Hookup ID: The Online Dating Scam Men Just Can’t Resist

by | Oct 12, 2019 | straight men |

I bought a hookup ID. And I couldn’t believe what happened next.

Let’s face it: most men cannot resist the prospect of hooking up with an attractive woman, especially single men on tinder and other dating apps. It’s in the male DNA. And that’s why the hookup ID, the most widespread online dating security ID scam, has become so successful: clever scammers are successfully exploiting the irresistible appeal of casual sex to men.

How irresistible? Thousands of men across the Internet are opening up their wallets and paying $30 or more for fake “hookup IDs”. With 60 million online dating users in the US alone, my best guess is the scammers are raking in seven figures.

In this post I dissect how this scam works, and what happened when I posed as a victim and bought a hookup ID. I documented the entire process with screenshots and will walk you through all of it. But first, a little more background on this scam.

tinder chat with bot

Here’s a typical example of how the scam begins on Tinder.

Fake hookup ID profile

She’s hot! No surprise men are falling for this one.

 

How the Hookup ID Scam Works

If you’re a man using online dating apps there’s a very good chance you have been exposed to the scam. Maybe you even fell for it.

I learned about this scam after encountering it myself, and decided to research it further. Eventually, I went ahead and put my credit card down and bought a hookup ID just to see what would happen (more on that later). The scam typically goes something like this:

  • You match with a really attractive woman on tinder, or some other app.
  • “She” chats with you, tells you she finds you attractive.
  • She tells you she wants to meet you and is down for a hookup, in order to feel safe she needs you to get verified and see your hookup ID.
  • She has also sent you a link to her own hookup ID profile (she wants you to do the same).
  • Because she really is extremely hot, you are willing to do just about anything. You ignore the voice in the back of your head telling you something here is not right.
  • Next thing you know you’ve clicked on the link she sent you and plunked down your credit card, only to never hear back from her again.
  • Bonus: You kick yourself because suddenly it is so obvious.

How to get twice the matches in half the time

I am going to give you all the details of what happened when I bought a hookup ID. But first, I want to give you the chance to learn my #1 online dating hack.

If you want to increase your matches and hit rate, watch this video. If you don’t, you can keep scrolling.

GET MY FREE ID

The Oldest and Most Widespread Romance Scam

The hookup ID romance scam has been around since 2016 and is still going strong today. How do I know it’s still going strong today? They are running expensive Google Pay-per-Click ads. Just run a search for “hookup ID” and you will see these ads everywhere. They look surprisingly legitimate.

Ads like these typically cost one dollar more every time you click on them and at scale that really adds up. If the scammers are spending thousands of dollars on these ads it means people are following through and actually putting their credit cards down. Otherwise the scammers would be losing money.

Sophisticated Scammers Based in Russia or China

online dating Scammer

The hookup ID scammers are quite advanced. Using bots enables them to run the scam at scale and they have penetrated dozens of dating apps. These dating apps are legitimate companies that absolutely do have security measures in place, but they continue to be defeated. After all these years they somehow have still not been caught and shut down. My best guess is they’re operating out of Russia, but it could also be China.

Brilliant (and Devastating) Marketing

These scammers are not just tech savvy engineering geeks writing code while holed up in a dark room. They’re really good at marketing, too. In addition to being all over the dating apps with bots, they’ve launched dozens of fake websites that are posing as legitimate sites specializing in online dating security, and promoting the hookup ID.

If you run a search for “hookup ID“ or “online dating security ID“ or “meetup ID” or “dating security ID” you will one way or another find your way back to the same scam.

These fake sites all endorse the hookup ID, including linking directly to the many websites that take your credit card. Even taking it a step further, they acknowledge that there are hookup ID scams and direct you to the only one that is “legitimate”.

So I Bought a Hookup ID

So what happens if you actually buy a hookup ID? Like I said, I went ahead and put down a credit card (well, a cash card, actually) as part of my research for this article. In exchange, I was supposed to get what appeared to be an actual ID card with my photo and a unique identification number added to it. It was even supposed to have a bar code!

