I was recently (2016) scammed by "Academic Singles". After I signed up for a free account, they kept sending me messages saying that specific women were interested in me. Each woman had a picture that was blurred out, but several of them appeared reasonably attractive at a guess.
Eventually, my curiosity was eventually piqued and I signed up for a package. Then and only then did I find out that the women I was curious about had NOT uploaded any pictures, and the photographs were "placeholders" put up by Academic Singles. In short, it was a scam.
Within the hour I signed up, it became clear to me that I had been cheated. I then contacted Academic Singles about a refund and stopped using the service. After several emails, it was abundantly clear that they had no intention of processing any such refund. Their incredible response? "Rather than have a blank space in your profile, the use of a placeholder template photo to fill the space where your profile picture should be has a proven positive effect."
In other words, they are blatantly and quite smugly deceiving us.
Their latest excuse for rejecting the refund is that I had already used their service and had read/sent a large number of messages. These messages were all read/sent within that first hour, all to women who had first indicated interest in me, and almost all to let them know (nicely) that I did not return their interest. The others were to a bunch of very different looking women who had all written me the exact same message asking me to contact them at the same email address (lol).
Incidentally, the real women who had written me were all NOT academics.
I have previously signed up for other dating services and know that legitimate businesses do not use fake pictures to lure in customers. The ratio of genuine to fake users is also far worse here than on any other site I have used. I had googled Academic Singles extensively before signing up and had not seen any evidence that they are scammers. To put it simply, there is no way an uninformed person could know that this particular website engages in deception of this sort. So here I am to tell you this so you don't waste your money and time here.
tl;dr Academic Singles brazenly lies to you using fake pictures. Save your money and avoid this scam site like the plague.
This is a scam site.
They use fake pictures to lure in the unsuspecting.
i couldn't agree more. This is just a money grabbing scam. I'm getting fuzzy photos then if I do try to answer the few responses I get. It immediately goes to a payment page to upgrade. I bought the top package. Yes I'm getting people, if they exist, who are not academic in the least. I have complained to them demanding my money back, heard nothing in response. Don't go near this site. It's a scam.
Genuine singles beware - 'Academic Singles' is not what it claims to be. My personal experience with Academic Singles in Singapore mirrors AA and Jaye's in some aspects:
1.) I was bombarded with messages addressed to 'sexy lady', 'sunshine' etc, but almost never addressed to my name/initials. These 'singles' ask to immediately chat off-site.
2.) The majority of profiles, if genuine, do not have'academic' background.
3.) 'Stock photos' are widely used.
4.) Within 48/72 hours in the past week, I received 3 messages from 'Rich'/'Richard', showing the same man in different photos on at least 3 different profiles. He is age 40 in one, age 43 in another, and age 45 in the 3rd profile.
Request for refund of Premium Membership was ignored, then denied on basis that I have already used its services to e.g. view profiles and read messages. After encountering so many potential scammers on the site, many of whom I have reported, I am here to warn fellow singles to steer clear of Academic Singles, anywhere in the world.
I totally concur with the previous comments of those who have been scammed by Academic Singles, the unidentified owners thereof being based in Luxembourg. A condition of terminating their service is that your notice be at least 10 days prior to the end of the month, for which you have paid. Otherwise, they will charge another month, on your credit card. However, on seeking to do this, I found that no email address existed, via which this could be done. So, I have now resorted to threatening to expose them via an ABC interview, the following week.
Academic Singles are also clearly guilty of Misleading and Deceptive Conduct, under the provisions of the Australian COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ACT 2010 - SCHEDULE 2, in that the Terms & Conditions of participation are not disclosed, until you commence to sign up and, if you can otherwise find them, about 4 closely printed pages, please let me know
In addition, on 14/08/16, when I signed up, they criminally defrauded me, in the sum of A$109.80, i.e., $164.70 for 3 months subscription, being the excess over and above 1 months subscription, which is what I signed up for on that date.
"But wait, there's more"! You cannot cancel your subscription by email. There is no such icon heading, in the entire website.
The "Home" page says you can only cancel your subscription, to avoid being scammed by being charged another month's fee, is by sending a fax, to a given fax no., or writing a letter!
So, I attempted to send a fax through my local Postmaster and, sure enough, the number given by "Academic Singles" would not accept the fax!!! So, I then paid A$15.60, to send the same cancellation, by Express Post, also demanding a refund of 1 month's subscription.
However, the address provided in the "Home" site is different from that which appears, at the foot of their emails.
Thus another scam, i.e., no response or "Return to Sender" will result from my Express Mail.
The only certain way to stop their charging another month, indefinitely, is to cancel the card via which you paid your initial subscription, which I have done.
The "grand slam" of all of their scams, is that you cannot CANCEL cancel your membership! The process advised by this criminal organisation, simply takes you round in circles.
The "grand slam" of all of their scams, is that you cannot CANCEL your membership! The process advised by this criminal organisation, simply takes you round in circles.
Yes, I too have been scammed. I joined on the 1st Jan 2017 for a 3 mth period & used the site for 3 days until I cancelled. They have debited $239.40 from my account & have sent me an email saying that they are charging me for 6 mths. They certainly are a criminal organisation.
This site is a scam. Most postings are fake. Only possible to cancel by post or fax. Stay away
Do NOT join this scam site! I joined for an initial one month for $19.99. Did not check my credit card statement until 2 months later to find they had charged $79.90 and $194.70 plus international transaction fees. I sent an email. They said I should have received confirmation of payment and because I didn't attempt to cancel that was my acceptance. Hey if I got a confirmation that $79.90, let alone $194.70, I would have been straight onto this. I don't expect to get my money back but it annoys me that they can do this. I brought up the fake profile pics and they said that profiles with a "placeholder picture " get more responses than those with no profile pic. Well DUH!!! I'd click on a photo of a good looking man over a blank one anytime!
