Sitejabber Consumer Tips https://www.sitejabber.com/resources Sitejabber's guides to finding deals and great small businesses online Tue, 01 Mar 2022 01:21:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5 Finding Love Online? Watch Out for Crypto Scammers https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/online-dating-crypto-scams/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 01:07:17 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5432

When you think of a romance scam, you may assume it only happens to someone older, unfamiliar with technology, and can be easily duped by an anonymous swindler.

However, young adults ages 20 to 29 are now two times more likely to lose money to scammers than those ages 70 to 79.

It only took a few weeks for a young woman named Tho Vu to lose more than $300,000 – almost all of her life savings. Niki Hutchinson, a 24-year-old social media producer, also lost her entire inheritance of nearly $300,000.

On a dating app, both women matched with men that seemed to check all the boxes. Tho Vu fell in love with a man named Ze Zhao, texting back and forth for months. Zhao, who claimed to work for a security company, said he could help her make money through cryptocurrencies. Vu bought more than $300,000 worth of Bitcoin, sending it to a seemingly legitimate cryptocurrency exchange website Zhao set her up with. The site boasted 24/7 customer support and would update Vu’s balance.

Hutchinson on the other hand, started out by sending a small amount of crypto to her connection named Hao. When she saw how easy it seemed to make money, she invested her full inheritance along with additional loans.

However, when the honeymoon talks, money, and transactions all came to no avail, Vu and Hutchinson were left in shock and victims of an increasingly popular crypto financial scam.

Romance scams hit a record high last year when 56,000 reports of scams resulted in a loss of $139 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scammers create fake dating profiles or personally message you on social media platforms, and will eventually ask for financial help by claiming they’re going through a crisis, or even just as a lover’s favor. The FTC also warns scammers are increasingly attempting to lure people into fake cryptocurrency investments.

If you’re finding love online, keep yourself safe from new romance scams with these tips from the FTC:

  • Nobody legit will ever ask you to help by sending cryptocurrency, giving the numbers on a gift card, or by wiring money. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Never send or forward money for someone you haven’t met in person, and don’t act on their investment advice. 
  • Talk to friends or family about a new love interest and pay attention if they’re concerned.
  • Try a reverse-image search of profile pictures. If the details don’t match up, it’s a scam.
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Fashion Nova Pays $4.2M for Hiding Negative Reviews https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/fashion-nova-hid-negative-reviews/ Sat, 29 Jan 2022 16:12:08 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5428

Fashion Nova made headlines on Tuesday – the brand reached a $4.2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for suppressing negative reviews.

Fast fashion giant Fashion Nova is known for boasting a dazzling lineup of celebrities and influencers who endorse the brand across the web. And if you have social media, chances are you’ve seen one or two sponsored posts from your favorite influencer.

Fashion Nova successfully grew a strong online reputation.

Part of their strategy also involved an automated review system, publishing positive reviews while holding less than 4-star reviews for approval. However, the FTC found that from late-2015 to November 2019, hundreds of thousands of lower-star reviews were never published.

While a spokesman for Fashion Nova claims that the allegations are “inaccurate,” the brand negotiated a $4.2 million payment with the FTC to settle the case.

From cases like the 2019 Sunday Riley scandal, where the CEO was exposed for instructing employees to create fake reviews, the FTC continues to crack down on high profile companies to enforce lawful review practices.

Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, reiterates the importance of utilizing reviews honestly when building your online reputation. 

“Deceptive review practices cheat consumers, undercut honest businesses, and pollute online commerce,” said Levine. “Fashion Nova is being held accountable for these practices, and other firms should take note.”

Consumers can report all signs of fraud on the FTC website.
Building an online reputation is important – but it’s essential that review systems follow guidelines from the FTC and other review platforms, in order to build an authentic, trustworthy brand.

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Seeing Buy Now, Pay Later at Checkout? Here’s What to Know. https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/buy-now-pay-later-what-to-know/ Sat, 20 Nov 2021 00:25:41 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5413

You’ve completed your online shopping and are now checking out your virtual cart – you notice the holiday shopping or random splurge has really racked up the costs.