I was hoping t my hookup ID would look like one of these beauties (apparently some scammers have better photoshop skills than others).

I landed on the below site after visiting the Dating Security Advisor website, a fake site owned by the scammers.  With the prospect of hooking up with likes of that sultry model, who *wouldn’t* enter their email address? I went ahead a did so, but disappointingly nothing happened. They may just be using this site to collect email addresses. So I tried a different route: I went to the Hookup VIP website (another fake).

Above  is the Hookup VIP website. I went ahead and followed the instructions despite the broken English, and plunked down $30 for a lifetime membership.

$30 Down the Drain

Hookup ID receipt

Here’s the receipt. A company named Amethyst Online Marketing Sales collected my money. Did I get my ID delivered within the next 48 hours as promised? Unfortunately no, it never came at all. I lost $30 so you don’t have to.

If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

Look, it’s extremely rare for any woman to want a hookup, let alone an unusually attractive one. Most have men throwing themselves at them which means they get the pick of the litter and don’t have to settle for a hookup.

Next time you match with someone who seems out of your league, think twice before clicking on any links she sends you and never, ever put down your credit card!

Easy to Fall for the Hookup ID Scam

When you’re lonely and single it’s easy to fall for the hookup ID scam, and that’s why these criminals have had so much success.

If you’re tempted to laugh at people who fall for this scam, think again. These scammers are extremely clever and exploit mens’ worst instincts, and it could probably happen to you, too.

So, rather than judge, try to empathize with these victims. Spread the word so that fewer online dating users fall for it!

FAQs

How long has the hookup ID been around?

The first hookup ID was reported all the way back in 2016, but it’s possible it has been around even longer. It’s amazing that people are still falling for this scam in 2019!

How many different versions of the scam are there?

This is unknown, but there are definitely dozens of versions, spanning multiple fake dating websites. I found four different websites ready to take my credit card. Most likely the hookup ID scam was first run successfully by one group of hackers and then it attracted many copycats. Known variations on the same scam are the dating security ID, meetup ID, swipe hookup, safety hookup clearance, secure hookup ID, online hookup ID and just hookup.

Can I order a physical hookup ID card?

You can, but it definitely won’t ever arrive at your doorstep. The scam promises to send you an actual ID card with a barcode if you pay up. Presumably you could meet someone who would want to scan your card before hooking up with you. When you think this through it could not be more ridiculous, but men fall for it nonetheless! We at DateID have had more than one man call in and ask us to sell them a physical ID card.

Is the Dating Security Advisor website legit?

No, www.datingsecurityadvisor.com is a fake website owned by the scammers. They own dozens of web properties and even have videos. Additional examples include www.hookupvipid.com and www.hookupidpro.com. Anything you find on the Internet promoting them, including videos and Google ads, is illegitimate.

Are the Meetup ID, Dating Security ID, Hookup Safety ID and Dating Verification ID the same scam?

Yes, presumably in order to keep people from catching on, the scam goes by many names including the Meetup ID and Dating Security ID.

What is the difference between DateID and the scam IDs?

DateID is the one and only legitimate website for verifying that your online date is representing themselves accurately. Everything else is a scam. Our identity verification software uses bank grade security to make sure everything and everyone is legit. We don’t send you a physical card – you get an online profile instead.

What is a hookup clearance?

Hookup clearance is just one more version of the same scam.

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Founder/CEO , DateID
Remy’s a tech marketer, entrepreneur and serial online dater who founded DateID after going on one too many bad first dates. He’s been online dating on and off since 2005 and watched things gradually go downhill as online dating entered the mainstream. Remy believes that lies, deception, and lack of accountability are some of the roots of the problem, and that increased transparency is part of the solution.
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Founder/CEO , DateID
Remy’s a tech marketer, entrepreneur and serial online dater who founded DateID after going on one too many bad first dates. He’s been online dating on and off since 2005 and watched things gradually go downhill as online dating entered the mainstream. Remy believes that lies, deception, and lack of accountability are some of the roots of the problem, and that increased transparency is part of the solution.
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