Online scams are most often identified as those websites or ambitious projects that immediately look unrealistic or suspicious. These days they’re usually associated with cryptocurrencies and financial projects. However even in online dating, scams are not uncommon.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to recognize a scam on the Internet, how not to fall for scammers’ tricks, and examine several popular video chat services. We’ll identify if there are any signs of scammers on them or if you can use them without unnecessary worries.
Video chat — how to spot a scam
Millions of people around the world communicate and meet via anonymous video chat. It’s not surprising that such sites are growing rapidly in number. Fortunately, scam sites are not that frequent — there are many more fraudulent dating sites.
There’s a reason for this. Most anonymous video chat services don’t require registration and provide their services for free, so they don’t have the usual tools to extort money from the user. Although not all sites operate in the same way. In addition, the site’s own security doesn’t guarantee complete protection for the user. After all, you can find scammers and swindlers on almost any site. So safety should come first.
So let’s go from theory to practice. Let’s take a look at several popular video chat services and see if they show any signs of scammers.
1.Omegle. This chat roulette is very popular and trusted by users. After all, it was the first of its kind. However, in reviews of Omegle, you can often find complaints about poor moderation, problem or disappointing users, scammers, bots, fakes, and so on. Nevertheless, the Omegle website itself cannot be called a scam in any way.
2. Shagle. The situation is similar here. Shagle works transparently and openly, and provides basic functionality for free. It even has a gender filter for more precise searches. Its accuracy leaves some questions, but its very presence is non-threatening. Among user reviews, no one said that Shagle is a scam or a fraudulent business.
3. ChatRandom. A very popular chat roulette, and some of its functions are available only on a paid basis. For example, you have to pay for separate personal chat with girls. The amount is small and the chat itself works well, so there’s no scope for calling ChatRandom a scam.
4. CooMeet. Also not a scam project, although the full feature set of the site is only available via subscription. For that, CooMeet offers the best moderation of all the chat roulettes listed, as well as a great gender filter. The system connects men exclusively to girls, and each of them has to verify their identity. No fakes, bots or scammers, and this was reflected in the reviews — no one said that CooMeet was a scam either. You can read the comments of other users on https://coomeet.reviews and see for yourself.
5. ChatRoulette. If access to ChatRoulette were paid, the site could easily be mistaken for a scam. There are far too many dubious users, and until recently there was no moderation at all. However, this chat roulette is completely free and does not try to extract money from the user, so ChatRoulette can’t be considered a scam. Although there are still many questions about the site.
6. OmeTV. Another popular chat roulette without any signs of being a scam. Reviews about OmeTV are mostly positive, and you can use it for free without registration. It’s safe, as long as you don’t forget about the rules of interacting with strangers on the Internet, as you can still be scammed in chat.
What does this tell us? Popular video chats cannot easily be called scams, even those that provide some features for a fee. That investment is a sound one, but there are other sites that are clearly scams.
An example of a video chat scam
A classic example of a scam video chat site was the Japanese service bittex24.pro. At the time of writing this article, it was already blocked, but in 2018 it was still online and extracted money from many users for supposedly full access.
Among the most obvious features that warned that bittex24.pro was a scam were:
- Domain name inconsistency with the subject of the site. Bittex24 is definitely not associated with chat roulette.
- A primitive design from the early 2000s. This is a common feature of scam sites.
- Lack of any contact details, or fake details.
- You need to pay literally for everything without being able to test anything during a trial period.
The Bittex24 website worked just like a chat roulette and you could even meet people there. The strange thing was that the site was Japanese and almost all the information in Japanese, but the users were mostly Russian-speaking. Quite a curious inconsistency, isn’t it? Especially when the site did not use geographic filters that could explain the regional nature of users.
What to look for to not fall for Internet scams?
Look at the website url. Scam sites often use addresses that are similar to popular sites. For example, Omeglle, CoolMeet, Chatrulette. Just one letter can be changed without you even realizing it.
Pay attention to whether the website contains the company’s registration address and contact information. Does the support service work and is it possible to seek advice if necessary?
And of course, be sure to read reviews on the internet, not only on the site that you are studying, but also on third-party review sites. There they are likely to be more objective. If you see that users are complaining about cheating, fraud or blackmail, don’t use this site under any circumstances.
If you do get caught by a scam site, you should try to contact the legal authorities. These days Internet fraud is fought much more aggressively and effectively than it used to be. You may even get your money back, or at least help get the site closed down as happened with Bittex24.