You’re intrigued by a new payment option – buy now, and pay over time!

There’s a new trend for shoppers to use a buy now, pay later (BNPL) plan. Companies like Affirm, Klarna, and Sezzle are commonly integrated into the checkout process for customers to choose as the final form of payment, allowing you to pay over time without interest.

As retailers from the likes of Amazon to small, local boutiques are including these services as a payment option, consumers are embracing this new way of spending. By 2024, BNPL services are expected to nearly triple to 4.8% of sales, accounting for $79.7 billion. Jenna Kellett, a BNPL fan and consumer, says she thinks of it as a credit card without interest.

If you haven’t looked into this new payment trend yet, here are the main pros and cons you should know:

Pros:

  • Ability to purchase an item you need before financing.
  • Convenient – many businesses have a BNPL integration at checkout.
  • Most don’t charge interest on your payments.
  • Automatic payments over time to complete your purchase.
  • Easy to set up with your information.

Cons:

  • May not have the same buyer protections as your credit card company. For example, if the item is faulty or if you run into a scam company, you may be stuck with the costs.
  • Expensive late fees.
  • Returning items may become even more complicated or made impossible.
  • BNPL can’t build credit, and in some cases, reflect poorly on credit score – read more here.

The option to buy now, pay later is becoming more popular than ever. As you start to see these services available throughout your daily shopping routine, keep in mind that while interest-free payments could be more convenient, you need to make sure your payments are on time and know their buyer protection terms.

To help others understand what they need to know before purchasing with BNPL, share this article!

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How to Find Out if a Website Is Legit https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/how-to-find-out-a-website-legit/ Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:52:11 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5404

You’re scrolling through social media, and an advertisement pops up of the perfect sweater – and at such a fantastic price! You click on the ad to a normal-looking shopping site with lots of positive reviews. Then, you enter your payment details and wait for your order to arrive.

Except, the package takes weeks to come, and when it finally shows up at your door after zero communication from customer support, it looks nothing like what you ordered. Or, perhaps you never even receive anything at all!

This scam story is all too commonly reported on Sitejabber. Unfortunately, as scammers continue to dupe shoppers of all ages, this will continue to be a massive problem with the online shopping industry. Online shopping should be convenient, fun, and helpful, but many people are unaware of how to shop safely and what they can do to prevent fraud.

The team at Sitejabber has published a comprehensive guide to every red flag you need to know to spot a scam website. In addition, the guide includes animations to walk you through the full list of ways to help determine if a website is legit.

So the next time you shop at an unfamiliar website, use this guide as a checklist – the more red flags you notice, the warier you should be. Check out the Sitejabber guide to avoid online shopping scams here!

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Scammers Are Targeting Adults – and It’s Not Just The Seniors https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/young-adults-fall-for-scams/ Tue, 29 Jun 2021 18:55:22 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5394

For millions of people, being stuck at home during the pandemic means more time online. And while more than half of people are spending more money online, for scammers, it means hitting the jackpot.

Many shoppers tend to think of the elderly falling for those crafty scams. However, both the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are reporting a different story. Seniors are not the only ones losing money to scammers – in fact, young adults are more susceptible.

According to the FTC, if you are between the ages of 20 to 29, 44% of your age group has lost money to scammers. That is two times more than the 20% of those ages 70 to 79 falling victim to fraud. And the BBB states that for the first time ever, people ages 18-24 now have the same median dollar loss as those over 65 – an average of $150 lost to scammers.

Even though scams are on the rise and targeting all ages, there are things you can do to protect yourself. For the latest tips on how to protect yourself against scams throughout the pandemic and beyond, sign up for articles from Sitejabber’s Consumer Resources Blog.

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Your Checklist for Traveling During COVID-19 Right Now https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/covid-19-traveling-checklist/ Mon, 21 Jun 2021 22:38:22 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5389

These updates are current as of publishing date.

