How to avoid being scammed!
Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Being an escort who only takes bookings secured with a deposit means I've heard something along the lines of "sorry, don't do deposits. Have been burned before" a million times. Often not as polite and sometimes even littered with insults and accusations. It's a policy that is very important to me, not only as a way to cover my losses, but as testing for compatibility and compliance with boundaries. I simply do not see clients who argue with me on such a simple requirement, it immediately creates a bad taste in my mouth and the booking really wouldn't be enjoyable for either of us. It's not a huge ask at all, especially as my hair dresser, my psychologist, my favourite restaurants, photographers - my photography & media business included - and so many more businesses require deposits or cancellation fees. It is becoming a standard feature in our economy as clients get flakier and businesses suffer when they're cancelled on or no showed. I will quit the industry before I stop requiring deposits. It's just good business practice.
I am, however, well aware of the fact that some clients aren't telling taddle tales and attempting to manipulate their way around boundaries when they say that they've been burned. I am hearing about and seeing it more frequently as certain advertising platforms have made a turn for the worse on ethics and customer service. Stealing deposits and scamming your clients is honestly a really low act, not just because so many of us have to fight that daily up hill battle to secure deposits, but because it's just a really awful thing to do and an awful thing to have done to you. My sympathies go out to any client who has been trusting enough to give a provider a deposit and have been scammed. Hopefully I can share some tips to help you and others avoid the same thing happening in future. Let's start with a couple of points that address the misinformation and gross stereotypes out there that clients often believe signals a fake escort ad and potential scam.
"the foreign girls are all scammers"
The ethnicity of the escort who is asking for a deposit is not a valid indicator that you're dealing with a scammer. Asian and South American workers are often painted with the "must be a scam" brush, but this is simply untrue for the majority of workers from those parts of the world. This line of thinking stems from racist stereotyping and it's appalling and wrong. I understand that someone who is traveling and is here for a good time not a long time might not have as much pressure or investment to maintain their integrity long term, but most of the recent deposit stealing scandals have involved caucasian Australian born escorts. So, you would be incredibly naive to think that all white or local escorts are safe on that count.
"I only book from x website, because it's trustworthy"
Unfortunately, Scarlet Blue is no longer run with ethics and customer service in mind. You can no longer rely on them to only have independent escorts as many agency run profiles are now polluting the site and the current owners really don't care whether their advertisers are legitimate or not. At the end of the day, more advertisers means more money in their pocket. If you get scammed, don't count on SB to have a care in the world or actually do anything about it. Unfortunately, many of us are forced to continue patronage on their site due to its popularity with clients. We are trying to get behind other sex worker owned and run sites like Tryst.link and Avaliableangels.com.au but they will only become properly viable options once clients move over to them - which I encourage everyone reading this to do. I want to note that I'm not saying agency workers or agencies themselves are inherently bad, but every worker I know who has worked for an agency has been sent on bait and switch bookings - often without prior knowledge - where a client requests a particular worker from their website who offers certain services and the agency sends someone else who might roughly or might not even fit the description. So that's something to look out for when booking through an agency.
"Escorts over $xxx an hour are more trustworthy"
Wrong. Big wrong. In fact all of the most recent scandals I have personally heard about involve escorts at $500/h +. Don't let prejudice against workers at lower rates blind you. People choose their rates - that choice being one of the amazing things about this industry - for a plethora of reasons and it often doesn't reflect the service or attractiveness of the escort.
Now, onto the things to look out for when booking. There's no one dead giveaway when it comes to a scam and these guidelines are really only for those who want to be extra safe. The vast majority of escorts out there that are new or don't have the kind of established presence that I will go on to mention, are still legitimate and ethical business owners who will not steal your deposit. It's up to you as to whether you want to take that risk or not, and while there are no real statistics on stolen deposits, the rate at which it happens is VERY low.
Read the ad
Read it. Read. The damn. Ad. It is the most basic and easy form of due dilligence that any one person could exert. Seeing escorts is an expensive hobby which costs hundreds and often thousands of dollars. You wouldn't spend money on a luxury holiday without knowing where you're going. You wouldn't purchase a car without checking the make and model. Why attempt to book an escort without reading her ad?
