Why I believe that asiandate.com is a scam: my negative review

Update (5 March 2016): Added a section, A second reader's advice, in response to the reader's advice from the update below.

Update (18 December 2015): Added a section, A reader's feedback and advice after the section, "Agency women?", which includes that reader's finding that some of the women on asiandate.com are genuine, as well as his advice to other members of the site.

Update (22 September 2015): Added a new section, "Corroboration" based in part on a reader's feedback and in part on the discovery of an article about another dating site's automated scam-spam.

Update (21 October 2014): This review has provoked a reaction: "somebody" is targeting it - and other articles critical of asiandate.com and the Anastasia family - in a spam link attack campaign.

Recently, due to a friend's involvement, I had cause to investigate the authenticity of an Asian dating site. The site, which I won't link to, because I don't want to improve its search ranking, is asiandate.com, also operating under the domain aliases asiadate.com (i.e. without the "n"), asianbeauties.com and orientbrides.com (more on these alternative domain names later), and redirecting upon registration from the domain marryasianbride.com. My suspicions were aroused by my friend's description of the site: drop-dead gorgeous women everywhere, constantly sending him letters and chat pop-up requests, yet for every letter read after a lady's first, he had to pay ten credits, and ten credits likewise to send a lady a reply letter - instant messaging chats cost one credit per minute after the first three (free) minutes. Credits could be bought at varying rates depending on how many you bought at a time, ranging from $8 per ten credits to $4 per ten credits.

Concerned that my friend was being scammed, I did some investigating, and came to the conclusion that yes, he was. After sharing my research with him, he agreed. Here, then, is my research, to warn those considering using asiandate.com against wasting their time and money. My investigations took two forms: direct investigation by registering a fake profile, and indirect investigation by scouring the net for positive/negative reviews. I'll summarise the results of the fake profile first.

My fake anti-scammer profile on asiandate.com

On 27 June 2014, I registered a fake profile, leaving all details unset other than name, age and profile description ("A Few Words About Yourself"), which I set (respectively) to "Michael Michaelson", 70, and "I'm just here to check whether this site is a scam. Please only message me if you are a scammer.". Notice that "Michael" explicitly requested only scammers to message him. I could be pretty certain, then, that anybody messaging him either had not read his profile, or was a scammer, or (most likely) both. "Michael" did not upload any profile pictures. Screenshot of Michael Michaelson profile edit | Screenshot of Michael Michaelson profile as seen by ladies

Further on, I present a single piece of persuasive evidence from the results of this fake profile that the scamming on asiandate.com is systemic. If you want to go straight to that evidence, then please click here. Otherwise, read on for the build-up to that evidence.

The implausible chat pop-ups

Within minutes, the chat pop-ups began appearing. They never stopped, only increasing in frequency over the following few days. The vast majority of the "women" (I quote that word only because it is entirely possible that behind any of these messages was a man) messaging "Michael" sported profile pictures that looked professionally photographed, and most of the ladies could even have passed for professional models - in all likelihood, many if not most of these images were of professional models. A sample of some of the first few messages "Michael" received, along with my commentary, if any, in grey, follows. I did not take screenshots of any of these chat pop-ups, but you don't have to take them on faith - you can perform the same experiment that I did, and see for yourself that these are the sort of messages that you receive.

After several days, the chat pop-ups stopped arriving from asiandate.com women and started arriving (almost, but not quite) exclusively from anastasiadate.com women (more on this site and others in the family later), as evidenced by both the physical appearances of the women and the chat links, which were to pages in the anastasiadate.com domain. For some reason, the women started addressing their messages to "Not" rather than to "Michael", presumably because I had previously registered an account "Not Real", although I'm not sure how that account/name became linked to the "Michael Michaelson" account. In any case, the frequency of the pop-ups didn't abate - if anything, it increased. There were pretty much constantly at least one and often around five chat pop-up windows on the screen at a time.

