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Scammers Will Pay for Gold but They Still Won’t Video Chat by John Abbot
It will probably come as a surprise to members that Scammers frequently pay for an upgrade, even for a Gold upgrade. I know it came as a surprise to us.  And with the advent of there seem to be even more ready to pay.
Of course the reason they’re so quick to pay is pretty simple – they aren’t using their own money. Invariably they pay with stolen credit information, and they’re good enough at this that they often sneak by PayPal or PayDollar security mechanisms which are designed to avoid acceptance of such payments.It isn't so hard for Scammers to pay for an upgrade (they just use someone else's money), but it's not so easy for them to have a video chat.
However, we have some additional checks here at CLM/ALM which we review when a payment is received to try to determine if we need to reject the payment due to the person being an apparent Scammer. If we have absolutely no doubt that the person is a Scammer then we refund the payment and cancel the Scammer’s membership. Usually this is the end of it because they usually join and pay at the same time so their membership has never been approved and contact with another member has never taken place. On rare occasions though, the person has been approved and we are learning they are Scammers through a member report. Since their upgrade was automatically given by the system, we have to then place them in Scammer prison and send out the usual notices to everyone they’ve contacted.
Most of the time though, when we are looking at new members who have paid for an upgrade right away, we have reasons to suspect them but nothing conclusive that tells us they are Scammers beyond a doubt. So we have instituted the practice of contacting these members and asking for a Video chat prior to approving them.  The form of letter we send is as follows:
“Hi username

We're really sorry to be inconveniencing you like this, but there remain several discrepancies about your application that we would like to resolve.  We know this must seem excessive to you considering that we are just a simple dating website but we take protection of our members very seriously. Hopefully you'll come to appreciate that once you are fully approved.

In order to approve you we would appreciate having a video chat with you at your convenience. Please give us a date and a time between 10 AM and 10 PM when you could be online to meet with us and we'll prearrange for your membership to be activated for that time. Once we've video chatted with you and resolved a couple of minor issues we'll simply leave your membership activated and will set your recently purchased upgrade to start at that moment.

If this is just too inconvenient or seems too over the top for you please advise and we'll be happy to refund your recent payment.

Again we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and the accompanying frustration.

Best regards, or
So far there have been about 20 of these letters go out and guess how many of these members have replied agreeing to a video chat?
Guess how many have replied asking for a refund?
Just so you’ll know, we refund these payments if an answer isn’t received within 48 hours because frankly we don’t want to receive stolen money, and at this point it is clearly exactly that – stolen. I must confess though (speaking strictly on my own behalf and not for anyone else here at CLM/ALM) that I do feel a tiny stabbing pain in my wallet each time that refund button is pushed.
Now I am telling you about this for two reasons:
1. So you’ll know the extent to which Scammers will go to get your money, and to repeat and confirm that you should NEVER SEND MONEY and REPORT MEMBERS WHO ASK! We rely extensively on member reporting to try to protect you all, and this is especially true in the case of Gold members because the ones that have gotten past us and upgraded are the ones who have been in contact with a great many of your fellow members. So please report these scum on every occasion when someone asks for money.
2. So you’ll understand just how important and effective it is to insist on a video chat with anyone you are interested in on any dating site. Demand it and don’t take no for an answer. Don’t accept a video chat in which the person isn’t clearly visible. Don’t accept any excuses. Let me repeat – ALWAYS ASK FOR A VIDEO CHAT!
Now my last suggestion (or request) is that even if you’ve had a video chat and you know the person is the same one whose pictures are on their profile, IF THEY ASK FOR MONEY REPORT THEM TO US! We still want to investigate them. Nobody should be asking another member for money until they have physically met and committed to a real and ongoing relationship. It really is that simple!

From: Original         Author: John Abbot         Time: 10/14/2010 5:41:49 PM

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