While the luxury of travel is one many of us took for granted, it is now one of the top things on everyone’s mind as cities around America open up. However, traveling domestically will look a little different this summer as we head into a new normal. According to the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traveling domestically poses little risk to those who are vaccinated. However, precautions should still be taken. Plus, not everything will be returning to “normal” in the travel industry.

Lindsey Puls, founder of Have Clothes Will Travel, brings her expertise from years of traveling the world to share eight major things you must consider when planning your next trip. Before you embark on your next domestic adventure, keep these things in mind to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe trip!

Traveling Domestically – 8 Things to Consider

  1. Are restaurants, tourist attractions, venues, and more open at this time at your destination? Are there any travel restrictions? Before booking your destination, check the area’s local tourism websites and news stations for the latest travel restrictions and updates. For example, Hawaii has strict COVID-19 restrictions and a 10-day mandatory quarantine if they are not met. Whereas most of the popular things to do in Wisconsin are open, and there are no travel restrictions. It also helps to opt for outdoor-based trips (hiking, camping, etc.) to avoid issues.
  2. Will you need to be vaccinated before you travel to your destination? “Vaccine passports” are a hot topic right now, especially since New York rolled out its Excelsior Pass. You may need to show proof of your vaccination status before entering your destination. Again, check local tourism websites before you leave.
  3. Should you pack masks (even if you are vaccinated)? Yes, you should pack masks, as every state, business, etc., has different rules/regulations. Plus, masks are still federally mandated if you travel by plane, bus, or train – even if you are fully vaccinated.
  4. Should you stay in an Airbnb or a hotel? This ultimately will depend on whether you are fully vaccinated and your personal preference. Online marketplaces for vacation rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO are generally safer options for those who are traveling and not fully vaccinated, according to doctors and the CDC. This is because you are the only one occupying the property, which lessens your chances of contracting COVID-19. However, be sure to check that the property is participating in COVID-19 cleaning policies, and don’t delay booking that cool VRBO or Airbnb, as properties across the country are filling fast for summer. Hotels across the country have also implemented enhanced cleaning procedures in the wake of COVID.  
  5. Should you drive or fly? This will also ultimately be a personal decision and depend on whether or not you are fully vaccinated. Both forms of travel pose risks for unvaccinated travelers. It is also important to remember that the US is currently experiencing a rental car shortage, causing prices to soar and making rental car reservations difficult. 
  6. Should you get travel insurance? If you are worried about your trip being interrupted or canceled due to COVID-19, it is a good idea to purchase an insurance policy. Many insurance policies are now including COVID-19-specific coverage options, too. Sitejabber experts say it’s very important to carefully read any policy before purchasing to understand what you are buying and what is covered, especially as travel insurance scams are surging.
  7. Double-check cancellation/refund policies for any tour bookings, etc., before you make them! Many travel companies also have flexible cancellation policies right now, be sure you know what your options are before making a booking and as always, read the fine print before committing.
  8. Be flexible. It is important to remember that even as things return to “normal,” there will still be many changes and hiccups during this time. Be prepared to roll with the changes as they happen on your 2021 trip!
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Scammers May Not Have to Pay Up in New FTC Ruling https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/scammers-new-ftc-ruling/ Tue, 27 Apr 2021 16:18:17 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5381

The Supreme Court made a major decision in a recent case involving the Federal Trade Commission  – the FTC’s ability to order companies to pay up when they are caught scamming consumers is now greatly limited.

Before the ruling, if the FTC found a company conducting business deceptively, they could penalize companies with monetary restitution as per Section 13(b) of the FTC Act.

Section 13(b) of the FTC Act grants the commission the ability to seek restitution from these companies through “injunctions.” The vague wording by Congress allowed the FTC to interpret it as being given the ability to order companies to get consumers’ money back. Consumers could report fraud on the FTC website, and apply for a refund in any case involving their dollars. 

FTC Chairwoman, Rebecca Kelly, says that the law helped deliver billions of dollars back to consumers over the years. That is, up until now.

In the AMG Capital Management v. FTC case, the Supreme Court is finally clearing the air with a unanimous decision – Section 13(b) does not actually authorize the agency to obtain monetary recompense from businesses, even though they may violate the law. The FTC may take action against such companies that may sometimes result in payment, but it will no longer be a primary consequence.

