The landing page of LoveMate.co.za looks very welcoming. Signing up is easy and gives you access to a members’ area full of interesting profiles. Some other members look quite familiar. We have seen their profile pictures on other dating platforms, operated by different companies. We do not know where their photos come from, but we can tell that this is a fake chat scam.
A good place to find evidence for the existence of fake profiles are the terms and conditions, where barely anyone takes a closer look. The operator describes the moderation of the other member profiles as a feature called “Promote My Account”. This is supposed to increase the number of interactions on the platform. The operator wants the users to actively use the chat, since sending messages requires an expensive membership.
Excerpt from the terms and conditions
We may from time to time offer users the ability to “Promote My Account” through Account Settings. Activating this service will mean that we will automatically broadcast custom messages created by any user, or selected from a default list of template messages, to other users. We reserve the right to select members to use the Promote My Account service.
The trial membership is part of the rip-off
The operator offers a few different paid memberships. The trial membership is the shortest and cheapest by far. The operator wants the users to go for the three-day trial, which turns out to be a subscription rip-off. If you do not cancel it in those three days, it turns into a long-lasting subscription of 90 USD per month. This means that generated messages as part of the “Promote My Account” feature are used to lure the users into a subscription trap.
LoveMate.co.za is operated by Timespace Holdings Ltd, who are based in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands. This is a rather exotic location for a dating service provider that wants to look professional. Several online reviews reveal that this company is up to no good. Our experience with the membership system and the generated messages makes us agree with the unsatisfied users.