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Furries share worries about pay-dating fraud: spotlight on FurFling.com

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A Flayrah exclusive investigation for Furry public interest
Pounced
Josh is a 22-year old single wolf looking for a mate on Pounced.org. He describes himself as "friendly, honest, caring, and fun." He warns other hopeful romantics about another dating site, that he says overcharged him after he canceled service: "Save your money, and avoid frustration."

FurFling.com will turn one year old in late 2013. After nine months of activity, it boasts 21,000 users in posts to Twitter- an amount called into question by evidence later in this article. It's by no means the first dating site that targets furries. Others, like Pounced (established in 2003) offer free service by and for fans. But FurFling differs by bringing new methods to entice payments, usually seen on commercial sites like Adult Friend Finder that attract allegations of fraud.

The furry economy is growing, and with it comes exploitation. In their defense, pay-dating sites often tout partnerships they have made. However, advertised rates of active users and successful matches call for heavy scepticism. FurFling is in the spotlight because it has raised many questions on furry forums. Beyond this one case, hopefully the article can inform readers about pay-dating in general. (It will set aside the topic of whether furries should just date other furries. In this writer's opinion, that's a narrow focus, but there's nothing wrong with sharing interests and fantasies. Phwoar!)

Immelmann and Rowdy the Crux discuss FurFling
Immelmann is not impressed.

Is FurFling.com a "scam site"?

On Reddit, the r/furry community discusses internet dating, and worries about FurFling:

Flayrah editor GreenReaper gives a personal opinion (independently from this article, with no input to the author):

FurFling has been buying up advertising where it can; I got a request for Flayrah. Their tweets seem condescending. I suspect they are not actually furry fans themselves, but hope to make some money off a niche.

Dragoneer, owner of Fur Affinity, replies:

They are legit. I know the people who run it behind the scenes, and they've even contacted FA regarding advertising (but were turned down). Can't say more than that, but they are legit.

WikiFur's talk page addresses their use of "bots", and an anonymous editor bluntly states:

These people are scum.

I contacted Dragoneer to ask for a perspective from someone closer to the owners. I also reached out to the owners. Responses will follow. First, let's get into the issue with more detail.

FurFling account options

The loneliness of others

On the Bay Area Furries mailing list, a member asked: "So FurFling is a scam, right?" Members responded:

I made a profile a while ago but gave up on it because they make you pay to read your private messages. Then I noticed that I get an awful lot of messages, like two a day, despite my profile not being that interesting, and the names of people sending the messages tend to be kind of generic and don't show up in google searches.

I think it says something that furry is now big enough that we have shady businesses targeting us specifically!

They also tried to trick me with fake female fur names. That's why I will never ever pay for this kind of services. I find it really sad that people uses the loneliness of others, to try making a buck. }:(

I'd venture to say ANY social/dating site that makes you pay for something is a scam.

There are probing criticisms about pay-dating in general. In 2012, the relatively well-liked free dating site OKCupid put out a blog article titled: Why You Should Never Pay For Online Dating. After they were sold to pay-dating company Match.com, the article was taken down, bringing speculation about it's PR damage to corporate interest. Advocates were careful to preserve it elsewhere. It details why the business model of pay-dating "is fundamentally broken", because they "profit from their customers' disappointment."

FurFling inbox
Internet bots on FurFling think I'm some sort of sex god. Months ago, I made a profile and left it inactive, but the frequency of messages has stayed constant. It seems programmed to get your attention every day.

Predatory practices

How easy is it to verify concerns about FurFling? WikiFur explains in its Controversy section:

Reverse image search of most of the images on profiles that send messages to users may suggest that these images are in fact stolen.

For informed verification, I had a face to face meeting at a cafe with a computer security consultant and furry, SparkleFloofyWeaselDragon69. (Name is changed to protect anonymity. I did meet a real person for coffee.) It was confirmed that Furfling uses "bots" to automate fake messages and trick users:

A user contacted me, and I replied with obvious characters placed in the message that would trigger errors if they weren't corrected. It elicited a reply along these lines: "hello, {Script Error Null Exception $Var}." It was a pretty convincing bot… it passed my Turing Test at first.

If messages are suspicious, it's understandable how users could still be tricked into paying anyways out of hope. If the responder is hidden by anonymity, a user might think: I'm a real wolf looking for love, and if I'm here, that might be a lonely fox like me!

SparkleFloofyWeaselDragon69 added:

They're trying to build a user base from nothing. If real people actually pay to use it, then you can find them among the bots. Eventually if they do, and more and more people join, well, I guess it will be a real business.

The conversation continued with a belief that FurFling is a branch of a concerted effort to target other niche interests, but I was asked not to disclose why. Provable or not, it raises questions about the extent of their operation. Who is running it, how much money are they making... and how many buyers feel exploited or unhappy with the service?

Perhaps some users will meet each other for real. But can the ends justify the means? And if sites like Pounced, FurriesXtreme, or Fur Affinity connect people for free, how can they ethically start charging for it?

Business is a sensitive issue, when many furries join fandom for the love of it. Some businesses may deserve support for contributing to the growth of fandom. Predatory practices are another matter.

It's the size of the carrot that matters
A message about critics... or FurFling's bots?

Responses to controversy

Dragoneer called FurFling's owners "legit", but curiosity remained. If they are, why was their Fur Affinity ad declined? He explained:

The site's intent is a bit more than just "dating". Didn't quite feel that's appropriate for FA's advertising guidelines. Dating sites aren't an issue (we do advertise Furrymate, for example). And while I have no personal issue with Furfling I don't feel it falls in line with FA's advertising guidelines.

I asked Dragoneer again more directly if he would comment for a journalistic piece, because his prior comments seem to make him informed. (Sometimes business owners are biased towards common interest; that's for readers to discuss.) He answered:

I know the owners, and they are legit. I've not heard complaints about them, no. And there's nothing wrong with a pay-service. It's up to people if they decide to use it.

I've never used the service, as I don't really "get" dating sites personally. And I would recommend contacting them. It's always better to go to the source to ask questions than make assumptions, or even go off of what other people have to say (even me!). The amount of things I've heard about me from people who never contacted me, or spoke to me, is staggering. I imagine they deal with the same given the business industry they're in.

FurFling's owners chose not to disclose personal contacts on the site. Many furries prefer fan names for direct personal activity; anonymity is OK, but doing higher level business can bring public interest concern. In that spirit, let's reveal that the owners use a public Whois profile with an address shared with a Toronto college. It appears that the site shares ownership (or intimate connection) with Furrymate.com, a website that claims to have been founded a year earlier in Montreal. Both sites appear built with the same software and made to link with each other; and even venture to defend, towards nobody in particular, "Furfling not a scam." FurryMate seems oriented towards vanilla romance, with some free and some paid service, while FurFling appears to appeal to more erotic activity, with stricter charging.