The best-case-lying, worst-case-scamming letters

Within 24 hours, the letters began accumulating in "Michael's" asiandate.com inbox. Again, most of the women in the photographs looked like professional models. Many of the letter writers purported to have read "Michael's" profile, in which he solicited messages from scammers only - yet here they were messaging him anyway. This is damning enough as it is, but I've got an even better actual smoking gun to present afterwards, so read on for that. Here is a sample of those quotes from those letters, including any of my comments in grey.

Out of the first 23 letters that I opened, 13 (about 57%) of them, as quoted above, explicitly asserted that the writer had read "Michael's" profile and was interested in him based upon that profile, and three others (about 13%) implied it by writing such things as "I’m very interested in you [...] I believe the first sight , perhaps the first look can doom our fate", "you can't imagine how happy I am at the moment" and "I feel so happy to be here to coonect with you my dear". So, about 70% of the first 23 letters I opened either by a charitable interpretation blatantly or implicitly lied, and/or, by a more likely interpretation, attempted to scam "Michael" by flattering him and pretending interest only so that he would spend money (between $4 and $8 a pop) to read and reply to future letters. That's not to say that the remaining 30% were not scammers, and, indeed, the style of their letters was very similar.

Too, several of these letters (the very first contact these supposed women had had with "Michael's" profile) included such implausibly forward statements as "Do you want to regard me as your special princess in your heart forever?", "honey,I want to have a castle with you,just you and me,will you want to be my prince?" and "I think we can create a new future by us". Those just don't ring true to me as the type of thing a genuine woman seeking lasting love would say to a seventy year old man she'd never met before, especially absent a photograph or any other identifying details.

I also can't fail to mention that after the first photograph in each letter, it costs ten credits to open each photograph, and that, surprise, surprise, many (around 50%) of the letters "Michael" received contained more than one photograph.

To give you an idea of the frequency of the letters, around 60 letters arrived within the first nine days - about 6.5 letters per day.

Replicating the results

To check that this wasn't some strange anomaly, on 5 July 2014 I created another fake account, "John Smith", aged 88 (the maximum age it is possible to set for men on asiandate.com), with profile description ("A Few Words About Yourself") set to "I am an old and decrepit man with terminal cancer and absolutely no money. I will die within a month, the doctors say.". As with "Michael"'s account, I provided no photographs. Within two days, the account received 15 letters, with similar results as for "Michael" - many of the writers claimed to have read, and to be attracted to "John" based on, his profile; many of them provided more than one photograph. Chat pop-ups for "John" didn't start as immediately as for "Michael", but once they did (after about a day), they were similarly incessant, and equally implausible.

Systemic scamming: the smoking gun

All of the above points strongly to scamming - that deceptive letters are sent out without regard for any particular qualities of their recipients (other than having money to spend). It is even strongly suggestive of systemic scamming - that these letters are sent out by the asiandate.com system itself rather than by personal agents. Today (14 July 2014), I came upon the smoking gun that all but proves that this is the case: the second line of a letter from "Shanshan(Joan)" contained a typo which reveals that, apparently, variables such as %client name% can be set in these letters, strong evidence that these letters are actually generated by a script which replaces variables with values and then automatically sends the letters out. Below is a screenshot of the letter in question, in which I have circled the smoking gun in red.

Letter from Shanshan(Joan) with variable name typo %cilent name% circled in red

Please take a moment to consider the implications of this. In all likelihood, the "personal" letters by "women" writing to you with such admiration for you and your carefully constructed profile are in fact generic form letters sent out by the asiandate.com system itself to many, many other men as well as to yourself. And if you respond? Who knows how that works? Presumably, your letter is assigned to a paid member of the asiandate.com team, who, with the help of software, with minimal effort crafts a passably "personal" response to your letter, which you pay between $4 and $8 to read, and another between $4 and $8 to respond to. Presumably, your response is again assigned to a paid member of the asiandate.com team, not necessarily the same member as last time - so long as you're paying and they're getting paid, it doesn't really matter who fields it - etcetera, etcetera, until you finally tire of spending money to no end.