What does that mean for you?

Consumers need to be more wary than ever when it comes to shopping online. While you can still report fraud and apply for refunds on the FTC website, they won’t be receiving nearly as much monetary relief as they used to.

Our tips:

We will be updating our guides to address even more of the recent scams. To take steps to protect yourself online, make sure to turn on your newsletter notifications so you can stay up to date on how to avoid the latest scams.

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A New COVID-19 Scam: Fake Vaccination Cards https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/fake-covid-19-vaccination-cards/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 20:44:11 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5345

What you need to know:

  • Scammers are selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards online
  • Experts say fake vaccination cards could extend the pandemic
  • Creating, buying, and selling forged vaccination cards are against the law
  • The FBI warns against posting your card on social media

After well over a year of the pandemic, it’s finally here – COVID-19 vaccinations. With Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson / Janssen vaccines available in many states and counties in America, our communities and businesses are speeding up the road to recovery and reopening. But as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, some are ready to take advantage of COVID-19, this time in the form of fake COVID-19 certification.

If you’ve already received your COVID-19 vaccine, you know that CDC vaccine record cards are given at the time of the first shot. While the original intent of the card is to serve as a reminder for your second dose, many are using it as proof of vaccination. One glaring way is travel – Iceland is accepting travelers with CDC vaccine cards, and with proof of vaccination, countries like Belize are allowing entry without quarantine. And as the CDC advises people to keep their “vaccination card in case you need it for future use,” and as more venues require these documents, scammers are taking full advantage.

Reports of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards are surfacing on Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, the “Darknet,” Twitter, and Shopify stores. And while companies have publicly committed to taking action against these sellers, it’s almost too easy and low-cost to forge these cards.

When those vaccinated post their vaccine cards to social media, well-intentioned actions could result in an even wider spread of fake cards. The FBI warned in a PSA, “do not post photos of your vaccine card to social media websites—your personal information could be stolen to commit fraud.”

Forged negative COVID-19 tests have sold on the market for $25, and fraudulent COVID-19 cards between $100 and $200. Creating, selling, or buying these are now considered a crime. Fake vaccine cards may allow others to have a false sense of security, and place them as well as the holder at risk of COVID-19 infection. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein warns that fake vaccine cards could “make the COVID-19 pandemic last longer.” If you see any fraudulent listings, make sure to report and avoid them at all costs.

Other organizations are developing vaccine passports and certificates as a potential way to provide proof of vaccination. Israel is one country already implementing a vaccine passport, allowing those who received the shots more freedom to attend social gatherings. And in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has established that a digital, mobile-friendly Excelsior Pass can be used as proof of vaccination to access events including reopened venues for entertainment and sports. And although these new modes of certification provide hopeful ways to reopen society while staying safe, the possibility of fake passports and digital fraud means we have to continue being diligent in watching out for scams as they evolve during this pandemic.

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The Sitejabber Pandemic Dating Study: California Found to be the Loneliest State During COVID-19 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/sitejabber-pandemic-dating-study/ Mon, 08 Feb 2021 21:45:00 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5283

2020 changed the way we do a lot of things in life. While the world recalibrated how to work from home, learn from home, and shop from home, a vast number of people were learning how to date from home, too.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the thousands of dating app reviews on Sitejabber and discovered some interesting trends about the state of online dating during the pandemic. Here’s what we found.

Online dating soars as more people swipe right

While the number of users on dating apps fell initially as the world adjusted to COVID-19 restrictions, by July 2020, more and more people were turning to online dating. We found a 27% increase in the number of people dating during the pandemic compared to the same time period in 2019.

Los Angeles matchmaker and dating specialist Julie Ferman, saw a similar trend.

“I’ve seen an uptick in these stats at two important times – during the 12 months after the 911 crisis and also during this past 11 month period, after COVID hit,” Ferman said.

“The number of introductions I’m able to make per active search client is up 16% over the prior 12 month period. That demonstrates a greater willingness among both men and women to explore possibilities with a new candidate.”