I reached out to FurFling and Furrymate with the below questions. If they respond, it will be posted as a followup article.

I'm working on a news blog article about furry dating sites, and I would really love to get comments about your service. Can you help?

  • Can you tell me why you decided to start a dating site for furries? What makes your service worth paying for?
  • Do you have any opinions about more general pay-dating sites for anyone such as Match.com?
  • Furrymate and FurFling seem closely connected. Are you the same owners? Or could you put me in touch with them?
  • If you run into service complaints, what kind are common, and how do you help people with them?
  • Do you track success rates for users? Do you have any stories about the best benefits you have brought people?
  • Can you tell me anything about how many users you have, and how active they are?
  • Can you share anything about your company profile- people who work there, size, etc?

Thank you for anything you can share!

Fraud is as old as furry fandom

I've raised the topic of trust before, when discussing the need for independent fur suit maker reviews. One case of scam worries may not be that prominent, but it seems to be slowly growing above the level of personal fan activity. Be vigilant for the future.

Update, May 2014:
Comment from Dragoneer:

Furrymate was barred from advertising on FA given their deceptive practices. After digging deeper into it and getting fake messages that I had "messages" that I had to pay for... when I didn't even have an account... yeah.

And I know some people will probably bring up that I had vouched for them long ago. Yes, I made a mistake. I knew some of the people involved in the site and had never questioned if they were on the up-and-up, but things obviously changed.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (7 votes)

I can confirm that FurFling's business model is based on lies.

I joined, and received several obviously fake responses to my profile. I sent an email to cancel, and got one back asking "is there anything we can do to keep you as a member?". I expressed my dismay at the faked emails; they responded, "We do not have any fake members."

Anyone who likes can try this themselves: Just take an account, put nothing in your profile, and see your on-site mailbox (which you have to pay to access, remember) fill up.

I've dabbled in online dating (and its equivalents) since the late '80s*. Not once, on dozens of sites, have I seen a new, blank profile garner a slew of legitimate emails with "Hey, I want to meet you" subject lines. The chances of FurFling *not* lying in this regard are vanishingly small.

* No, really: even before the internet was available to the public at large, people devised systems for hooking up on their university networks.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

My experience with FurFling is consistent with what Tom H. describes. I signed up maybe six months ago and completed some sections of the profile that required only short answers or selecting an option from a drop-down list; I never completed any of the longer free-text fields where one is supposed to provide a more substantive description of oneself and what one is looking for in a partner.

Despite lacking key information, I almost immediately began receiving replies, and I quickly discovered what the above article points out, that you cannot view the replies unless you are a paying customer, but you can view the profiles. I was tempted to subscribe, but waited a couple of weeks. That was enough time for some patterns to emerge in the replies, which made me doubt the authenticity of the replies. Those patterns have held to this day. They've all been from females in their late teens or twenties (I'm quite a bit older than that), mostly in the USA though a few have been from other countries, portraying a variety of geeky quirks and interests.

There are several things about the replies that lead me to conclude that they are likely fakes. First, of the nearly a hundred replies I've received over the last several months, I have yet to receive one from a female over 30 or from a gay or bi male trying to cast a wider net. I have yet to receive one from anyone I knew of or recognized from any other site or anywhere else in the fandom. On several occasions I attempted to look up a FurFling messager on other sites such as FurAffinity, and have yet to find one anywhere else. A few times I've recognized the artwork that is allegedly the fursona images in the senders' profiles, and it didn't match what I knew of the art or the artist (in one case it was the fursona image of an artist I've met and have followed on FA for quite some time, and the FurFling messager wasn't her). Finally, the new messages arrive almost like clockwork at intervals of about two days, give or take a few hours. I have never received two in one day (with the exception of one spam reply), and I have never gone as long as four days without receiving a new reply. I know enough about probability and statistics to know that the odds of that happening consistently over such a long period of time by random chance are vanishingly small.

At times I was tempted to buy their 3-day trial just to see what's in those messages, but the more I become convinced they're likely fakes, the less I feel like throwing any of my money their way.

I wasn't aware until reading this article that FurFling and FurryMate are connected. That certainly changes my view of the latter, despite their attempts to portray themselves as a much more straight-up furry dating site.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

FurFling and FurryMate are owned by the same "company". Their primary business is adult porn sites owning sites like insidethemansion.com (currently down) http://web.archive.org/web/20091230225926/http://www.insidethemansion.com/

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

That's very interesting info, Maugrim. Can you post specific evidence of a link?

BTW: Excellent journalism, Patch.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (8 votes)

I received ad purchase inquiries in 2011 when FurryMate went online. They corresponded with an email address containing "insidethemansion" and actual payments from them were issued from an account with the domain "insidethemansion.com". At that time, I pulled their WHOIS Domain Registration info. The "insidethemansion.com" and FurryMate were on the same server/IP address. Shortly after the FurryMate went live, it ended up being taken down on and off for a few weeks while they moved to a more robust dedicated server - this part was explained in their messages to their users, and I was sent an email asking to suspend their advertising till they worked out the issue.

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Well written story Patch. Informative, and I like the small humorous remarks too...maybe more articles on Flayrah need to smile now and then. :)

Keep us posted on updates!

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Dude, your avatar is awesome...

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Thanks!

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Straight male furries in particular should be careful of this. Since it's harder to meet female furries since there are fewer of them (especially ones that aren't already taken), I can see straight males more apt to try and use these kind of services more.

Another intereting though is if the people one is chatting to online are the only ones that are fake. Is the person you're meeting offline really a furry, or furry for pay?

I've seen such people on SL who have furry avatars who aren't furry who charge for 'escort services', typically to people in human avatars who want something a little more exotic, but typically detract actual furries on the program.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

As a Straight furry myself, I can agree to everything you say, straight furs are too few and far in between among homosexual, lesbian, Transexuals and whatever form of orientation imaginable in the furry fandom.. and as you say, finding a straight female who is interested and not already taken, making it harder still..

regardless, I can actually confirm that Furfling creates fake profiles in order to milk money out of lonely, desperate, and sexually frustrated furs..

Before I confronted Furfling on their facebook page, I used to receive 1 or 2 messages a day, and out of pure gullibility and hope, I would purchase the 3 day trial to contact back once enough had piled up so that I wouldn't have to pay as often..

these profiles would message me once or twice after my replies, and never reply again (especially when I suggested to them if we could take the conversation off site, like on skype or face book, or somewheres where we could talk in real time without so much censorship, and the need to pay in order to stay in contact).

eventually, I had enough, and I did confront them about it on Their facebook page, and instead of trying to ease my suspicions and explain how they don't create fake profiles and assure me that all members are real, they instead proceeded to delete my facebook post on their page and ban me from their page, so now I can't even post comments there any more.

on that very same day, the messages by female profiles stopped coming all together, and have yet to receive a single message since then for what, half a year?... now what else does that tell you??
---------

With that aside, I also have solid evidence that they create fake profiles, its not a matter of wondering "if" they do this, "I KNOW" they do this, and I have solid evidence.