This section, an update added on 22 September 2015, provides a couple of corroborations of the systemic scamming on asiandate.com. The first is indirect, providing plausibility only: it demonstrates that at least one other online dating agency definitively engages in the defrauding of its users through automated messaging too. The demonstration is contained within the fascinating article that I came across a few days ago, the title of which speaks for itself: How Ashley Madison Hid Its Fembot Con From Users and Investigators.

The second is more direct corroboration. A month or so back (it has taken me a while to update this page), a reader kindly contacted me to let me know that he had received by email from asiandate.com several letters from supposedly different women which all contained exactly the same wording. He shared with me images as proof, and he invited me to add them and his story to this page, and so I'm doing that. Note that the messages begin slightly differently, but that after that they are identical, including the misspelling, "divoiced", the typos in which the fullstops after "today" and "relax" are not followed by a space, and the fact that "relax.it" is a hyperlink. I have bolded these identical parts. Note that the reader did not pay to open these messages, so all we have are these summaries. The only adjustment I have made to the images has been to resize them, and to censor a link which would have allowed access to the reader's asiandate.com account.

SenderAgeDate receivedMessageImages (wording in #3)
Lijun4510 July 2015Honey Bruce Pretty kind lovely with except for one friend tell me that she get divoiced today.and she feels so relax.it is like...Lijun 1 2 3
Hui3510 July 2015Honey Bruce Thin better on account of sick though one friend tell me that she get divoiced today.and she feels so relax.it is like...Hui 1 2 3
Quinggui(Xenia)2015 July 2015Dear Bruce Better beside kind long inside one friend tell me that she get divoiced today.and she feels so relax.it is like take off...Quinggui 1 2 3

Agency women?

Consider this: when you select the "Woman Seeking a Man" option at registration on the asiandate.com home page, you are redirected to the registration page of a different site, globalcompanions.com. Once you register as a woman on that site, your login does not work on asiandate.com, and vice versa. There is, then, no way for women from the general online public to register an account with asiandate.com. From where, then, do the female profiles on asiandate.com originate? The official answer (in one of the shonkiest videos you will ever see - don't be taken in by this dissembling) seems to be that they come from thousands of affiliated dating agencies.

Judging by their photographs, some (about 10%) of the women in the contact letters don't seem quite so much to be models as do the rest, and given this, it's possible that indeed some "real" agency women are used (as opposed to fake profiles, using photographs of professional models, created by agents of asiandate.com itself). Nevertheless, their introductory letters are very likely also being sent automatically by script, so even in the case where a woman might well have registered with an agency and be "real", you're very likely not actually being contacted personally by her.

More than likely, you will never actually get to talk with her, but rather will speak with a paid agent of asiandate.com itself pretending to be her. There are on the web multiple negative reviews of asiandate.com, such as this one on www.scambook.com, which assert that this (that one only gets to speak with paid employees of the site), indeed, is exactly what happens, and whilst I have no way of verifying the authenticity of such reviews, they are consistent with my research above.

Update: A reader's feedback and advice

This section was added on 18 December 2015, based on an email that I received not long ago from a reader of this page. This reader is a member of asiandate.com, and writes that about a month previously he had started asking big questions about its authenticity. His experiences with the site - receiving 100 to 200 letters per day with the vast majority from women outside his preferred age range; having his complaints about this fobbed off; chat sessions with the senders of the letters being ice cold; etc - had led him to suspect that it is a scam site, and he writes that this page confirmed his suspicions. He also writes though that he has been in contact with genuine women through the site, including via webcam, which turns the "possibility" that I raised in the previous section into a reality.

He also adds the following advice which he feels is very important and needs to be added to this page. It is based on his having done business and lived in China before, speaking some Mandarin, having had a Chinese wife and thus "[knowing] the lay of the land and cultural twists and turns better than most". His advice is to always ask to see an ID card. This is how he came to the conclusion that the women he was talking to via webcam were genuine. He writes that Chinese people never proceed with a contact without first getting a scanned copy of that contact's ID, and that members of asiandate.com ought to adopt this practice too.

