Identity verification tips, helpful resources and advice about how to best curtail the risk of becoming a victim of fake escort ad scams.
If you’ve been a patron of sexworker’s services for just about any length of time then dollars to donuts you have come across a fake escort ad. Unfortunately for many men (and women clients) it is difficult to discern a legitimate ad from a fraudulent one no matter how much time in the hobby they have under their belt. That’s what I want to help you with today; tips, resources and strategies that you can implement yourself to never fall prey to these types of scams again.
What is a fake escort scam?
A fake escort scam is any time the persona of an escort is misrepresented and used to entice/lure potential victims into communication with the intent to defraud them for financial monetary gain.
There are several variations of this con that are most likely to be used by modern day scammers but first I have to make this statement publicly and once and for all:
THE SCAMMERS BEHIND THIS CON ARE NOT ACTUAL ESCORTS.
Again, for the people in the back, the hard headed and the hard of hearing. Allow me to politely reiterate this sentiment :
THE SCAMMERS BEHIND THIS CON ARE NOT ACTUAL ESCORTS.
When you contact these to good to be true sexpots running $120 specials in multiple different states, each with different phone numbers attached let’s be clear, she/he is not an actual sexworker. Therefore the adage “but i’ve been scammed before baby, I can’t send a deposit or provide screening info” simply doesn’t work here.
It’s not our fault that you did zero research. It’s not our fault that you ignored all of the red flags. I understand that most clients don’t even know where to start when it comes to screening a potential sexy blonde mid-day snack such as myself (I kid, I kid… not really. I am delightfully scrumptious) or any other variety of companion. The sexwork industry remains shrouded in mystery. It is a very insular community and we keep a lot of information close to the vest. The reason for this? Often times, our life literally depends on it.
For this reason a client can never be 100% sure about the validity of a courtesan’s identity. It’s becoming more difficult to discern a provider’s legitimacy as technology advances. The natural evolution of these tech improvements results in increased sophistication of scams and easier accessibility. The outcome of these combined traits is a discouraging one; scams that are harder to detect and can be employed by more people. Any Tom, Dick and Harry with a VPN and internet access can now run this con.
That’s where my new client-escort liaison service can be very helpful to mitigate and effectively minimize the risk of falling victim to a fake escort scam. To give you ALL of the screening measures and cheat codes would be absurd. Especially in a public blog post. The legal grey area that my profession exists in prevents all of the information needed to protect both clients and providers from being out here. Bringing on a pro, a SW insider, to perform remote research,vetting identity verification and curating a list of safe options has been proven to be worth the minor affordable fee.
Types of fake escort scams
Fake escort scams are rampant in our community now more than ever. Something about COVID brought out the scammers in droves. The nature of this kind of fraud is diverse in both variation and level of sophistication. It runs the gamut from the shamefully common, rather desperate and benign catfish all the way up to international crime syndicates orchestrating a believable ruse to get your banking details and wire your entire life savings to an offshore, untraceable account. I say this not to instill fear or reaffirm your anxiety about booking a provider, but to inform those who are naive about the dangers of fraud when attempting to navigate the murky waters that is sexwork in the U.S. So alas, let’s get into it.
Steal your information/banking details
This is the most common type of fake escort fraud and it also has the potential to be the most financially devastating. The other scams are chump change in comparison.
The ruse goes a little something like this:
- Would-be client reaches out for a booking
- Fake escort says fake escort things while attempting to appear legit in an effort to convince and then excite would-be client into thinking with his dick. In effect, priming the mark for step 3.
- Somehow obtains personal identity information/banking/account details from the victim typically using one of these tactics: A virus or fake login page sent through a link or just good old fashion trickery to get them to hand over the deets’.
Again, there are numerous variations of this particular con but you get the picture. The fall out from relinquishing access to this information can be extreme and follow you for a decade +.
I mean, think about it. How much of your entire life is accessible through your email? Your reaction is probably something similar to mine, which was “Oh, FUCK”.