The surge hit its peak in September, where we saw a 118% increase compared to January figures. 

However, we found that this increase only applied to mainstream dating platforms (Tinder, Bumble, etc.) When it came to international dating companies focused on connecting people to those outside of the U.S. (Anastasia Date, Christian Filipina, etc.), we saw the opposite – a 21% drop in engagement. 

Why did this happen? 

As the world adjusted to stay-at-home mandates, people could no longer socialize like they used to and lost the luxury of going out and meeting new people. Much more hard-hit than mainstream dating sites, international dating platforms may have been further hindered by travel restrictions discouraging individuals from leaving the country.

After the initial panic had died down, many turned to conventional online dating as a way to find emotional connection during these isolating times. Bumble reports that 2 in 3 daters on their app feel lonelier.

However, pandemic fatigue was also creeping in. Research from the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery study shows that as time moved on and people got more used to hearing about the coronavirus, fear of the infection decreased. As a result, people let their guard down when it comes to everyday activities that they had been hyper-vigilant about just a few months before.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. Just wear a mask and wash your hands. And stay healthy the best you can.”

Sitejabber reviewer Gunter was just one of the daters ready to go out and meet someone, and wanted to be safe but also meet in person. He urged other reviewers, saying, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. Just wear a mask and wash your hands. And stay healthy the best you can.”

Kathie, another online dater from the Sitejabber community, was at first on the fence about meeting in person. She ultimately ended up going for it, saying, “I finally gave in and agreed to a Take out Date.”

So, who’s dating?

People are changing

Women are taking more initiative. Hily, a trending dating platform using AI technology, shared with us that women are texting first 5x more often. Before the pandemic, women started only 7% of dialogues. Now, it’s almost 40%.

And although the pandemic ushered in a new wave of online daters, it seems as though people are more selective than ever. Swipes right decreased by 7%, and according to Hily, that means people are handing out fewer likes than ever.

“People are more likely to pay attention, as meeting someone new is more risky today than it ever has been, causing both men and women to screen more thoroughly,” Ferman said.

What does it look like when daters are pickier and online dating is surging? Ferman shares some hopeful statistics. 

“The percentage of introductions that resulted in a third date is up 19% over the year prior. And those introductions that resulted in an exclusive relationship is up 23%!” Ferman said. “The introductions I’ve provided for my matchmaking clients and coaching clients are ‘sticking’ more so than they had been of late, over the course of the previous ten year period.”

The “state” of online dating.

The loneliest?

The loneliness of 2020 saw a surge in online daters, and several states stood out as the top contenders.

California tops the charts for the most conventional dating app use during the coronavirus. California is followed by New York, then Texas, Washington, and Florida.

While our data shows Californians usually use dating apps more than any other state, that certainly didn’t drop while social restrictions were put in place during 2020. 

The top five states reporting dating on conventional versus international dating platforms are very similar. But while Virginia trails as 19th in using mainstream apps, they take the number one spot in international dating.

Other top globally dating states are California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

Most of these states are also in the top states with the most COVID-19 cases, where there may have been more restrictive mandates and orders around social distancing.

The most impacted?

Top 5 States Increasing Online Dating During the Pandemic
RankStateOnline Pandemic Dating Surge
1Washington167%
2Massachusetts110%
3Arizona91%
4Georgia52%
5New Jersey46%
Compares figures from May to December between 2019 and 2020.

Sheltering-in-place and social distancing affected the nation, and for certain states, it propelled a significant surge in online dating.

Washington saw the greatest surge in reported mainstream dating app usage during the pandemic – a whopping 167% increase from the same time period in 2019.

Many who live in Washington have been on high alert for the pandemic for the longest, with heavy lockdown restrictions early in 2020. Washington is the location of both the first confirmed case and death from COVID-19 in The States.

We know that throughout the years, California typically has high rates of using mainstream dating apps. But during the pandemic, we saw a new trend – 77% more Californians reported using international dating apps compared to before COVID-19. Even with Virginia being the number one state to use international dating platforms, Virginia had decreased its reported usage by 38%.

