You’ve probably heard about romance scams, where con artists trick unsuspecting victims into falling in love — and parting with their money.

Lately, the BBB Scam Tracker is getting reports of a new type of romance scam. In this con, it’s the entire dating website that’s a sham.

The dating service may seem legitimate. It asks you to fill out a profile with your personal information, which in this case includes your credit card number, which supposedly is needed to pay for your membership.

However, when you start browsing other users’ profiles, you notice red flags.

Other members who contact you have incomplete profiles that lack photos and other basic information. The site may encourage you to connect with people who don’t match your dating profile. For example, they may live in a different city or be outside your preferred age range. You also may notice that profiles frequently vanish from the site — even after you’ve chatted with them.

It turns out these other daters aren’t real. The site is filled with phony profiles that make you think it has many members. Once you figure out the hoax, you try to cancel your membership, but the site just keeps billing you.

In some cases, the scam dating site requires you to pay to contact other “daters.” One victim reported joining a dating service where she bought “coins” in order to…

Read more…