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" But if you have cold feet, you might not be able to break away as easily as you thought.Such are the entanglements of the heart — and of dating Web sites.You can then peruse profiles of members who have been “pre-screened.” This approach leads to more suitable choices than one in which anyone can say whatever they want about themselves. open-to-all dating website, Ok Cupid relies on self-commentary and social interaction from those in its community.The site gathers profile information through entertaining and insightful quizzes and social networking activities, such as instant messaging, blogs, public forums and email.While viewing member profiles is free, a subscription is needed to contact someone (member conversations happen via email, chat and instant messaging). Harmony believes that a detailed member profile will result in a better match, one with more long-term potential.
The heavily used and well organized forums are there for the viewing without even signing up.To be sure, more people are on dating websites, so it's no surprise that complaints are increasing.Last year, the Pew Research Center found that one out of every 10 Americans reported using an online dating site or mobile dating app.About six months ago, the 51-year-old comedy writer, lawyer and percussionist, who was separated from her husband, joined the site. "Having said that, online dating is extremely competitive and hard to make money in anymore, so as a result the desperation to do things that will lead to profits, even if they lead to dissatisfaction."The BBB has received 69 complaints about Plenty Of over the last year.After she checked the box that said it was OK to give out her phone number, she soon was getting 200 calls."I went on, but didn't like the type of responses I was getting," she said. In contrast, had 800, e Harmony 383 and OKCupid 41. Experts, such as Frankel and the Michigan Attorney General's Office, suggest singles investigate the names of dating websites they're considering joining to find out what their success rate and customer service reputation are, consider starting with larger sites which usually have been in business for longer, double-check that the financial payment page is secure, review the privacy policies and read the terms of agreement section closely before you sign up."In this, like any other situation where you're spending your money, you want to make sure the site isn't going to be fraudulent, that they're not going to be one that doesn't meet your expectations for what you're looking for," said BBB spokeswoman Lisa Dilg. Follow her on Twitter @Zlati Meyer How to avoid getting scammed by online dating sites■ Do online research and ask friends about online dating Web sites — both the biggies and the niche ones. See how many complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau and the attorney general's office.■ Opt for a site that's at least three years old.■ If you chose a smaller site focused on a particular community, such as Star Trek fans, inquire of people active in the community about the site's reputation.■ Make sure that the site's payment page is secure.