It doesn’t take a lot of sleuthing to figure out this online dating scam. It is a date verification scam pure and simple. This is one of a family of sites – Safe and Single.
It starts with an email response to a post/ad/profile. The immediate giveaway that you have a scam is that when your ‘date’ replies to you, they cannot answer a simple question, like what color is your dress? etc. When I find these I like to have a little fun, since I know it is a bot, and this serves as a means to confirm the suspicion.
In my introduction, I tell them my name, and some expression of interest and a little about myself. I include a little question about them or something, built in to the conversation, and that way if they answer I know I have a real person. Usually, they do not answer the question, and provide me an email to contact them directly.
At this point, you know you have a robot (bot) that has built a process to get you to some other site. That’s where the fun begins…
When I feel like rooting out the details of what scam is being run, then I will reply to the email they sent. Here is typically how it goes
email from Scammer:
Hi its Sophia. I am glad to hear from you, here is my private email. Send me your name, age, where you are, and a picture.
My email to firstname.lastname@example.org”:
Hi Its Ronin. I am 89, but I don’t look a day over 77. I live in bufmuck egypt. Where are you? Are you free today or tomorrow?
I usually include a picture of something for fun, like a horses backside, or a little kid picking his nose.
Then you will get another reply mail, that is asking for an additional response. I presume this is to simulate dialog, ramp up your interest, and lead you to believe you have a real person. In any case, it does not yet have the scam website. It goes something like this:
Hi its me again, so good to hear from a real person. I am really looking forward to meeting you. I am never sure about this CL thing. blah blah blah…
yea its really cold here in bufmuck egypt. maybe we could keep each other warm.
After this third step in correspondence is when you get the email response, with a small sales job, that introduces the Scam Date Verification Site, in this case Safe and Single – justnowhookups.com. There is nothing particularly special about the email, other than a sometimes awkward use of the English language.
This all might seem a little silly; well it is. There is utility, in that you have to correspond a 3 times before you get to the scam website information. It also ensures that there is no doubt whatsoever that this is an attempted scam.
The site touts that it will verify you, and make sure you are 18 and not a sex offender. There is no fee for this, it is free. You just need to provide a credit card so they can verify you. First you enter some basic information, pick a user ID a password, a location, and give them an email. Next, you are presented a page that requests your credit card. In the terms and conditions, you can find how they make their money… Thru a charge for some additional service.
(**) Your Free Lifetime access to InstaCuties includes a free 2 day trial promo to Premier Passport+++ that renews same calendar day at a fixed $39.95/month after the trial ends unless cancelled. TO AVOID BEING CHARGED, SIMPLY CANCEL YOUR Premier Passport MEMBERSHIP BEFORE THE TRIAL PERIOD ENDS. Your lifetime access to InstaCuties remains active even if you cancel your Premier Passport membership.
Any charges made to your card will appear under ‘VIPSELLCTR.COM’.
Special FREE Bonus Offer:
+ Your Platinum Membership Details++: – EroticDvdsOnline.com – 7 Days Free Trial, membership renews same calendar day at a fixed $39.94/monthly, after the trial period ends unless cancelled.–XXXHDVault.com – 10 Days Free Trial, membership renews same calendar day at a fixed $49.95/monthly, after the trial period ends unless cancelled.
This site stays above board (so far, sort of) by articulating the conditions and the charges. Unlike some of these sites, they are visible. So if you’re not careful, you are going to have $130.00 in charges on your card. I have known people who have been in this situation and tried to get the services turned off. Lets just say that the customer service is less than optimal in these situations. You can read Sam’s story here. He ended up disputing the charges (successfully with my help), and cancelling his credit card.
Safe and Single – JustNowHookUps is an online dating scam.
I read somewhere in a scam reporting website, that this site was “probably” a scam, rating at at 89% chance of being an online dating scam. Why there is any doubt of scamhood is beyond me. A real person just doesn’t put themselves on this sort of site. I call 100%.
At a deeper level, this and other Get Verified scams are fronts for signing you up to branded dating sites, which are really front ends for White Label Dating Services companies. You can read more in my post Get Verified: Tinder, Badoo, and Craigslist – Matrix of a Scam
Internals of the Online Dating Scam website
The website is designed to make you think that your date is nearby. The way they do it is by using a java script code from Geoplugin.net. Geoplugin is code that determines your general location by looking at your IP address. The scam website takes that information and makes it appear as if your “date” is in the same general area as you. If you go to the site from California, you will see Sophia near you as well.
I was able to look at the code, and I explain what they are doing for these sorts of scam tactics, You can see the explanation and code snippets here: scam online dating website code.
Of course you should never provide any personal information or any form of payment to any site like this. In fact, once you recognize the pattern, you should just end contact quietly. I take it a step further, just so I can be sure of my facts, and explain to readers what the scam is in detail. Of course I keep all of my antivirus protection up-to-date.
This site also does not use secure encryption which is an absolute must when conducting any financial transactions. If you’re not familiar just look at the URL – it should start with httpS. My browser (Chrome) has a small padlock icon as well to show that it is secure. With the encryption, whatever you type in is openly transmitted on the internet. The site claims a number of secure authorities such as Verisign but that is a scam too. There is no security certificate. Here is the Verisign web site that explains certs and https: https://www.verisign.com/security
the online dating scammer
During our email exchanges “Sophia” sent me her pictures. This one is cropped to keep the blog rated PG.
None of the pictures were found on a Tineye Search.
Of course we do not know where this picture originates from; lovely Sophia is not who is behind the operation. We do know that if you see this picture, it will be a scam.
The Website Structure
I guess when I first started looking at the site, they were not quite done yet. If you removed the user name from the URL and just put in JustNowHookUps.com, there was no home page, just a directory structure
They have since changed this and put in a redirect to another (I presume scam) website. Not before a snagged a copy of their code (the .zip files) however. I downloaded the files, scanned them for viruses, and peeked inside. The file is a typical deployment file – that is a file that is used when you are finished programming and ready to deploy it to a production or public server. For the most part it is rather uninteresting. The one point of note, is that one of the pictures of girls in the image directory, is our friend Elise, from safedatersverify. It’s a small world after all.
The online dating scam website
JustNowHookups.com is hosted by an internet service provider NameCheap.com
The Domain was registered on October 20, 2016.
The domain was registered anonymously thru a Panamanian registration service. There is nothing wrong with an anonymous registration. This is common and recommended for private individuals, who do not want their contact information broadcast to the world. Private registration for a business is unusual, but not unheard of.