Canada’s Competition Bureau warns against online dating scams

Dating apps on iPhone

Right in time for Valentine’s Day, Canada’s Competition Bureau is giving a few suggestions on how Canadians can avoid falling for online dating scams.

To start, the Bureau warns that many sites try to lure people in through various means, such as claiming they’re free while hiding message sending and receiving functionality behind a paywall. Further, these sites may use fake or inactive profiles to trick you into thinking that there are more members on the site than there really are.

This might lead you to sign up with a credit card to be able to message this seemingly large pool of potential matches. Later, these sites will normally auto-renew memberships once the credit card information has been stored, which some users may not even be aware of.

To help prevent this, the Competition Bureau suggests you consult the Better Business Bureau to find out which sites are trustworthy.

Additionally, the Bureau advises you to study the terms and conditions and understand exactly what is offered in a membership. This will help you understand how much you’re being charged and if auto-renewal is turned on, especially if you took advantage of a limited-time “free trial.”

Finally, the Bureau says you should read the site’s privacy policy to know what personal information is collected, how it’s used and whether it’s shared.

Anyone that feels they’ve been misled by an online dating service can contact the Competition Bureau and file a complaint online or by phone at 1-800-348-5358.

Source: Competition Bureau