TemptedToChat.com seems promising at first sight. The landing page offers free registration. It claims to have 4 million members and goes on to explain how easy it is to get in touch with them. We decide to investigate. Immediately realizing that the landing page is almost identical to those of other online dating websites that we have seen before. They use the same text and the same photos. We check users’ reviews and all are negative. Members claim it is a scam and that on the other side of the chat, there is a fake profile with fake chat operator.
Fake chat rip-off
After registering for free to TemptedTochat.com, the user immediately realizes that to chat with other members, ‘credits’ must be purchased. The user will have to pay for every message they want to send out. Once the credits are paid, the user will start chatting with fake profiles which show fictitious people. However, the platform does alert its clients to this possibility. However, it does so in very small writing and in a way that is not clear. We decide to try it ourselves, and we notice that none of the profiles we chat with is real.
On one hand, the page alerts the user of the existence of these fake profiles. On the other hand, it does so in a way that is easily overlooked. The fake profile is marked with a small heart icon. Yet, there are several other heart icons with different meanings. The fake profile heart icon is the smallest of all, and it easily slips the user’s attention.
The excerpt from the terms and conditions
3.1. temptedtochat.com has the goal of allowing users to flirt. temptedtochat.com is the platform for users to chat with fictive profiles. The website, service and content are being provided for entertainment purposes only and are not intended to be used for establishing meetings with other users. Profiles marked with a heart icon ❤️ are fictive profiles with which physical contact is not possible.
This easily leads to a scam. Users start chatting with people they will never have the chance to meet in real life. After reading more reviews, we find out users are often tricked into continuing a conversation. Users end up paying more, in an attempt by the operators to make it look like a real date is possible. Later, users they realize how much money they have lost by sending dead-end messages.
On top of that, credits have an expiry date. If not used within a certain period of time, they will expire and the user will lose their money. The little heart icon is not clear enough for the user to understand what it really means, without going through the Terms & Conditions.
Behind this rip-off we find the company Midsummer Online BV, headquartered in the Netherlands. The company is infamously known for running several online dating websites that hide a fake chat rip-off. The company has received several negative reviews about users’ experiences.