i hope this world will get rid of dating scam.

          • At 2012.01.26 23:00, Sabrina Sabino said:

            Thanks, you are very kind. Action needs to be taken to prevent anyone from falling victim to online scams.

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