Plenty of Fish (POF) does not seem to be a very good dating app to use in South Africa. I can’t really comment on the functionality because I did not use it much. The app loads a lot more slowly than Tinder or Badoo. So slow in fact that I cannot get it to run on data and could only check messages when connected to a good wireless network. This might explain why there are so few South Africans using POF. I did have a really nice meal with an interesting Canadian lawyer who was travelling through South Africa.
The lack of South Africans makes it seem like POF is populated mostly by fraudsters. A vast majority of people who contact me have profiles saying they live somewhere in America but very few have good English. I can’t help being suspicious when the profile is of a white guy living in Texas, puts his profession as Engineer but only has some university and bad English. This one told me that he planned to visit Africa (Kenya) and suggested that he could come to Cape Town as part of that trip. Africa is a big continent.
One guy even tried to earn my trust by telling me how he has nearly been scammed and needs to be careful. He tried to use this to convince me, for the sake of his privacy, that we should move off POF (such a gentleman). This was followed by some rather strange and elaborate messages to try and get my attention. One of the most recent and rather amusing for all the wrong reasons being:
‘Had an x-ray done today and they found you in my heart. uhh The doctor said if they took you out, I would die, because I could not live without such an amazing cute friend’.
One of my favorite examples of a scammer, described himself as ‘humanitarian who now yarns for a companion’. I don’t somehow think this is the sort of English you would expect from an American surgeon working for doctors without borders. Or even better “Loves to kick back and enjoy time”. So for the fun of it I decided to ask him about his English pointing out that it was not what I would expect from a surgeon. He got very defensive starting with ‘Well, I wasn’t aware that my level literacy is needed when trying to woo a woman.’ Then trying to argue his specialty was the name of diseases (even as a surgeon?) and in a similar way to science, literacy is not essential. I kindly pointed out that a certainly level is generally necessary in order to do the work. His counter argument, in rather clunky awkward English, was that it was necessary for him to use simple English in Africa as a means to save lives. Trying to use the humanitarian angle? Well folks there is a very clear difference between bad English and simple English.
In the end I decided that POF is no good to me and once I have all the material I need for my blog then I will uninstall that app.
While these are examples of easy to spot scammers some are more sneaky. If you do have concerns then there are places you can go for help such as this website: ScamSurvivors.Com