Take a look at these two pictures, they pertained to the same profile, and can you honestly tell me they are the same person??
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q235/cadcsa/really_zpsdfadeadb.png
http://furfling.com/member/33029/pictures/31975/

Then there's profiles like this one that posts the same picture twice:
http://furfling.com/member/27203/pictures/25850/

Once I even saw one with the same picture 3 times! You know its fake by that point.... No one is that F'ing careless about their profile pics if they were truly serious about meeting someone...

also, one more thing to note, is that almost every single message I received, was by users who had just uploaded/updated the pics on their profiles that same day...

Staff of this site, need to get their asses sued for extortioning money by victimizing & lying to people due to their sexual needs..

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Transexuals[sic] and whatever form of orientation

Erm...you realize "transsexual" is not an orientation, and is not mutually exclusive with being a "straight fur"?

Your rating: None

noticing the same thing, a message every few days consistently in my inbox, and now the site is either down or has been "hacked" or some script error saying "Unable to fetch system languages." on any url that goes to furfling

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Sadly ~~

I believe it is largely a FRAUD...

(SIGH).....So much for that hot hook-up this weekend...

Someone technically inclined with some extra time should create an alternative to this -- (that's free)...

And BTW -- this guy "Rawrz" (shown in the screenshot) -- has contacted me, and some other people I know -- and he hasn't responded to any of them..

~ Connor J. Coyote
(San Francisco)

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That is a fantastic idea, I'm sitting on a server not in use, could start from scratch. Please contact me at Skype: techsonic / Nebraska:Patrick
With any suggestions. That goes for anyone with thoughts on this. I prefer voice calls, on a droid for most of my day.

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Thanks for good comments here, much appreciated. :) The article has been getting some Twitter discussion in the few hours since it went up.

Dragoneer shared another personal response that he wasn't aware of anything like bots before, and hopes Furfling doesn't do fraud. Please be nice- reputations shouldn't depend on what friends/acquaintances do beyond your power.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I dunno, for me the fact that Dragoneer HAD unabashedly said it was legit without providing any concrete reasons for it (or any evidence that he'd even taken a cursory glance at their business) was only a flag against the business anyway. Dragoneer doesn't exactly have a great reputation to begin with.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

No comment :) FurAffinity isn't exactly judged as a well managed website, but I won't be ungrateful for a free service unless it actively gives me a reason to criticize... like, this story made it's own reason to exist...

On another topic, hooo boy do people get all heated up and casually dismissive about "the media" this and "tabloid" that... as if stories could be better without them stepping up and bringing it. Put "furry" in front of any other hobby activity (writer, artist, musician) and fan people are like "oh, OK"... but put it in front of "journalist" and watch the shit-flinging commence. I sure don't envy actual journalists who do it for a career... a poorly paid, thankless career it's supposed to be for such an important service. Like being a cop (one who does it for the right reasons) and people wish them dead while the cop is helping them... anyways, this is a great thread on Reddit (search Journalist in it:)

What career path did you choose that you strongly advise against?

Great comment in it:
"Every one of these career paths people are hating on here are actually great jobs, in the rest of the world. What western society has done for jobs and optimism in punishable by death."

But that's going off on a tangent :)

Your rating: None

I don't have too many bones with Dragoneer himself, though I do find some connection with his quote here and some of his tenancies.

For instance, he will pick staff trying to keep in mind to make sure they're "Good people" he feels he can "trust" with the responsibilities without doing anything too dramatic. Only, about once every year, one or more of them does something that produces quite a bit of drama which causes some kind of administration overhaul.

Given that, I think at this point there is one thing I can say of Dragoneer. He could be the nicest person in the entire world, but his judgement of character does seem to be lacking a bit. So when he says "Oh these are nice people" I think, "well you said that about those admins who stabbed you in the back at one point"

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

If this is being run out of Toronto, then I'd say there's a *very* good chance this is being run by Squnq. She definitely has the know-how, money and equipment to do it. That would explain much about the "variable" opinions people seem to have. It would also explain why/how Dragoneer knows them.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Prediction: the amount of pushback this gets from (supposed) furries will be directly proportionate to the amount of furries who make money from porn and/or scams.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

I will say this is a good story, and while I never even look at furry get together sites I especially applaud you for doing what I certainly wouldn't. Trying to get information from sources and meeting with people. I also like how you laid out the questions you asked them when they didn't have a chance to get back to you instead of just saying they didn't comment. I always found the "XYZ didn't comment" as a kind of low brow and lazy thing. It allows the reader to be curious about those answers as well.

I'm impressed at the progress your stories have made. And I tip my hat to you.

I don't think we'll see them commenting on here too much directly: if what you say is true. Only a select few furry fans are even aware of Flayrah. Someone who just knows us as dollar signs probably ain't gonna be in the know of organizations such as these. (Certainly won't get to crumb-snatching level ;P)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Thanks :) Wasn't even able to talk about a few things for it. It seems beyond positive spin so... what next?

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I had a rather strange idea but, what if just in theory the makers of this site and other accompanying sites aren't actually furries? Sure it seems to be common enough knowledge that they are furries and I know it sounds odd but if you think about it, it sort of makes a slight bit of sense.

1. They may know furries, or work with furries to run the sites. I.e. work closely with a furry but actually run the site therefore it actually not being run by furries.

2. If they aren't furry and have limited knowledge they may think that certain types of furs will fall for these kind of tactics. (We all know some people will, and it would probably be more obvious if they were a furry). Or have a negative perception of certain personality aspects of the fandom. AKA omg pr0nz here be 100 dollaz! Or lonely and/or desperate people.

3. It doesn't neccessarily have to be the case but if they are distanced from the fandom/not furry then they can profit from it with not so much personal backlash.

Also, I'm not entirely sure but does it actually LEGALLY count as fraud even if slightly immoral? I'm sure massive dating website companies will use tactics like bots and non-vieweable messages from said bots to lure members into paying for their services in the hopes of romance. I mean they most likely get away with this activity even if it is illegal but still...an interesting thought.

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Personally I would say to leave all that for speculation. I think the article has enough solid details about the site itself already. There were actually some I wasn't able to share, but there probably isn't anything else needed to say unless there's a followup.

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Ah I see, well I guess that answers the question then

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Sorry I didn't have any real answers, it's worth thinking about but... furries or not, bad deeds are bad deeds, so I think it matters the same either way. :)

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

They (the bots) aren't above ripping off pictures from Sexyfur, can't we just sic Jeremy Bernal on them?

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I'll just leave this here.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Oouuuch.

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SparkleFloofyWeaselDragon69... really?

You should have gone for a more serious moniker, like... Tom D. or Steve M...

:I

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Sigh. Here, watch.

