Hookup sites like Ashley Madison and AdultFriendFinder are no stranger to controversy. They’re known for being places where people can go to cheat on their spouses or find willing sexual partners. But they’re also known for being havens for prostitutes.
This isn’t surprising. After all, both websites are essentially platforms for people to find sex. And where there’s sex, there’s often prostitution.
But how can you tell if a woman you’re talking to on one of these sites is a prostitute? In our experience of running one of the early web’s most successful hookup apps, there are a few things we learned to look out for:
The Different Types of Prostitutes
First, let’s start with the different types of prostitutes. There are three main types:
- Independent escorts
- Escort services
- Scammers posing as escorts
Independent escorts are, as the name suggests, women who work independently. They’re not affiliated with any escort service or agency.
Instead, they advertise their services on their own on all the dating and hookup platforms out there.
If you’re talking to a woman who’s an independent escort, she’ll likely be very upfront about it. She’ll probably mention it early on in the conversation.
And she’ll be very clear about what services she offers and how much she charges. Often, they will use code words like “roses” or “gifts” to refer to money.
Many “independent escorts” are actually not independent at all, but rather managed by a pimp of some type. But they’ll try to market themselves as being independent to avoid all the negative associations that comes with pimps and prostitution.
One of the biggest risks here is that the escort could be a victim of sex trafficking, which is a terrible thing that no one should ever support.
And by paying this woman for sex, you are in fact contributing to her victimization.
Also, it goes without saying that having sex with a prostitute can increase your odds of contracting an STD.
Escort services are businesses that provide escorts to clients. These businesses usually have websites where you can browse the escorts they have available. And they’ll usually have some sort of screening process to make sure their escorts are of legal age and not wanted by the police.
They often create profiles on hookup websites and dating apps that act more as advertisements. So you might see several profiles that look very similar, or have a message or phone number on the primary profile photo.
Agency escorts can sometimes be more expensive than independents, as you’re also paying for the service that the agency provides.
She may also be less likely to negotiate on price.
Escort services are legal in most countries. But it’s important to be aware that the women who work for them are usually only interested in one thing: making money.
Whether she works for an agency or herself, there’s no getting around the fact that she is having sex with more than a few men. This means that your chance of getting an STD is higher.
You can decrease the odds of getting an STD by practicing safe sex and always using a condom!
Scammers Posing as Escorts
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scammers out there who pose as escorts. They’ll create fake profiles on dating and hookup websites and pretend to be interested in meeting up with men. But their only goal is to get you to send them money.
These scammers will often send you very explicit pictures and videos. They’ll talk about all the sexual things they want to do to you. And they’ll be very insistent about meeting up.
But once you send them money, they’ll disappear and you’ll never hear from them again.
The risks here are mostly financial, as these types of scammers are after your money, which they’ll do anything to get. This includes blackmail which can be a very painful experience to endure.
The Top 10 Warning Signs That’s She’s an Escort
We all know that there are certain risks that come with meeting someone online. You might not know them very well, and you might not be sure if they’re who they say they are.
There are a few key warning signs that you should be aware of. If you see any of these red flags, it’s best to move on and find someone else to hook up with.
1. She’s pushy about meeting up
If a woman is too eager to meet up, it could be because she’s expecting to be paid for her time. She might not come right out and say it, but she’ll make it clear that she’s available for an “encounter.”
2. She’s vague about what she’s looking for
When you’re talking to a woman on a hookup site, she should be clear about what she wants. If she’s being vague or evasive, it could be because she doesn’t want to tip her hand that she’s a prostitute.
3. She’s not interested in getting to know you
A woman who’s interested in a hookup will want to get to know you at least a little bit. She’ll ask you questions, and she’ll be interested in your answers. If she doesn’t seem to care about anything other than meeting up, it’s a red flag.
4. She’s only available at odd hours
Prostitutes typically work odd hours, so if the woman you’re talking to is only available late at night or early in the morning, it’s a sign that she might be selling sex.
5. She refuses to meet in a public place
If a woman refuses to meet in a public place, it’s a strong sign that she’s not interested in a normal, healthy relationship or she’s not who she claims to be. If she asks you to meet at a hotel room or come directly to your place, that’s a huge red flag.
6. She asks you for money upfront
This one is a dead giveaway. If a woman asks you for money before you’ve even met, she’s almost certainly a prostitute or a scammer.
7. She tells you outright that she’s an escort
There’s no mistaking it if a woman tells you outright that she’s an escort. She’s not interested in anything except being paid for sex.
8. It seems like her messages are cookie cutter templates
If you are contacted by a woman with what seems like a cookie cutter message (with no personal touches), odds are she’s sending hundreds of messages out to men to see who bites.
If you’re getting the same generic message from different women on the site, it’s a sign that they’re all working together. They’re probably all prostitutes.
9. The pictures she sends you are too good to be true
If the woman you’re talking to sends you “professional” photos, it might not be a red flag, but it’s a flag! You have to use your best judgement here.
10. She Gives You a Phone Number Right Away
We saw this one the most on Mixxxer. Most online prostitutes will try to get their target off the hookup platform as fast as possible. They do this by sharing their phone number and telling them to text them instead.
Usually their excuse is they don’t want to pay for a membership on the hookup site. This is a red flag. Keep the communication on the website until you feel comfortable with the woman.