Show/hide Robert's full email

Update: A second reader's advice

This section was added on 5 March 2016. A second reader has written in to add that whilst Robert's advice to ask for photo ID recommends good practice, you should be wary of forged ID, and should perform other due diligence such as asking for further identification, chatting on web cam, and checking social media accounts to verify identity. He adds though that some dedicated scammers, by going to extraordinary lengths, can dupe even the most careful member. These are scammers who are willing to spend months working on their victims in order to get money out of them.

Translation or censorship? The asiandate.com lock-in

Every letter received in one's asiandate.com inbox is tagged with the identification number of a "translator". Consider this though: even women who list their English proficiency as "Advanced" in their profiles still have their letters subjected to "translation". Consider, too, that if you attempt to swap contact details by which to communicate privately and off-site, to avoid asiandate.com fees, those details are (or at least, so say your supposed correspondents) blanked out of your letter. This happened to my friend after he accepted my conclusion that the site was a scam, and tested the theory by asking one of his correspondents to respond to him off-site via email or Skype, providing her with his email address and Skype username: she replied that "they" erase those details. So, was his letter being translated or was it being censored?

Note that you agree to this (although it actually says nothing about Skype or other instant messengers) in the terms and conditions, under 5.f.: "You may not include in Your Member profile any telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, URLs or email addresses. You may not include in Your correspondence with other members any URLs, email addresses or telephone and fax numbers".

Getting back to the subject of translators: even if the translator is generally a separate person to your correspondent (which seems doubtful), what sort of privacy is it to have your letters read and "translated" even when you and your correspondent have no need of translation services?

Also, on the subjects of terms and conditions and lack of privacy, be aware that under 5.h., if you join asiandate.com you are agreeing to the following: "To ensure the quality of the Service provided, Your phone call, video date, or live chat through the Website may be recorded".

On www.scamorg.com, this scathing negative review, whose veracity, as with the previous review to which I linked, I cannot confirm, but which again is at least consistent with my more limited experience, indicates that it is possible to purchase the contact details of a woman on asiandate.com, but that once the reviewer did that, "the women immediately lost interest, and were never to be heard from again".

Fake positive reviews

There are negative reviews of this site, identifying it as a scam, littered across the web - I've linked to two already, and reference many more at the bottom of this page. There are also, however, plenty of positive reviews... or at least, so it might seem at first glance. Look closer, though, and it becomes apparent that these are highly likely to be fraudulent reviews. There are many examples of these on the asiandate.com review page of www.sitejabber.com. How did I infer that they are fraudulent? By investigating with Google Images the original sources of the profile pictures of the reviewers, both positive and negative - at least where those profile pictures existed; not all reviewers included them - and by comparing the review votes with the review votes of other websites. The following table lays out my findings, one review per row, starting with negative reviews with profile pictures, in order from earliest review to most recent, then moving on to positive reviews with profile pictures, again from earliest review to most recent.

Notice several things in this table:

