POF, or Plenty of Fish, is one of the oldest and most reputable dating sites on the Internet. It is free to find matches, connect with them, and there are marriages that took place among free members. So it’s a good service even if you never upgrade or pay them anything.
There are, however, some scams that are taking place on POF, and the scammers prefer POF because it costs them nothing.
There is the Russian/Nigerian scams, where the scammers pose as a female that starts the conversation with the male victim, and ask to take the conversation on Google Hangouts in particular for reasons that are not clear to me at the moment. Perhaps because they can use it without having to create a Google account!
Anyway, after talking about love, and trust, and even exchanging of some pictures (face ones of course) the conversation turns towards asking the male victim for money.
The scam has been around for sometime. I investigated it myself and went through different scenarios with the scammers trying to see their techniques and how they handle different situations.
This scam has been known for sometime now and it’s not news. The news is the local scams!
Again I am posting my experience as a male, because I don’t want to lie on my profile about anything. It counts as a lie, you know.
The female scammers wait until you contact them, and you will because they post very beautiful pictures. In one case the scammer initiated the contact and offer help in editing my profile in a way that would get more responses.
Then after you deal with the persona for some time the scammer would go on one of many routs that makes the victim sympathize with their grief (loss, feeling down …etc), and they explain that the problem is financial.
The victim, out of generosity offers to help with money, and the persona pretends to resist the temptation, or totally reject the offer in an exaggerated way. If you insist, or offer one more time later, this time they accept and ask for a small amount (around $100).
Then anything can happen. They delete their account so that you lose contact with them, and if you have transferred the money via email they don’t reply to your emails, even the phone number suddenly becomes not in service!
That’s why many of the users on POF only respond to upgraded members because the upgrading process involves verification of the identity of the members through their credit card or whatever payment method they used to upgrade.
And that’s why I only recommend services that don’t give much room to scammers by limiting the free features, like Christian Cafe. The free features are good and allow you to make choices and screening, but the freedom to contact and scam, or abuse (it happens, verbally) other members are not there.