Bait and switch
The classic bait and switch photo swap. It’s one of the less harmful perpetrators of fraud on the list but it wouldn’t be fair to exclude it. It may have little, if any, financial impact but it does meet the following criteria:
Deposit theft scam
The 2nd most common type of scam involves deposits and is the bane of my existence as an escort. Deposit scams are when the scammer poses as a sexworker who requires a deposit to be paid in order to secure a booking but never follows through on the meetup, essentially stealing the money.
Typically these types of scammers will ask for the amount of the entire rate or close to it rather than charging a much smaller percentage. For example, under certain circumstances that are riskier or more time/energy consuming I require a 20% deposit to secure the date which is pretty standard.
Unfortunately, the rampant deposit scams going on make enforcing my policy so much harder. I do lose new clients over it. However, the amount lost off of those would-be clientele pails in comparison to how much I would lose to No call/No shows, last minute cancellations and fantasy bookers aka internet trolls.
Although these scams are a plenty they are also relatively easy to see through if you use basic common sense and implement the tools that I have included throughout this post. As a matter of fact, one of the most comprehensive and well put together pieces on the subject is the ‘How to find a safe provider’ guide available to view on Reddit here.
Less common than the previous three is the blackmail scam. It is typically perpetuated by organized crime groups who aim to exploit your interaction with bait-escort. They may try to obtain nude photos/explicit conversation and then threaten to expose you to your work, wife, online friends, etc.
A lot of times they do have quite a bit of personal information on you by using software to run background checks. They may say “we know that you live at 123 main street and drive a green honda” or they know other details like names of family members, etc. My advice about how to deal with these loser blackmailers? BLOCK and do not engage. Especially important, don’t pay them off. Even if you pay them they will keep coming back and ask for more.
A lot of guy cite this as a reason to not provide IRL screening information during the booking process which is a cop-out Real, legitimate providers are not going to use the info to blackmail you.
Signs of a fake escort ad
The combination of the photos + the abysmally low rate is just to good to be true.
Pretty self explainatory. This was literally the first photo that comes up on Google using the search term “fake escort”.
Overly explicit or vulgar ad copy and/or photos showing penetrative sex acts.
The idea here is to get you all hot and horny so that you’ll throw caution to the wind. Which, as you and I both know, is a SOLID strategy. Not gonna lie.
Doesn’t link to a personal website or social media.
EXAMPLES: “No BBFS, GFE or DFK. No exceptions”
“Please include basic booking details in initial message such as your name and the when, where, duration session details.“
No limits, boundaries or instructions anywhere in the ad. The provider is just there to “please you in anyway possible” and doesn’t include any preferences or hard no’s.
Provider red flags
Doesn’t require any form of screening
Screening is the process of determining if a client is worth seeing measured by their risk level (on paper, that is). The information also allows them to keep track of who they saw if anything should happen to them like being robbed, assaulted, go missing, etc.
Screening is done by various means that I am not at liberty to disclose. If clients knew the specifics of what and how then in theory they can learn to skirt around it and dupe the process. The only guys that will do that are already blacklisted or are trying to do something that he doesn’t want to be attached to or be held accountable for. A provider who doesn’t want so much as a name, username, references (I personally don’t put much weight to refs, whether a fellow SW vouches for you or not I will still need some real world info) or a photo is very suspect.
On the other hand, though, there are ways of screening that can be done with just an email address or phone number. So you might not necessarily know if she has done some screening.
But do you know who never screens 100% of the time? Law enforcement. LE just wants to get you to their sting location, make incriminating statements and then they will have all the details that they want to know about you.
With that said, providers who don’t require screening DO EXIST and are admittedly more common than it should be. So take this one as more of a piece of supporting evidence to other red flags and scam sign
Requires 50% or more of payment upfront (before meeting)
Industry standard is anywhere between 20-35%.
Prefers payment in gift card or crypto
Some escorts accept crypto or giftcards for deposits but it’s a major red flag. Apple gift cards seem to be a favorite. The reason being that they aren’t traceable, can be converted to cash easily and avert the problem of moving money internationally.
If all of their accounts/ads are days or even weeks old.