  1. The profile pictures of each of the negative reviewers are generally associated only with the reviewer's www.sitejabber.com account, with the exception (it's unlikely, but given that I skipped a few, there might be other exceptions) of negative reviewer Ken C., who chose the Chicago Blackhawks logo as his avatar - a plausible choice assuming he is a committed fan of that team, which also is plausible. This is consistent with genuine reviewers who have uploaded original photos of their real selves. Conversely, very frequently the probable actual name of the person in the profile pictures of each of the positive reviewers does not match the name given in the review, and in those cases the image isn't consistent with having been chosen by a genuine reviewer: the people in the original images are not celebrities of the type that a guy might plausibly identify with and want to choose as an avatar; instead they are somewhat random guys from various random places on the web, and in some cases, gay. A gay guy/avatar reviewing a dating site for Asian women? Riiight. This is exactly what we'd expect with fraudulent reviews: a profile picture is desirable so as to lend credibility to the fake review, but the fraudulent reviewer is hardly going to use an original photograph of himself/herself, so s/he scours the web for, and appropriates, a photograph of a person whom not many people are likely to know, lending the review an air of legitimacy, and without the fake reviewer name raising suspicions (because readers are unlikely to know the real name of the person behind the profile picture). I have coloured these mismatched names in light red for your convenience.
  2. The earliest positive reviews have consistently and implausibly high vote counts: 44, 49, 46, 48, 44, 50, etc. Compare these vote counts with those of the reviews on the www.paypal.com review page and the www.google.com review page, also hosted by www.sitejabber.com. These are two web giants with vast userbases whose reviews would surely attract far higher vote counts than those of asiandate.com if no foul play was involved, yet what do we actually find? Of the 91 reviews of Google at time of writing, the vast majority had zero votes, and there was only one with more votes than nine - and the 50 votes of that review can readily be attributed to the fact that it revealed a relatively rare, unknown and valuable way to get help from Google staff. Of the 192 reviews of PayPal at time of writing, most of them had zero votes, and the highest vote for an individual review was 17. So, the reviews of the web behemoths Google and PayPal can barely get off the ground for votes, yet the early positive reviews (and only the early positive reviews - none of the negative reviews get many votes) for the much smaller and less generally known/useful site asiandate.com are consistently pulling in upwards of 40 votes each? If you're not willing to call "vote stuffing", then I have a bridge to sell you... [Update of 27 March 2015: a little over 8 months since writing the preceding, some of the Google and PayPal reviews now have significant numbers of votes - unfortunately, I did not freeze their pages to prove that the situation was as I described it at the time of writing. Nevertheless, this applies to only some of the reviews, and most of them still have far fewer votes than those early positive asiandate.com reviews.]
  3. Several of the positive reviewers seem keen to stress that asiandate.com is not a scam site, and that it has a reliable anti-scam policy. This reeks of damage control, especially given the scam-search-hijacking I'll describe next.
  4. Reading the positive reviews carefully, you might get a sense of careful crafting. There's high praise, but it's tempered with various acknowledgements, such as that the site is expensive - priming the mark for a financial pumping in which he eagerly participates (if you are scammed, it is your fault for not taking enough responsibility...). You might get the sense, as I do, that all bases have been a little too well covered.

Analysing profile picture sources for positive and negative reviews

The table below demonstrates that the profile pictures of supposedly genuine positive reviewers were in fact pilfered from random sites on the web, strongly suggesting, along with the other evidence above, that these positive reviews are fraudulent (the negative reviews have no such problem).

Screenshot of Ken C.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Chicago Blackhawks logo
Screenshot of Jack W.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Unique to review
Screenshot of Chris H.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Unique to review
Screenshot of JD L.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Unique to review
Screenshot of owen w.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Unique to review
Screenshot of Gerry B.'s review
Type: Negative
Picture: Unique to review
[Skipping and moving to positive reviews]
Screenshot of Thierry K.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: "Random hottie"
Screenshot of bill p.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: "Random hottie"
Screenshot of Iker V.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Zachary P. Ramirez
Screenshot of Harry S.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Francis Sargenti
Screenshot of fabio k.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Lee Thompson
Screenshot of Jaanika K.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Eduard Leonardo, singer, actor and reality TV star
Screenshot of James C.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: "vintagekitchen"
Screenshot of Lorant P.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Richard A Schwartz, Senior Scientist at NASA
Screenshot of James J.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: David Proctor, Alumni of the University of Leeds Faculty of Arts
Screenshot of Jan L.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Professor Guy Blelloch of the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Department
Screenshot of George B.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Guy Farmer, poet and joke writer
Screenshot of blain a.'s review
Type: Positive
Picture: Jack Abraham, successful internet start-up entrepreneur
ReviewGoogle Images search results for profile pictureProbable original source of profile picturePurported reviewer's nameProbable actual name of person in profile picture based on its probable originNotesReview type
Screenshot of Ken C.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsChicago Blackhawks (their logo)Ken C.n/aIt's plausible enough that a genuine reviewer of an Asian dating site is such a big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks as to choose their logo as his reviewer avatar.Negative
Screenshot of Jack W.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe review itselfJack W.Jack W.Negative
Screenshot of Chris H.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe review itselfChris H.Chris H.Negative
Screenshot of JD L.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe review itself, or, in general, the reviewer's account on www.sitejabber.comJD L.JD L.Negative
Screenshot of owen w.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe review itself, or, in general, the reviewer's account on www.sitejabber.comowen w.owen w.Negative
Screenshot of Gerry B.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe review itselfGerry B.Gerry B.Negative
[Skipping a few - it would be too tedious to include all of them, but the ones I've skipped are consistent with those I've included]