77% more Californians reported using international dating apps compared to before COVID-19.

In Match’s survey, Singles in America, 59% of respondents reported considering a wider range of people as potential partners. Specifically, in Los Angeles, California, 69% of daters said the pandemic caused them to change the qualities they look for in a partner.

Dissatisfied daters?

Disappointment is a common experience reviewers report on Sitejabber when dating strangers online. But since the pandemic, reports of negative experiences rose by 12%.

To get a closer look at these experiences, we measured the percent increase before and during COVID-19 of both positive and negative reviews. Reviewers expressed sentiment towards both their successful (or unsuccessful) dating ventures, as well as thoughts on the social platforms themselves.

Most of the dissatisfied daters come from Massachusetts, followed by Georgia, Nevada, Missouri, then Michigan.

“Some of these dating sites are built to milk money out of lonely and sometimes desperate people.”

But through it all, some states made the best of the situation. While we found Washington to be one of the loneliest states, they come out on top again as the state who had the most positive dating experiences.

So not only is Washington a top pandemic dating state, they also saw the greatest surge in online dating, and now hold the number one title to most satisfied dating during the pandemic.

Illinois, Arizona, New York, and New Jersey take the next best spots in dating satisfaction.

Satisfied reviewers like Troy advise, “Remember that online dating is a patient game and you have to take your time in order to make sure you get it right and meet the right people.”

On the other hand, daters like Robert with unsuccessful dating experiences are dissatisfied, saying, “Some of these dating sites are built to milk money out of lonely and sometimes desperate people.”

Next, we dive into the top issues daters experienced, especially when it came to dealing with the dating platforms themselves.

Dating in the time of COVID-19 – what to consider

Daters are looking for platforms to adapt as a result of the pandemic, and while some adjustments are being made, many daters are frustrated with the apps they pay for. By analyzing our reviews, we’ve uncovered the top issues that users have had to deal with since the pandemic hit. While some of these are perennial dating app problems, a few have spiked or are caused directly by the COVID-19 crisis.

The cost of online dating

While some dating platforms reduced their costs or altered subscriptions when the pandemic hit, many others didn’t, and that had an implication for users. As people across the country were losing jobs and waiting for stimulus packages, there was a level of frustration at the continuing cost of using dating apps. 

James, a member of the Sitejabber community, expressed that:

“Other sites and apps have given free subscriptions during the pandemic, and the one I use most certainly does not give a refund for any issues I have.” 

Several reviewers mentioned that they would prefer a discount during the pandemic, and that without that, they would have to cancel their subscription with the hope of coming back soon.

Keeping users connected on the app

As the options to meet in person decreased, 2020 saw dating apps having to adapt how users connected and met with one another, with many of them providing more virtual options. 

Sitejabber reviewer Connor, a user of many apps, found that he appreciated the ones that added video chats and calls to their service. 

Others mentioned their frustration with restrictions on how users could communicate – they already felt controlled by social distancing mandates in the ‘real world’ and didn’t want any of that in their online connections. Some reviewers also pointed out that on timed calls, everyone would spend the first chunk of time talking about the pandemic, and are looking for apps with free or flexible call features as a result.

Moving the connection offline

Many apps provide additional ways to connect but leave the users to make their own plans on meeting in person. Dating platforms have no responsibility for users once they have left the app, and some coax others to meet up despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements. 

This causes tension and awkwardness among those who are looking to comply with COVID-19 mandates. Dating platform and relationship advocate S’More conducted a survey revealing that health as a dating criterion became a much higher priority for serious daters during the pandemic.

“Recently I have noticed they are not doing enough to stop members from arranging dates in person amidst this COVID-19 situation. I’m disappointed.”

Sitejabber reviewer Jitendra, for example, expressed frustration that his dating platform didn’t remove in person as an option for connecting, saying, “Recently I have noticed they are not doing enough to stop members from arranging dates in person amidst this COVID-19 situation. I’m disappointed.”

COVID-19 Scams

While dating platforms have always had to deal with a level of misuse by their users, 2020 was definitely the year scams increased, particularly those related to COVID-19.

