Internet scammers may be targeting users on popular GLBT websites.
SameSame users reported receiving suspicious messages during September, while a person known to Sydney Star Observer fell victim to a scam after responding to a profile on Gaydar.
After making contact he was sent the user’s Yahoo! details, and was contacted by ‘Earl’, who claimed to be an American visiting Sydney. Earl told the victim he had explicit videos of himself on another website, GayWorld.com, and invited him to view them.
To do this he was encouraged to sign up for a free trial membership, which required his credit card details for the stated purpose of age verification.
Earl told him if he cancelled the membership after viewing the videos he would not be charged. He then watched the videos as directed.
“They were obviously commercially-made porn, with a different guy to Earl’s profile pics in them,” the victim said.
“I did some Googling and found complaints on scam and rip-off sites about GayWorld and a sister site, from people who’d been lead to sign up by people they’d met on dating sites.
“What gave me big alarm bells was that Earl asked what billing number GayWorld had given me.”
Both sites are promoted by BigClicks.com, which pays $40 for every person signed up to the sites whether they take out paid memberships or not.
The victim immediately cancelled his GayWorld account, but found he’d been signed up to another website, GoClub9.com, without his consent.
He repeatedly emailed GoClub9 to cancel this membership, but all emails bounced back, and after the trial period, $48 was withdrawn from his account.
A representative of GayWorld told SSO this had been in error and the email address had been fixed.
The money was refunded — less $5.
Emails to the email address continue to bounce back and the representative ceased communication when asked to provide his physical location.
“These aren’t the people who are going to empty your account. They just trick you into signing up for a service you don’t want so you get billed for it,” the victim said.
On the issue of bogus users, Tim Duggan of SameSame said, “We record the unique IP address of every person who interacts with us and react swiftly when unwanted behaviour is brought to our attention.
“Never give out personal details and be aware the person you are communicating with may not be who you think they are.”

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