I lodged an official complaint about Academic Singles to the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) & Facebook ( where I initially encountered their misleading offers). I suggest you do the same.
I wish I would have been more cautious and read reviews before signing up. I don't even see where to send an email to cancel my subscription!! I would like to see a lawsuit brought up against this site! yes, I'll be lodging a complain.
Lili, you have to write a cancellation on paper, scan it then attach to an email and send it to [email protected] You must include your name and email address and reason for cancellation and must be signed and dated. They must receive it at least 14 days before the next renewal date or they will charge you again. They will send an email confirming cancellation and the date your subscription will be valid to. Mine was supposed to be valid to 20 April but as of yesterday I cannot login. Thieving bastards!
I was also caught. A trusted facebook friend posted a like (?maybe) . I though I'd take a look, and so had to press first option advertised of $9.95 for 6 months. After I foolishly clicked, $239. was taken from my account. I have not used site, immediately contact bank at 0800am, but could not have transaction cancelled, they said as it was authorised. I told them I authorised only $$9.95, still not joy
Then numerous emails to laetitia, CEO from Luxemburg, , stonewalled. I am going to Dept of Fair trading.
Cannot afford to lose that amount of money
Have spoken to Fraud section of my bank and also am a lawyer and advised in ten emails today that I am taking to Austrlain Fedral police under obtain Moines by deceit operating company out if Luxemburg no copy contract it agreement to take fees over $9.95 False advertising. Misleading conduct and what amount to thievery To advise their protocol re cancellation re signed documents is a joke as the agreement from March 3 in my case was NEVER agreed and requested copy which I have a smug reply
My bank is very interested due to international transaction fees and no registration as business in Australia though marketed as such
Majority of pics not academic cannot see age not match pic false of models or dodgy criminals I have gone to the face book page and left comment under each category as FRAUD and am gobsmaked at this robbery and promise I will not rest and if emails are blocked from me the bank will follow as fraud and I suggest all contact their credit card banks to initiate frauds contract requires offer and acceptance and NEVER was given offer of $248 to be deducted and certainly never accepted
Scam. Many profiles even have the same picture and are of women that are obviously to younger than the age they purport to be. No responses to any personal messages; form messages only to encourage paying for membership. Total scam.
Thanks everyone for posting this info, glad I googled further than the first few reviews as I was just about to subscribe to 3 months and pay $60 dollars. I figured it looks more likely that a professional like me would have a better chance at meeting a better quality like minded woman than some of the other sites I've seen around, other reviews had it rated very highly, obviously they went to a lot of trouble to build this scam (the best scams do I suppose!)
So to reiterate what's $60 at the end of the day if theres a 40% chance of finding my future partner?
I'm sorry to hear of all the people who lost money just because they trust that there is a legitimate chance of meeting a like minded professional.
How do they get away with this for so long? Come on ACCC do something!!
Glad you got the warning in time, Michael. When I wrote this review, I was hoping it would save a few people from this scam, and it's really good to hear that it's helped at least one person!
What can we all do about this? I've lost almost a week's rent which I can ill afford being a sole parent!!!!
Academic??!!! Most of the 'real' pictures appear to be men who wouldn't know how to spell the word! Remember there are no minimum requirements to join this site. Academic my a***!!.
I'm really sorry to hear about this, Tracey. :-( I wish there were something that could be done, but warning others is about all I could come up with.
Maybe you could talk to your bank and see if they will pursue a charge cancellation on your behalf? Show them this set of reviews, maybe? Don't get your hopes up though - my bank (UOB) just shrugged and said too bad.
Definitely the worst dating website I have ever used and seen. They released pictures of me on my behalf to random people. Most of the people I came across are not academic. The whole set up is very unprofessional. The worst part is they don't let you cancel easily. These criminals should be punished for cheating people's hard earned monies and give me very false information and hopes.
I meant giving people false hopes. No morals and ethics at all.
OMG. I should have googled this site before I foolishly joined using my credit card. I too join thinking it was a triel perio and that you will have to finalise transaction if you want to subscribe.
Academic Singles took $459.00 from my visa account and refuse to give me back my money stating, I have signed up.
Is there any way to taking this company to account? It seems as if they have continued on even with all the emails above citing fraud.
I have very little hope of getting my money back and will cancel my credit card as I don't trust them.
Yes to all the experiences you all have. Only email contact from Luxenburg. Who are these guys? Why have they been not prosecuted? How can we take them to account with what they have done and the people they have decieved?
This dating site is an absolute con!! I am now receiving messages from men who claim to live in my city. They all have the religion "christlich". The photos do appear to be of normal people as opposed to the models in the 'place holder' photos. I replied to these men's messages by asking them to call me. As expected they didn't. Except for one. He rang me last night but I didn't answer, I wanted to see if he left a message. He didn't. I texted a message back but didn't get a reply. Today I turned off my caller ID and rang the number. It took a while to start ringing and then it had some very fast dialling sounds, I assumed it was an overseas call. No answer. Tried again. This time he answered! Very quietly. I asked who this was. He said "Michael " which was the name on the profile. But he had an African accent and sounded exactly like you would think one of these scammers would sound like! I told him I was awake to his game and would be reporting him and the website to the police etc. he hung up on me.
Surely there must be someone we can go to as a group. Is it big enough for current affair? Or the ACCC? They've scammed me for a weeks rent!