Look, if their account is only days/weeks old then don’t bother. I realize that everyone has got to start somewhere but that’s a bit sketch.
How to research an escort
Reverse image search
In case you aren’t already hip to this search tool then let me fill you in. Google reverse image search can be one of the most useful resources to verify the legitimacy of a potential independent escort. To conduct a search go must go to the website here and click on the camera icon on the search bar. Now it’s time to choose a method to select the image; upload from computer, drag-n-drop or by photo URL link and then hit enter.
The results page will likely exhibit hundreds of similar photos with the most similar ones being at the top. Google pulls information and photo recognition technology to scour the web, reaching to high, low and obscure corners of the internet. If your image has been uploaded online anywhere it is sure to show up on reverse image search.
“What are the benefits of such a tool?” You ask.
If the photo has been posted online anywhere then there will be a link to the original source. So if your search comes up a bunch of other escort ads under different names, photos and or/with multiple different phone numbers then don’t walk, RUN. That’s 99% likely to be a scam.
Additionally, this allows you to investigate other locations, if any, that the pics could be stolen from. Often times it originates from an Instagram model’s profile, stillshots of cam girls and photos of a poor, oblivious porn star.
Having a social media presence or a website is not required to be an escort. To be a successful one, though, these things might be important. We use social media less for advertising and more for marketing and adding to our credibility. The website, however, is more important than anything because it’s the one place where escorts can be candid and transparent about their services, rates and expectations. Unlike any of the escort advertising websites, directories or social media.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when researching her online presence:
- Does the contact info on the website match the ads?
- Are the pictures the same person?
- How do they interact with their followers and other providers? Often times you’ll see that the guys consistently liking their posts and commenting are former clients.
Google the contact number/email listed in the ad
Pretty self explanatory but to expound on this point I want to emphasize that google is your friend. You’d be surprised at what you might find.
Escorts are common targets too
Believe it or not, escorts are victims of these scammers too. I’d wager to bet that we are actually targetted much more often. On a near daily basis I receive scam attempts. They come from every direction. Texts, emails, DM, you name it. My spam folder is a frequent landing spot for these scams. As I was writing this blog post I encountered a few perfect examples of these scams in action. So i’ll share the most common ways escorts are targeted.
Fraudulent verification photos
This is the reason why I no longer agree to take verification photos for clients to convince them that I am real. If you can’t use your brain to piece together a logical conclusion about my legitimacy despite all my info being out there then we likely aren’t a good match, honey.
This fraud is conducted when a scammer poses as a potential client who is inquiring about booking a session. Notice how in the screenshot above that he gives a vague answer when asked about his location. “Along the highway” is his answer. I can’t find the next screenshot of the conversation but he offers to send a $100 deposit via cashapp if I send a photo holding a sign that contains the date and email@example.com. At that point I knew what the deal was. I knew it was a scam so I played along and told him to send the deposit first. He then reiterated that I must send the photo first.
The reasons for wanting this type of photo are:
- To create a fake profile on one of the escort advertising sites and become verified (which is required to be able to post ads) so that they appear more legit and in turn, reach more potential victims to scam.
- To send to victims/potential clients to “prove” identity and bolster their legitimacy
Impersonating escort ad site
Another method for extracting login details and/or account information from escorts is by impersonating a website like Tryst or PD to get you to click a link that takes you to a fake login page where you enter your information and they gain access to the escorts account to post or change contact information to forward future inquiries to their phone line.
Impersonating a fellow escort
I don’t have a screenshot to show as an example for this one but its a super simple concept to grasp. This is when a scammer pretends to be a fellow escort claiming to have gotten locked out of their account for whatever reason and then asks to be able to post on your account until their account is reinstated.
In this post we learned about the types of fake escort frauds, how to spot a fake ad, provider red flags, research techniques and about how companions are also victimized. My parting words of wisdom would have to emphasize the importance of doing your due diligence and conducting the research necessary to avoid getting scammed as much as possible. The other sentiment is to use basic common sense when attempting to ascertain the validity of an escorts identity.
One thought on “How-to avoid fake escort ad scams”
Thank you for the post. Very insightful.