While you're doing your basic due dilligence, look out for how the ad is written. Look at what they say about themselves. Read the rates. Read what services are on offer - in states where that's legal. Read any policies they may have. Read their preferred method of contact. I can't tell you exactly what to look out for, but if it doesn't really tell you anything or make much sense or sounds like it was written by a dude who is jerking off and vomiting out words - think "horny for your big cock right now all day every day 24/7 cum in side creampie finger lick suck boob pussy ass" or... you know... whatever - you might err on the side of caution. Also look out for things that are too good to be true. An ad that offers say PIV or PIA sex with out a condom for $100/h is probably a fake. Common sense helps when avoiding a scam.
I also should note that when it comes to screening, if they're asking for your ID with the license number, expiry date and everything on show, just be a little wary as that can open you up to identity theft. Anything more than your full name, picture (and address if the worker is meeting you at your residence) isn't relevant to the worker at all in regards to safety, so you can choose to obscure or not obscure the other details, but if they are insisting that you provide them, personally, I would be skeptical.
In one of my last blogs I spoke about the current fascination with sex workers on social media and just how vital it has become to have an online presence in order to secure clients. When booking an escort who asks for a deposit the first thing you should do is follow the links on their ads to their twitter and instagram. It's generally a really good sign when an escort posts somewhat frequently and interacts with other escorts on twitter. Not only will you find sexy selfies, personal stories, updates, promotional posts and get a feel for their personality, but you can see that they exist as a person and are active and engaged in their community.
If they have a website, check it out. Sex workers are very diverse and so are their websites, so some will definitely look more professional than others, but look out for personality and self expression through the text and layout and pictures and vibe... maybe even a blog... who knows? I and many other escorts tend to have our full policies and ts and cs on our websites as it can clog up our ads, so give them a thorough read to see if you're actually comfortable with the policy. If you want an escort with leniency for rescheduling, don't book an escort who states that they don't offer leniency for it, then attempt to reschedule, and then go on to say you got scammed out of a deposit. If there is a mention of having a policy on their website in their ad and a link to that website or url, and you don't bother to read it, and then suddenly find you're being denied a refund under the stipulations of that policy, you are not protected under consumer law. Basically, you agree to their policy when you book whether you've read it or not and claiming ignorance in such a circumstance isn't an acceptable defense. They do not have to link their policy to you directly, so long as there is reference to and the location of it on their ad, they are covered. Make any threats you want about the police or this ombudsman and that commission, it doesn't change anything and most of us are well aware of this.
These days it seems like nearly every escort with a social media presence also has an only fans or a manyvids or a snapchat or an AVN Stars or whatever it is. You can probably bet that your escort is pretty legitimate if they have these subscription services and post reasonably often. You can even get yourself some fap material to build anticipation before your meeting - and for less than your weekly coffee allowance in many cases.
It can be really hard for an escort who is just starting out to get reviews. I know it took me like a year simply to collect a hand full on SB and this is simply due to the fact that - according to many peer reviewed studies - people rarely post reviews for something they've had a positive experience with. Everyone likes to complain when something goes wrong, but in general the percentage of people who have positive experiences who actually write reviews is quite low. So a low volume escort like myself can take a while to build up that reputation through reviews. Basically, what I'm trying to get at is that you should take reviews into account, however a lot of us don't actually have that many of them and that doesn't usually reflect on us, it simply reflects the tendencies of patrons. When reading the reviews bear in mind that sometimes in this industry clients who try to push the boundaries of consent with their escort and are met with resistance can get pretty salty and decide to leave a nasty review full of misinformation. So, if you come across a nasty review think about the fact that sometimes people on the internet lie. After all, we are talking about scams and they are very much not exclusive to sex workers.
On the other side of the coin, it's quite possible for workers to write their own reviews on some websites, so look out for the writing style and vocabulary and if it's very similar to what the escort has written in their ads or is all 2 line spiels of "She's the best escort I ever had! You wont regret it!!" you might assume they were written by the escort themselves. While not all clients have the gift of the gab or don't have the best English, most tend to actually write out a few sentences and often several paragraphs describing what they liked about their encounter from my experience.
As you can see, the best way to avoid being scammed is a little common sense. It has happened in the past that some high profile workers with some of the verification methods I have offered above have actually scammed clients, but 99.99% of us care about our reputation in the industry. Sex workers who rip off clients are often shamed and ousted by their peers too because they make life harder for us, so it's a pretty uniquely awful person who gets off on stealing from clients. I hope you find this resource helpful and let me know if you have any questions, queries or topics you'd like me to cover below or anonymously at curiouscat.me/venus_rayne !
Until my next blog,