Picture it like that meeting a secret furry informant, except with more silly code names. Why won't people let it be something besides Tom or Steve?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

At least it isn't "SexyKitty" *shudders*

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

That's racial profiling!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sS9uHC7HE4

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

No; species profiling!

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

In the context of the CSI episode it was based on the color of their suit, they were looking for it based on fibers they found, so it'd be 'racial' more than species. :)

The roo costume before the cat took the cat walk was a far better model.

Now that's species profiling.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I thought it was just a joke for the irony...coming up with an obviously fake furry name representing a real person in an article about fake furry accounts.

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Yeah. I just have to sigh when that doesn't get read as tongue in cheek.

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I'm no journalist but every reader is bound to interpret your words a little differently no matter how you write. I would try not to worry about one-off comments, and instead more strongly rely on consistent feedback. :)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I remember this site, I went on there sometime ago but not looking for anyone. I had to go there cause I was informed that someone was using some of my artwork and I went there looking to get the person to remove it. Sent a message their way and waited for a reply and when I go to answer it, I get the message that I have to be subscribed to read it.

I mean come on, I have to pay for a sub to do something as simple as read a message. I've also been plagued by messages since I made that account. Despite putting a note saying I was not there to find anyone, I still received notes constantly so I guess either bots or just furs too stupid to take a hint.

I sent an email to them complaining about having to sub to read messages but they never responded so obviously shows how much they care about those who haven't tossed money at them (Wether they do once you pay them I don't know).

I've avoided the site since though I've had to filter emails from them since I kept getting them about another message from another fur/bot despite making my profile as vague as possible to ward off people.

This is a site I think should be avoided personally.

*Insert relevant, meaningful signature here*

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Just wrote to FurFling to get my account as canceled as it could be not too long ago. I say that because there wasn't any option to delete my account within the normal user interface and I was getting regular messages that I had messages waiting.

I tried the paid side of it for a few months, found even if you paid, it was cumbersome to contact anyone and didn't find the site content all that interesting anyway, so I basically stripped all the information off my account, all photos, data, etc.... then let it lapse. As soon as my paid time ended, I'd get at least a message or two a day from a supposed female fur which I, of course, couldn't read without paying more money.

These profiles, even when I was a paid member, were always a fairly furry sounded profile text-wise, but the photos were always a general young woman photo or sometimes a furry sketch, but nothing more. Super generic seeming.

Anyway, I wrote and said that it looked scammy to me and I didn't appreciate it and to delete my account. I think they didn't delete it, but made it inactive enough that I didn't show up on lists or get new messages.

Definitely predatory like some of the big adult dating sites. I understand that to make a site like that work, you have to attract a user base first, but that's the wrong way to do it. FurriesXtreme (now) and Pounced (the years ago I last checked it out) were 100x better for meeting real people.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

There was this one service called MyLife that had a similar issue... I remember being curious and checking the website based on a TV ad. I went an 'low and behold' someone was searching for me, to find out who you had to sign up (for free, I don't recall having to pay for it). When I logged in I was like "who is this guy?" Googled their name. They were the CEO of MyLife...

It's a small world after all...

I couldn't help put laugh at the sham.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I had made an account on that site some time ago, and had filled out a profile, with pics. I very quickly got a message but, since I am transsexual, that didn't surprise me because there are many people who are really into trans folks.
That's when I discovered you have to pay to read your messages! I thought WTF, and fuck that!, and, since the guy who had emailed me was cute, I sent him a message with my email addy in the subject, thinking it was the only way for us to get into touch. He sent me another message through the website (*slaps head*). So I sent him a second message myself stating again in the subject line that as a free member I couldn't read his messages and here's my email addy. I then canceled my account on furfling, since it was a useless site.
That guy never sent me an email. I was thinking he was dumb, since he had been so quick to message me at first, but now I'm thinking maybe it was a bot after all?

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I think you will find consistent experiences like yours from other users. Every user I spoke to reported unusually prompt and regular, programmed responses.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I started up a furfling account when they first came up. Quickly abandoning it when I got emails from a "female" fur from California who happens to be in Africa for a modeling contest and somehow ran out of money to pay for her way back. I've deleted everything off my profile since and am still getting a new email every few days.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

From different furs.

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Let me guess, she was modelling in Nigeria? Maybe a local prince had been kind enough to give her a place to stay?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Most of my experience with FurFling is summarized in my earlier post, but today I played around with the search feature and found a couple of very interesting lines in a couple of users' profiles:

"hey guys! I unfortunately only have the free membership so if you try to message me I cant respond :-( I do however have both ********* and ********* so if you are willing to I would enjoy talking through those :-)"

The asterisks in the above quote are not my editing but are exactly what appears in this user's profile. Somehow I doubt that's what the user intended. And then there was this:

"This site keeps deleting parts of my profile. They really want you to pay to use this site and block any form of other communication. Seems silly but oh well."

I should try adding some contact info to my profile to see if it gets changed or deleted.

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After this article appeared, I created an obviously fake account on FurFling. Despite using a name of "NotInteresytedInFurries" (sic) and saying I was situated in Tirana, Albania, I still got a steady trickle of messages like those seen by everyone else:
furfling-messages.jpg

Let's examine one of those profiles. How about this one (Jenellex)?
jenellex-profile.jpg
The image used there is one of Jeremy Bernal's copyrighted images.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that a large percentage of the site is a fraud.

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All of that supports what everyone else in the comments are saying. I wanted to comment on something since only now, looking at your screenshots, did I notice the wincingly awkward tagline at the top of every page: "The place to yiff." Not to mention the "Latest Yiffers" section in the right nav.

I can't remember the last time I've heard a furry actually use the word "yiff" for its intended purpose...it's always tongue-in-cheek. I'm not saying that's evidence for or against the site's fraudulent angle, and maybe I'm being overly cynical, but I would personally be VERY surprised if any developers marketing toward our demographic, who are not too lazy to do at least a little research to become familiar with it, somehow found that using the word "yiff" on a dating site would attract more potential users than it would repel.

Just throwing that out there. *yiff yiff yiff yiff*

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Works for Secondlife adult clubs... at least the ones with that word somewhere in the title seem to do better than others.

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I just made an experimental update to my profile in which I mentioned having stories posted to FurAffinity and SoFurry. After I clicked on submit, they had been changed to asterisks in the profile that was displayed back to me. It's hard not to conclude that they're trying to interfere with people contacting each other offsite.

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Ha! You prompted me to try the same, so I created a profile reading "I frequent quite a few art sites, including Fur Affinity, SoFurry, Inkbunny, Weasyl, VCL, and deviantART.".