Screenshot of Thierry K.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe Afternoon eye candy: Random hotties with blue eyes article or similarThierry K.?Is it really plausible that a genuine, virile, self-respecting, heterosexual reviewer of a dating site would choose some other, and random "hot", guy for his avatar?Positive
Screenshot of bill p.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe Afternoon eye candy: Random hotties: Tattooed men! article or similarbill p.?As above: is it really plausible that a genuine, virile, self-respecting, heterosexual reviewer of a dating site would choose some other, and random "hot", guy for his avatar?Positive
Screenshot of Iker V.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe bossip.com news article Chicago Speeder Arrested For Driving 111 MPH To Have Sex or similarIker V.Zachary P. RamirezPositive
Screenshot of Harry S.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe Kingston Times article Facial hair fanatics share their stories of personal growth or similarHarry S.Francis SargentiPositive
Screenshot of fabio k.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe www.towleroad.com article, The Tao Of Uncle Poodle: Honey Boo Boo's Kinsman Speaks Out or similarfabio k.Lee ThompsonNote that, as described in the linked article, Lee Thompson is gay. What purpose would a gay man find in a site for dating Asian women, and why would any genuine user of such a site choose a gay man for his review avatar?Positive
Screenshot of Jaanika K.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsEduard Leonardo's Twitter profileJaanika K.Eduard Leonardo, singer, actor and reality TV starNote that, as with Lee Thompson above, Eduard Leonardo is gay - the same questions apply as to Lee.Positive
[Skipped one ("Jay M.") here accidentally - I originally researched it but for some reason it didn't appear on one of my later page loads, so I assumed it had been deleted]
Screenshot of James C.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsProfile picture of forum user "vintagekitchen" on the forums of www.vacuumland.org and www.automaticwasher.org, as seen in this thread.James C."vintagekitchen"Positive
[Skipping a few - it would be too tedious to include all of them, but the ones I've skipped are consistent with those I've included]
Screenshot of Lorant P.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe entry for Senior Scientist Richard A Schwartz in the NASA phonebookLorant P.Richard A Schwartz, Senior Scientist at NASAPositive
[Skipping a few - it would be too tedious to include all of them, but the ones I've skipped are consistent with those I've included]
Screenshot of James J.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsUniversity of Leeds, Faculty of Arts: Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Newsletter 2013James J.David Proctor, Alumni of the University of Leeds Faculty of ArtsPositive
[Skipping a few - it would be too tedious to include all of them, but the ones I've skipped are consistent with those I've included]
Screenshot of Jan L.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe homepage of Professor Guy Blelloch of the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science DepartmentJan L.Professor Guy Blelloch of the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science DepartmentPositive
Screenshot of George B.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe LinkedIn profile of Guy FarmerGeorge B.Guy Farmer, poet and joke writerPositive
Screenshot of blain a.'s reviewGoogle Images search resultsThe businessinsider.com.au article How This Guy Sold His Two-Year-Old Company To eBay For $75 Million or any of a number of other sourcesblain a.Jack Abraham, successful internet start-up entrepreneurIn a possibly over-cautious move, I actually looked Jack up on Facebook, and contacted him by private message: he confirmed that he was unaware of this use of his image. I didn't go this far with any of the other image bearers above.Positive
[Skipping a few - it would be too tedious to include all of them, but the ones I've skipped are consistent with those I've included]

For proof that I have not manufactured or edited these images, in case the agents of asiandate.com delete or edit these reviews in the future, I have captured, using an independent service (FreezePage), freezes of the two review pages as they existed a few days after compiling the above (client-side scripting was disabled for the freezes, which is why all of the reviews in the pages below appear expanded whereas in the partial screen captures above some of them are truncated with a "read more" link):

If asiandate.com is a legitimate site rather than a scam, then why is it faking multitudes of positive reviews?