The Top 10 Warning Signs That’s She’s a Scammer
While you can look for similar warning signs between an online escort and a straight up scammer, there are several specific signs to look for when it comes to someone who is only looking to steal from you.
1. She’s Asking for Money
If the girl you’re talking to starts asking for money, it’s a sure sign that she’s a scammer. She might say she needs money for travel or medical expenses, but don’t be fooled. No legitimate person would ever ask you for money on a hookup website.
2. She Won’t Meet in Person
If the girl you’re talking to seems reluctant to meet in person, it’s another red flag. Scammers will often try to keep the conversation online as long as possible in order to avoid getting caught. If she won’t meet in person, it’s likely because she’s not who she says she is.
3. She Has Fake Photos
Scammers will often use fake photos to lure their victims. If the photos on her profile look too good to be true, they probably are. Do a reverse image search to see if the photos are stolen from someone else’s profile.
4. She Has a Generic Profile
Scammers will often create generic profiles that don’t say much about them. This is because they’re trying to appeal to as many people as possible. If her profile is vague and doesn’t give you any real information about her, she might be a scammer.
5. She Refuses to Video Chat
If the girl you’re talking to refuses to video chat, it’s another sign that she might be a scammer. Scammers will often avoid video chat because they can’t use fake photos. If she’s not willing to video chat, it’s likely because she’s hiding something.
6. She Asks for Personal Information
If the girl you’re talking to starts asking for personal information, she might be a scammer. She might say she needs your Social Security number or bank account information. But don’t be fooled. No legitimate person would ever ask for this type of information on a hookup website.
7. She Says she’s from Another Country
If the girl you’re talking to says she’s from another country, she might be a scammer. Scammers will often pretend to be from another country in order to escape detection. If she’s not from the country she says she is, she might be trying to scam you.
8. She Has Poor grammar
If the girl you’re talking to has poor grammar, she might be a scammer. Scammers will often have poor grammar and spelling mistakes in their profiles due to the fact that English is not their first language. If she can’t even spell her own name correctly, she might not be who she says she is.
The Dangers of Meeting a Prostitute in Person
When it comes to online hookups, there’s always the chance that you could end up meeting a prostitute. While there’s nothing wrong with sex work per se, there are some risks associated with meeting up with a stranger who may be selling sexual services.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that not all sex workers are prostitutes. There are many sex workers who provide other services such as webcamming, phone sex, or erotic massage.
However, if you’re meeting someone online who you think may be a prostitute, there are some things to watch out for.
One of the biggest risks of meeting a prostitute online is that you may not be able to verify their identity or age. This means that you could be meeting up with someone who is not who they say they are, which could lead to all sorts of problems.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, make sure to meet in a public place and try to verify their identity and age in some way.
Another risk of meeting a prostitute online is that you may not be able to negotiate the terms of your encounter. This could lead to you paying more than you intended, or not getting what you paid for.
If you’re meeting someone online who you think may be a prostitute, make sure to discuss your expectations and her fees before meeting up. And only bring the negotiated amount of money with you. Don’t bring extra cash if you don’t need it.
Of course, one of the biggest risks of meeting a prostitute is that you may end up engaging in illegal activity. This could include solicitation, pandering, or even human trafficking.
If you’re meeting someone online who you think may be a prostitute, make sure to research the laws in your area to make sure you’re not breaking any.
While this doesn’t happen often, encounters with prostitutes can result in being robbed or assaulted.
This is why it’s important to meet in a public place, and to make sure you’re not carrying any valuables with you.
A Few More Precautions to Take
If you decide to meet a sex worker in person, here are some precautions you should:
1. Make sure you’re meeting in a safe, public place
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s always worth repeating. If you’re meeting a stranger for sex, you should make sure that the place you’re meeting is safe and public. That way, if anything goes wrong, there will be people around who can help.
2. Bring your own condoms
This one is just good safe sex practice, regardless of whether you’re meeting a prostitute or not. But it’s especially important when you’re dealing with someone whose sexual history is unknown. Make sure you’re using protection to keep yourself safe.
3. Trust your gut
If something feels off about the person you’re meeting, or the situation you’re getting into, trust your gut and walk away. It’s not worth putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation just for the sake of sex.
4. Leave your valuables at home
This one bears repeating. When you’re meeting an escort for sex, you don’t want to bring anything that could be stolen or used against you. Leave the most of the contents of your wallet (you should always carry ID just in case), your phone, and anything else of value at home or in the car.
6. Tell a buddy where you are going
This is probably the most important tip on this list. If you’re meeting someone you don’t know for sex, it’s always a good idea to let a friend know where you are. That way, if anything happens, someone will know where to find you.
How to Report a Prostitute on an Online Dating Site
If you think you’ve spotted a prostitute on an online dating site, there are a few things you can do to report them.
In my experience as an administrator on a hookup site, online escorts would often change their username or create new profiles to avoid detection by our staff.
So I always recommend taking a screenshot of their profile and any messages they’ve sent you. This will be helpful evidence if you decide to report them to the site’s administrators.
Most hookup sites and apps will have a fairly easy to contact their customer support. They should be able to help you report the person and take appropriate action.
A lot of hookup sites will have a “report this profile” button on any profile you view. You can use that as well, but my advice is to always contact customer support directly so they can take faster action.