Upon saving, it immediately became:
FurFlingCensorship.jpg

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Filtering like that is common practice on paid sites like this. They offer a service by putting up roadblocks to going around it. That's not a sign of fraud... it's just their prerogative to prevent you from using their site without paying. Some commerce platforms (like ebay, Amazon) use similar practices to keep people from redirecting traffic elsewhere to avoid fees... that's OK, too. It does highlight why you should pay attention to the worth of the service though. Does paying get you anything you can't get from a free alternative? I think the OKCupid article linked in the O.P. makes it clear why you should approach such dating businesses with heavy skepticism.

But bots pretending to be real people and automatically messaging a fake profile is definitely a sign of scam/fraud!

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yup I have had those exact same messages unfortunately I had deleted them, but to do a test I have put a load of bogus letters and short answers and I am await another fake response, what hurt me was it had made me feel like some one important not looking at it I feel like I have wasted a life time even if It had been 8 months give or take.
what a let down! how desperate people get to swipe a bit of cash huh!

BTW: if anyone pays and still has messages from those bots place reveal them if possible!

thanks everyone you have saved from more heart break!

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A quick whois lookup for furfling points to it being registered from Australia. Doesn't mean much, tho.

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A friend who reads Equestria Daily pointed out this article there: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/10/brony-mate-pony-dating-site-opens.html

At first glance, it looks like like the same sort of thing as FurFling, but aimed at bronies rather than furries.

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Well it seems furrymate has removed their forums, limiting communications between people to PMs (only for those with subscriptions) and posts on a person's page (limited to one message an hour for free accounts). I thought this relevant since furfling and furrymate seem to be made by same people

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FurryMate, FurFling and BronyMate are all seem to be running in a Level 3 Communications Data Center in Miami Fl, based on multiple Packet Tracing via TraceRt. They are all registered through the same Domain Protection service and seem to all point to the same server cluster.

ae-2-2.ebr1.Miami1.Level3.net (4.69.140.134) 231.667 ms
ae-2-2.ebr1.Miami1.Level3.net (4.69.140.134) 231.861 ms
ae-2-2.ebr1.Miami1.Level3.net (4.69.140.134) 232.847 ms
ae-1-51.edge1.Miami2.Level3.net (4.69.138.75) 232.540 ms

Their individual IP addresses are:

199.19.203.202
199.241.100.109
74.206.189.131

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Apache 2.2.3 running on CentOS... an interesting fingerprint, there. Ports 5666 & 8080 open, too. Basically, Tomcat. And it smells like Plesk. Which is instructive.

As to 2.2.3, yeah: http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list.php?vendor_id=45&product_id=66&vers...

Oh noes... directory catalogs enabled by default:
http://furfling.com/templates/webby2/images/home/

This is interesting: http://furfling.com/templates/webby2/
"Directory access is forbidden. Powered by vldPersonals" ...which leads us to:

http://www.vldpersonals.com/
"VLD Interactive is a Toronto based full-service web solutions provider specializing in website development and design, application development, and online marketing. Our focus is to develop cost-effective solutions that satisfy your goals and objectives.

At VLD Interactive, we utilize our creative talent and the latest internet technologies to solve real business needs and challenges. We are committed to generating the results that our clients need. It is this commitment and dedication to each project that helps us establish long and mutually rewarding relationships with our clients."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://whois.domaintools.com/furfling.com
Server Data
Server Type:Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS)
IP Address:74.206.189.131
Server:whois.advancedregistrar.com
ASN:United States AS27589 MOJOHOST - MOJOHOST (registered Apr 04, 2003)
IP Location:United States - Arizona - New River - Extreme Leverage Llc
Response Code:200Domain
Status:Registered And Active Website

http://whois.domaintools.com/74.206.189.131
http://www.domaintools.com/research/dns/?query=74.206.189.131
74.206.189.131 DNS Lookup
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 62160
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 3
;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;131.189.206.74.in-addr.arpa. IN PTR
;; ANSWER SECTION:
131.189.206.74.in-addr.arpa. 3579 IN PTR furfling.com.
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
189.206.74.in-addr.arpa. 25983 IN NS PTR1.EASYONLINESOLUTIONS.com.
189.206.74.in-addr.arpa. 25983 IN NS PTR2.EASYONLINESOLUTIONS.com.
;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
PTR1.EASYONLINESOLUTIONS.com. 1369 IN A 64.59.64.11
PTR2.EASYONLINESOLUTIONS.com. 1369 IN A 64.59.65.11
;; Query time: 0 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Sun Oct 20 00:21:36 2013
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 172

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==

http://whois.domaintools.com/furrymate.com
Server Data
Server Type:Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS)
IP Address:74.206.189.131
Server:whois.advancedregistrar.comASN:United States
AS27589 MOJOHOST - MOJOHOST (registered Apr 04, 2003
IP Location:United States - Arizona - New River - Extreme Leverage Llc
Response Code:200Domain
Status:Registered And Active Website

http://whois.domaintools.com/199.241.100.109
http://www.domaintools.com/research/dns/?query=199.241.100.109
199.241.100.109 DNS Lookup
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 12427
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 3
;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;109.100.241.199.in-addr.arpa. IN PTR
;; ANSWER SECTION:
109.100.241.199.in-addr.arpa. 3525 IN PTR furrymate.com.
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
100.241.199.in-addr.arpa. 86325 IN NS ptr2.easyonlinesolutions.com.
100.241.199.in-addr.arpa. 86325 IN NS ptr1.easyonlinesolutions.com.
;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
ptr1.easyonlinesolutions.com. 1475 IN A 64.59.64.11
ptr2.easyonlinesolutions.com. 1475 IN A 64.59.65.11
;; Query time: 0 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Sun Oct 20 00:19:50 2013
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 174

Your rating: None

Well-provisioned upstream AS, that's for sure: http://www.mojohost.com/
http://bgp.he.net/AS27589

Interesting hosting service they use:
http://myip.ms/view/ip_owners/70154/Extreme_Leverage_LLC.html
http://hostcabi.net/organization/21115/extreme-leverage,-llc

The ever-useful Robtex report on the C-block:
https://ip.robtex.com/74.206.189.131.html

hmmm... mail.furfling.com - that's interesting:
https://host.robtex.com/mail.furfling.com.html#records

You know, that whole C-block is sort of fascinating:
https://route.robtex.com/74.206.189.0-24.html#sites

...especially this one: http://baileysbarnyard.com
https://dns.robtex.com/baileysbarnyard.com.html#records

When we go directly to http://baileysbarnyard.com we get paywalled with a rather telling message:
"Authorization Required

This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested. Either you supplied the wrong credentials (e.g., bad password), or your browser doesn't understand how to supply the credentials required.

Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) Server at baileysbarnyard.com Port 80"

And there you go. What's the chances, eh? Apache 2.2.3 running on CentOS. And, yes, 5666 is open for management interface (and not firewalled; doesn't look like iptables is even configured, lol).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Interestingly, whois data for that one aren't obfuscated. Phone number is bunk, of course, but what about the name and postal address..?
current IP mapping: 74.206.189.187
Domain Name: BAILEYSBARNYARD.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Name Server: NS1.WAY3.COM
Name Server: NS2.WAY3.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientRenewProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 15-jul-2013
Creation Date: 29-jul-2005
Expiration Date: 29-jul-2014
>>> Last update of whois database: Sun, 20 Oct 2013 06:16:03 UTC <<<
Domain Name: BAILEYSBARNYARD.COM
Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 2013-07-15 13:00:02
Creation Date: 2005-07-29 15:33:50
Registrar Expiration Date: 2014-07-29 15:33:50
Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC
Registrant Name: Alex Derek
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: Box 854128
Registrant City: San Francisco
Registrant State/Province: California
Registrant Postal Code: 94127
Registrant Country: United States
Admin Name: Alex Derek
Admin Organization:
Admin Street: Box 854128
Admin City: San Francisco
Admin State/Province: California
Admin Postal Code: 94127
Admin Country: United States
Admin Phone: +1.4155551212
Admin Fax:
Admin Email: domains987654321@gmail.com
Tech Name: Alex Derek
Tech Organization:
Tech Street: Box 854128
Tech City: San Francisco
Tech State/Province: California
Tech Postal Code: 94127
Tech Country: United States
Tech Phone: +1.4155551212
Tech Fax:
Tech Email: domains987654321@gmail.com
Name Server: NS1.WAY3.COM
Name Server: NS2.WAY3.COM

(and, finally, there's this: http://angialex.com ...so, yeah)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Yeah, it's all Plesk-based. Running an old, unpatched version of Apache, to boot.

Whoever they are, they certainly aren't security gurus. Ahem.

GoDaddy as CA, conventional PKI signing chain, cert purchased back in May of this year. Cipher suites:
PKCS #1 SHA-256 With RSA Encryption

2048 bits. They list themselves in Scottsdale, Arizona per their CA attestations. Which matches with other data, so whoever it is they're in Arizona. Small world, eh?

Your rating: None

I think you're misreading the certificate. That attestation relates to the issuer, GoDaddy, which indeed operates from Scottsdale, AZ. The subject line specifies that it is "Domain Control Validated", i.e. they just verified it by emailing the registered domain owner. It doesn't say where the owner is.

Most websites, even in 2015, use 2048-bit for end-user SSL certificates because there is no reason to believe that it will be insecure for the validity period (indeed, 4096 bits doesn't get you much more), and doing so improves performance.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I've been suspecting that FurFling is a fraud for quite some time now.

I actually -HAVE- subscribed to it for portions of time. Here is the pattern that I saw.

When I was not subscribed: I would get messages from supposed users at regular intervals. All girls. Some cute, some gross and slutty.

When I was subscribed: I would get zero messages from anyone for pretty much the whole month I was subscribed.

When I canceled my subscription: I would get messages at regular intervals again.

Repeat this pattern a few times, until I decide to just not subscribe again. I've been getting messages at regular intervals ever since.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I MADE AN ACCOUNT XD at first I was like \owo/ YEAH PEOPLE.

than I've realized that despite not logging in I'm pestered four to five times a day with messages.

:U than I realized wtf am.I doing on a dating site I could just go whore myself out irl jk jk

www.furaffinity.net/user/darkshadowfoxx

if you see my blue foxy photo on ff, I am a real person, if you are getting messages from me without me sending them please contact me and I will have my account taken down ^. ^
always knew it was fishy paying for message access <.<

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Just to add to this, furry mate is now on the exact same model as ff. You have to have a sub to read any message you get. This happened early november I think.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Furrymate.com use to be a free account. I rarely ever was looked at or emailed when it was free, but now that it has gone to a pay site status I'm getting lots of emails. These people aren't too bright, though. All the emails I get are from people way outside of my state range. Am I really dumb enough to pay for an account just to see what some yahoo I don't know, who's ten states over, has emailed me? Nope. The site is a total scam now.

Your rating: None

Hmm, Where to begin with this website, that isn't already mentioned in the post's above. Yes the site is a scam. Lots of bots and worse censorship if you gave Jack Thompson complete control of Australia.

There was some mention that there wasn't a way to cancel memberships. After doing some research and looking at my statement. You can actually go to www.ccbilleu.com or www.ccbill.com This is the company that charged for you're membership. That's if you actually have one and it's still in use. Me, I use the website for the novelty and sheer amount of boredom, I am having currently.

All you have to do basically is click that button that says cancel membership and follow the on screen instructions and fill out two of the three fields they ask for. It will then bring you another screen with all current and past things you have signed up for.

Find www.furfling.com on the list and cancel membership and while you're at it cancel or look for any other charges you have on other sites as well.

Problem solved. You will not be re-billed, unless you sign up for it again and you keep what you have until it expires and you still will get tons of messages afterwards.

Your rating: None

FurryMate has tagged at least one of their posts #FurFling: link, screenshot. A TinEye search shows the image is likely original, at least.

Efit: Oh, and because we've had the same story multiple times already I don't think this warrants its own comment, but terminal-dogma reports the same ~received numerous emails from obviously-fake accounts with prompts to pay~ story.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

FF is total bs like a scammer on loose for years and haven't been captured seriously.... who would pay for viewing messages lol you can tell its scam if there making you pay just to view... there are bots.. basically all of them... when you give your info they will use it as a bot to message others to get them interested and make others pay to "see" the message.. lets say I close the account for example they will use it for there advantage as a bot.. I already did close it

so far it doesn't matter to me because im avioding this site.. if you see my profile and information on there tell me x.x on facebook darkimage wolf

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

FurryMate keeps sending me fake messages. Of course I cannot read them without paying, but I can visit the senders' profiles and we never have much in common and they always live far away.

Another annoyance with FurryMate is that they keep deleting one of my drawings. They seem offended that a realistic (non-furry) stallion does not wear pants.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

FurFling and FurryMate are definitely owned by the same people; they use the same interface, just laid out in different ways, and they use a lot of the same intellectual properties. Example is the page that you get when you go to sign up for their paid service, the one that shows three different payment options are the same across both sites.

Now for a tip that I've learned in order to actually find others to talk to (everything here works for both furrymate and furfling):

If you go to 'search' and fill in the details the results are sorted firstly by relevance and then by last log in. The most recent person to have logged in who matches your criteria appears on the top. The bots spend a lot of time logged in and usually populate the list, but in between the bots are usually new and real people.

These new and real people tend to post their kik, skype, or other ways to contact them and because profile details are post-approved you can find one or two people with a real way to contact them.

The people who frequent the site seem to know this too, so when if you log in and plan on spending some time looking for a friend edit your info and type in your skype or etc, making sure to mask it from the censor bot by throwing in some symbols and other random characters between the letters of the service of your choice (e.g. S/k&y(p^e) and it recognizes email format so instead write myemailaddress at gmail dot com, etc, etc.