Scam search hijacking

[Update 21 October 2014: I have now frozen these pages so as to be able to offer links to them without improving their search ranking, as well as to prove their existence at time of writing]. Let's say you're operating a scam website, and you know that some of your marks are going to get suspicious and google your site plus the word "scam". You might want to put in place some measures to limit the damage, mightn't you? It's not surprising, then, that when you google "asiandate.com scam", two of the results that show up (admittedly not very close to the top - tsk tsk, asiandate.com, where are your SEO engineers?) are http://asiandatecomscam1.blogspot.com.au/ and http://asiandatecomscamornot.blogspot.com.au/, two essentially identical "blogs" which hijack the search word "scam" and turn it around, asserting a "100% scam free garantee! [sic]", along with offering various questionable testimonials. It is implausible that anyone other than an agent of asiandate.com itself would have set these sites up. The name of the supposed author of the blog posts, Sevalold Nestereksen, is linked to a Google+ account going by the same name, consisting almost entirely of multiple repeated posts asserting the same "100% scam free garantee!" for asiandate.com, as well as pimping anastasiadate.com and other sites that no doubt we would all do well to avoid: https://plus.google.com/108062454895904424542/posts (freezepage.com wouldn't let me freeze the page through https, so I reverted to http, but I doubt that changes anything).

Now ask yourself: if asiandate.com really is scam-free, then why does it have to go to such lengths to protest as much? Are these the actions of a reputable site?

Today - 20 October 2014, some three and a half months after this review was first published - I discovered that various sites and pages have been set up linking to this page, and to other pages critical of asiandate.com, with words associated with spam (Viagra and porn), a technique for encouraging Google and other search engines to downgrade the ranking of the target pages (due to the taint of spam). I have no hard evidence as to who the culprit is, but it doesn't take much (or even any) imagination to work out who has most to gain from such a tactic.

As usual, I will not link to these pages, however, I have again taken snapshots of a few of them via FreezePage as proof that they existed around the time of writing, and those snapshots are linked to in the below list. Bear in mind that these are only a few examples - there are many more: in total, according to my Google Webmaster Tools account at time of writing, 27 sites are involved in the spam link attack on this page itself. Most of those sites link to it only once, and none of them more than six times, except for the datepraguewomen.com site, which contains a total of 844 links, all of them bar one in a page which currently refuses to load in my browser - the frozen page linked to below contains the remaining link. Most of these sites are unwilling participants - e.g. blogs, forums and social networks where such spam can be posted anonymously.

The campaign seems to have begun about a month ago. Thankfully, any effect it might have had has not prevented the average search ranking of this page from improving in that time.

It's a grubby tactic.

The upside of it is the information it provides: we now know which articles about this scam organisation "somebody" considers to be most damaging. Because of this, these articles are the first three entries in the "Other informative references" section below.

Other sites in the family, and questionable name changes

asiandate.com is part of a family of sites, all essentially identical other than in the race/nationality of the women they market. If you have been convinced by the preceding that asiandate.com is a scam, then you would do well to also avoid anastasiadate.com, amolatina.com and africabeauties.com.

As indicated in the introduction, other domain names alias to asiandate.com, and two in particular were once the primary domain names under which the site operated: asianbeauties.com and orientbrides.com. It appears that the site changes names when the weight of negative reviews and complaints on the web associated with its current name becomes too great for it to bear.

In general, be very careful in the online dating world, because these are not the only scam sites out there. An invaluable resource for learning and sharing information about the scam Asian dating sites in particular is the DragonLadies.org BBS.

Other informative references

The following are potentially helpful links that I encountered in my research of asiandate.com. As with all external links, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of any of them, but I trust the reader to form his/her own judgement.