OMG No Reviews
Reviews were one vital source for clientele to verify a provider's legitimacy. With many reviews gone, this simple verification process isn't easily accessible for many. Clients seem to worry if the provider is a cop, if provider doesn't look like their pictures, they might get robbed, etc.
Do they have a Twitter, Switter, Instagram, etc? If so, are they interactive? Do they have a decent following? Are their posts recent?
A provider's social media is crucial. This should be a client's important tool in their digging. A provider's social media page can:
- Show clients how the provider communicates with others
- Things that interest their provider
- Learn about a provider's day or week with pictures and other content
- Learn about a provider's potential tour and other availability
Make sure they're active at least weekly on social media. The provider doesn't have to be glued to their screen constantly posting in order to be legit! Finally, if their social media presence is good with their communication to followers and other providers, they have a decent sized following, and they have recent image posts, then they're legit so far in my screening. Let's look at more things.
Does the provider have a website? Does the website look well written, detailed along with pictures?
If a provider's website looks like they put effort into it, that's one way of verifying their legitimacy. Look at my website and blog. I highly doubt a cop would put this much time & effort on web development while planning a bust. Like, no lol.
A website can have a nice About page with more info about them, their rates, an FAQ, their expected clientele etiquette, a gallery, and a contact/booking page. If they're constantly adding new pages like me, then yes. This provider would be more legit so far based on their website. Let's keep looking.
If your provider is listed on a verification portal such as P411, your screening is over. Providers have to show proof in order to get verified on here, and the only way to show proof is with reviews. Also, their reviews have to be good with decent ratings to high ratings. A provider with a P411 number is as legit as they come.
Look closely at their ads. If their advertisement has Verified or something synonymous to this, then they're legit. Some advertising websites give providers the chance to become verified by sending a photo with:
- their ID (driver's license, passport)
- themselves (sometimes they'll need to take a photo with both their face & ID)
- a piece of paper with today's date written on it along with the advertising company's name for proof.
Some providers go the extra mile for that 'verified' status since it proves that the provider sent in their real life information along with a recent photo to make sure they look like their photos as well.
Their Contact Info
Make sure a provider's email or phone is visible within search engines and that results with some of their ads popping up from searching their contact information. Be sure to look at her ads as well for more details that can help.
Is It Safe?
They have to have at least 3 out of 5 of these options to be proven legit. Not every provider is P411 verified, not all providers have websites, not every provider cares for social media, etc.
Do research with the options I just discussed. Then, go with your gut feeling. Always go with your gut feeling because if something doesn't add up, then you're probably right.