Your rating: None

unless he is in cahoots with them, or is being paid or has ties with the owners and or has something to do with the site to do damage control aka helps the owners to keep bad PR down and tried with his post to make the site look "legitimate" in saying they don't try to prey on lonely furs and they don't use "bots" or fake female profiles to lure furs into shelling out their hard earned cash without any "proof" and blindly says they are legit in charging users to pay to read messages is truly questionable to say the least.

Your rating: None

They have put out a couple of ad videos on their Youtube account in the past week. Who will watch, I don't know. They seem desperate, from a site that avoids answering about using bots to get payments.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Hello everyone, I just wanted to put my two cents in I am a paid member of the site, I feel ripped off because I have to pay to read mail. However, that may be a bogus thing, but I've still found great people to talk to. Bots are around on every social site. Think back to facebook, Tom was everyone's friend without question. You may be unhappy with something about it, but that doesn't mean hate it outright like some of you sound to. If you get an "obvious" bot message then just ignore it. If you dislike it then don't pay. But calling something a fraud is a little extreme.

Your rating: None

What is it this week with weird comments I just want to hit the mark as spam button so bad on, because I'm fairly certain spam is what they really are. Hey, waitaminute ...

If you get an "obvious" bot message then just ignore it.

Well, if you insist!

Your rating: None

Pretty sure this isn't spam. Trying to justify having paid for the site, perhaps.

Edit: And of course, I get replied to by a spambot.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

I'm sorry if you felt my two cents were spam, I'll gladly leave this thread be if thats the case, but I honestly was just trying to point out that there may be some truth behind lies. I actually found myself with a spam letter just the other day that almost tricked me, but that is beside the point. The point being; Not all internet and pay dating sites are scams. Free ones are paid for by advertising other sites on their sides but paid ones CAN offer a better result. The end result is always going to be up to the user at hand. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read my post and this response if you did.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I've created a second account, just to understand the mechanic of censorship on message titles, which includes hiding email addresses.

After sending numerous users who had previously sent emails to me, replies containing a tagline with an email in an un-censorable and recognizable format (tested by reading them from my secondary, receiving account first)...

...not a single one of the blokes replied. Either they're all thoroughly clueless, they're furfling proprietors/executives operating under a series of aliases to promote business, or they're bots. Judging by the volume of spam I even still receive, I'd have to venture to guess the latter category.

Your rating: None

i wish to ask how to tell if its a fake profile your dealing with compared to a real person.

Also want to bring up that have you all notced that besides calling them selfs a dating sight that they do not allow the posting of email to meet outside of the site or face book. i will say out of lonlyness i may or may not have fallen for this scam am talking with one person thats been doing the 2 day some times longer shit. i also live in a small town and will only talk to furs in my area and thus chances to see them at a store and so far nothing. but i gave a person or bot 2 weeks to agree to move and talk off site if dosent agree im removeing my account. i really think the furry community or some one with more info then i have turn them in and get the websites shut down.

if any one has info for me on how to cheak or test. AND another and better place to look for love please post here and at Honorablegod@hotmail.com as i most likely will forget to check here.

Your rating: None

The site makes it likely to assume that any message you get will be fake- there have been many complaints and few positive opinions.

Try Pounced. It is free and has no bots. You might assume that furries aren't very populous, so if you don't have luck with it, try non-furry dating.

Your rating: None

Well, I can't promise you either A.) Apprehension of the lousy crooks, or B.) A steady relationship, but I notice that you are also a gamer. If you're interested, hit me up on Skype (kimonoboxfox), or on my page at SoFurry, and we can hang out and take things from there.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I know it's hard to find a mate and I've even tried furrymate(believe it or not but furrymate actually refund my accidental $20 purchase for a subscription after the 3 month $1 trial when I forgotten furrymate) but don't think only Furries make good mates, have a broader interest. Furries is only a fandom which we all enjoy and I love it as much as any other fur but basing your interest only in the fandom will limit opportunities of actual good people who would understand and will either accept your interestes or join the fandom with you, maybe get sick and distance themselves from you but they don't know what awesome looks like then and it wasn't meant to be. Who knows. Just adding my thoughts on the dating side! furrymate is fake as fnck and should be avoided, save your money and time for real people and reliable services

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

In this morning's news we get word that JDI Dating, an operator of 18 dating websites, has agreed to discontinue the use of fake profiles to lure customers into subscribing, and to pay over $600,000 in redress. See links below for more information. I was unable to determine if FurFling and FurryMate are operated by JDI; the the TechDirt article indicated that other dating site operators are guilty of the practice and may be reconsidering in light of the FTC's action.

http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/10/online-dating-service-agre...
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/10/29/359901518/online-dating-site-used...
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141029/17044628982/ftc-fines-online-dating-s...

Your rating: None

I'd hate to quote 4chan, as they're still not too kind to us furries, but:
"THIS is why we can't have anything nice."

I too made an account, and I have gotten nowhere in the last year or two I've used FurFling, FurryMate, and BronyMate. I've had more hits on my Pounced account in two years than I have on all of these three sites in two years. Perhaps we need to boycott these sites, and bolster sites like Pounced? That way it's reall Furries and not bots with people behind them practically demanding money. I mean FFS... not all Furries can afford a dating site account let alone food, clothing, shelter, etc.

Your rating: None

If you don't have the last three, you probably shouldn't be dating. :-)

Looks like BronyMate is more of the same.

Your rating: None

Well you can be dating if you don't have property. Heck, it's a good strat, maybe you'll land someone who does have property.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (5 votes)

I Started my Furry Site FurrTrax to be a better alternative to these fraudulent pay sites.

FurrTrax Furry Social Network and Dating Site - 100% Free
http://furrtrax.com

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

I notice you brag a membership of over 10,000 members. That is great, and being free is great. However, you get what you pay for. Other sites may have fewer members and fees, but I go for quality not quantity. I created an account, and did several searches. There are members from 0 to 193 years old. Most of the entries for the members City is shown as "city". I see no accuracy or monitoring of BS profiles. Not even considering the design/layout looks like.. well, if you like 30 different colors of text on every page, great. It appears as if noone monitors new members for accurate information. I could never take the site as being serious for any purpose. I could not even use the 'contact form' without creating an account. WHY? And your 'About Us' page bashes other dating sites? That is your right, but it sure makes you look BAD. Never bash the competition. If they are 'bad', the word will get out and they will die. I am amazed how many other 'information' sites bash furrtrax, and YOU.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Wow, dont get me started. I will try to keep this short. I created an account on furfling. You can't even get inside to look around without one. It looked legit, so I paid for the 6 month membership in hopes of finding a new mate. I started making contact with 4-5 members, and enjoyed the conversations through chat and IM's. Once I was comfortable with some of them, I tried entering my email address in chat. Their software removed it. I tried the same in messages, again the same results. I contacted their 'admin' and asked, "If I find that perfect someone, and I want to get them my contact info, how do I do that?". Now your gonna love this... The response I got, and I quote them here... "If you want to contact one of our members, use our contact form and let us know, we will give that member your information.". SO, the only way to actually give contact info to another member is for the staff of furfling to do it manually. WTF?! I voiced my opinion to their 'admin', and got no response. I demanded a refund for this scam. I got a reply with a link to their TOS page, which states there is no refund. That is find as long as we(members) can actually contact each other through chat or PM's. I never went back. That was about a year ago.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

If anyone bashes us its either because they were banned as we dont tolerate harrassment of other members or as of lately a group who guilt trip others into mateship by acting suicidal.