Fake profiles

Many users noticed an increase in fake profiles. Working their way through those took time and reduced their chances of connecting with true users looking to connect and get to know them.

“Recently and especially during lockdown, the site has become riddled with scammers, so it takes an awful lot of time to browse through literally hundreds of fake profiles.”

John pointed out, “Recently and especially during lockdown, the site has become riddled with scammers, so it takes an awful lot of time to browse through literally hundreds of fake profiles.”

Requests for money

Sitejabber reviewer Stevie posted about the messages he had received requesting money for COVID-19 medication and other expenses incurred during the pandemic. Reviewers warn against users prompting daters to pay rent, phone bills, pay off debt, or help purchase new phones to keep in touch offline.

Misuse of messaging

Users often reported that once they had connected on a dating app, they were bombarded with messages offering private content in exchange for money or other financial aid. Reviewers advise that if you’re looking for a real connection or want to keep your money safe, avoid these types of messages.

Online dating is here to stay

Online dating apps can be a great way of finding social connection during a period of physical and social isolation, and people experienced that more than ever in 2020. But as with all online social platforms, it’s important to be aware of the pervasive scams and think carefully about how to navigate taking these relationships offline and into the real world, particularly while social distancing and COVID-19 precautions are still in place.

Methodology

Sitejabber gathered existing data from our reviews for inclusion in this study. We compared two different time periods: before COVID-19 restrictions from May to December 2019, and during COVID-19 restrictions from May to December 2020.

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Sitejabber Partners With Official Black Wall Street to Help Promote Black-Owned Businesses https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/sitejabber-official-wall-street-partnership-promote-black-owned-businesses/ Thu, 26 Nov 2020 00:09:52 +0000 https://www.sitejabber.com/resources/?p=5204

Supporting Black-owned businesses with a new Sitejabber feature

The team at Sitejabber is excited to announce our latest partnership with Official Black Wall Street and the newest feature we’ve come together to create – being able to search reviews by Black-owned businesses!

Stacking your weekly groceries in a virtual cart, comparing outfits by switching tab to tab, and completing your holiday shopping in all of a few clicks, are habits more common than ever. With the digital shopping world at your fingertips, more members of the Sitejabber community have begun to ask us – who are behind the companies I’m purchasing from, and how can I support businesses I care about?

We’ve partnered with Official Black Wall Street, the largest platform for black businesses, in addition to growing directories I Am Black Business and Five Fifths, to help you discover a business for any of your shopping needs.

To find out whether a business is Black-owned, search for their reviews page on Sitejabber, and keep an eye out for this Corporate Values Logo:

Or if you want to plan out your shopping spree, check out our Black-Owned Business page, where you can find over 4,000 companies for anything you’re looking for.

You can filter by stars, service, quality, shipping, pricing, and more, as well as read reviews from the community. And don’t forget to leave a review after you’ve made a purchase!

“Helping consumers make more informed decisions has always been our focus at Sitejabber. We are impressed with what Official Black Wall Street has built and fully support their mission to support Black business owners and generate more awareness for their businesses,” explained Michael Lai, CEO and Co-founder of Sitejabber.

We’ve worked closely with Mandy Bowman, Founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, to launch our new feature.

“I am excited to tap into Sitejabber’s three million monthly visitors to bring additional exposure to Official Black Wall Street’s businesses,” said Bowman. “We applaud the Sitejabber team’s consistent efforts to support our community of black entrepreneurs through this partnership.”

Mandy started Official Black Wall Street in 2015 after seeing the challenges black people face in starting any kind of business. Since then, her team has amassed over 200,000 active users and has data on over 6,000 businesses. We’re proud to connect her mission of supporting black businesses with our platform as a leader in consumer protection, and introduce Black-owned businesses to every online shopper.

Here are just a few of the amazing brands you can search for:

You now have a one-stop platform to read reviews and find top-rated Black-owned businesses. Get started now by searching for a reviews page or checking out the black-owned business page! Let us know your new favorite business to shop from!

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