Or its because they feel threatened by our success. FurrTrax has only one developer who works on the site voluntarily. Im sure the site would be more fancy if there were more admins. But its just me.

Maybe if you actually gave it a chance instead od expecting the taj mahal design from volunteer development. I work long hours and still find the time to maintain the site.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Since most people here are too cheep to buy an account I can report that most people I talk to PROBALBY not are bots! But when thinking of it it started to get suspicious. I talk to like ten different girls, and that is MANY on a date site. They would never write more than one mail per day, and they answered kinda much with short questions. Almost every first mail was a copy pasta, they never had anything to do with me, and it was obvious that they sent them to many people. But when I replied I do believe some real person answered. I'm kinda interested in ai, and I don't think they are bots. I think someone works with replying to mail to get people to still pay for the site. The sad thing is someone I talked to removed her account, she was probably a real furry.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Or the bot self terminated, unable to come to terms that they'd never be able to pursue the relationship they desired with a human outside its virtual confines. :)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Watch out for that! Sometimes they only pretend to like you so they can steal your body.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

My unsubscribe email:

Please cancel my subscription.

There is a pattern. Every month there is a new girl in my city. They all take pretty much exactly 2 days between responses. None of them have FurAffinity... odd for a FURRY dating site. None of them wanted to chat on outside sites. There are a ridiculous amount of bots that seem to autogenerate when I started paying. If this is true, it is very unprofessional and is milking money out of lonely people looking for actual relationships, such as myself.

Again, Please cancel my subscription.

Your rating: None

Dude i just signed up to this stupid site and now it wont let me cancel after i started my 3 day trial.. i cant submit a complaint to them ether..Im in deep water

Your rating: None

If you paid them, talk to the people who delivered the money. They can't just "not let you" cancel within a trial period.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I have a profile on furrymate. It's several years old. I have a key word I'm my "about me" page that people must use in thier message subject. I have never. Never
Had that keyword used. I get messages less now then when I first joined but still do get them. Only one has ever greeted me by my actual name. Most were very generic greetings. I want to cuddle you, and things like that. On pounced I think I get a few messages a year.
Furrymate is definitely fishy. I've encountered email romance bots that were pretty convincing a decade ago. I'm sure they use that type of technology.
Write something really weird and the bot just skips right over it in its next reply. Funny. I've written a few chat bots before so it's interesting from a technical point of view. The technology is also used to run pornochats with animated avatars.
Once tech gets to a certain level, probably soon, you won't know at all if the message was from a real fur or a bot. Knowing furries and long distance relationships it might be years before you found out, only because the person refused to meet in person!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

FurFling started advertising on Lulz.net last year. The banner is curiously transparent as to their business model:

FurFling banner December 2015

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I've seen stolen art being used on their facebook plus I know people who have been scammed by them. Also-that 'click to catch your prey' banner is ludicrous. So they're encouraging sexual predation now?

Your rating: None

Dragoneer's word is more worthless to me than a mother's word as the only alibi for her suspect son in court.

Update 2014:

"Furrymate was barred from advertising on FA given their deceptive practices. After digging deeper into it and getting fake messages [...] Yes, I made a mistake."

That's about the only thing he does, mistakes.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

wow, what dragoneer ever do to deserve such a comment? XD

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

"""""Manage""""" FurAffinity

Your rating: None

ok so are there any REAL furry dating sites???? maybe we should just turn this thread into our new dating site xD

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… if sites like Pounced, FurriesXtreme, or Fur Affinity connect people for free, how can they ethically start charging for it?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I've found http://www.furrydate.com/ and https://furrtrax.com/ to both be legitimate, in fact, I've been in touch with 2 real females through Kik (off site), and a few others that weren't really my type ;P

they are both free, but FurryDate does have a limit of 20 free messages before you have to pay for a subscription in order to get more, but I found what I was looking for within those 20 messages :)

either way though, both girls I found each came from 1 of the sites, so they are both good, I just like FD slightly better.

Your rating: None

Since I have Pounced I decided to give FurryMate a try. I also got the fake profile messages people were complaining about as well and there's no way I was going to fork over a few bucks just to view those messages.

I honestly believe both FF and FM are fraudulent in some manner and should be reprimanded for their poor choice in running the site and tugging on the heartstrings of furs out there looking for a relationship.

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So in other words does anyone actually know a legitimate furry sight that you can meet real sex craved animals for our meet or dates, for those that want to find the one. I would really like to find an actual site that promotes the furs and meet pretty kinky people.

If you do have a site go ahead and reply because I would love to know

Your rating: None

The pool is small, you are honestly looking at a city worth of people spread worldwide. Dating furries-only will be frustrating, better to date anyone and if they really like you then you can introduce them. But if you do want the niche your best bet is Pounced for a real furry run and free site. Or since you mentioned hookups, try fetlife, furries xtreme, AD twitter, or go to a con and open Grindr.

Your rating: None

Stop trying to date people. Get to know people as friends. You can have deep, meaningful relationships without being IN a relationship. Trying to 'date' people before you even know them as a person is just silly.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

So i have signed up to fur fling.com and it seemed pretty cool but.

so i live over in BC and I noticed like 4 furs local to my area, it was pretty cool, i thought to myself maybe if i send them a message with my skype or email, we could continue to chat. anyways these profiles messaged me and i was unable to read them.

so i am on vacation and i decide to look at some of their profiles and their location changed to ottawa ontario, exactly in the same area that i am visiting all 4 of them.

the likelyhood of all 5 of us traveling at the same time is incredably unlikely.

this is a very strange coincidence, i dont know.

is there a possibility this website is a huge scam, i dont know, but things like this wierd location swap for 4 members concerns me.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Well, sure. The website knows roughly where you live, even if you do not tell it, from your computer's network address. That's how you'll be directed to Inkbunny's Quebec image cache if you visit now, but Seattle upon your return - only in that case, it's for your benefit. In this case, FurFling's owners just want to deceive you into paying them to view the messages - which, naturally, will never lead to anything, because they weren't sent by real people in the first place.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

thanks for the clarification, i really hate scammer websites, pounced seems to be the only real one.

i also like fetlife.com, but there are few furs

furfling is a scam.

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