Best-Matchmaking's Frauds

Preface does not run a blunt hard scam, where you have no chance to meet the one you are dating online, because there is not such a person behind the online profile. Best-Matchmaking's frauds are more sophisticated.

There are real people behind the profiles you on Best-Matchmaking's online dating platform. However, the agency has no intention to match you to become a couple but tries to keep you uncertain as long as possible. This way the agency gets most money out of you. It is a so called soft scam.

Later, when a client finds out about the trickery, the situation is confusing. Exchanging experiences is essential for clients to understand their situation. Therefore I share the fraud's I have experienced with

In an industry where bolt scams are widespread Best-Matchmaking's soft scam might be considered acceptable. I still consider it a fraud which I do not want to accept.

Felix Berlin

List of frauds I experienced with Best-Matchmaking

  1. Manipulated profile
  2. Intertwined ways of financial transactions
  3. Illicit commission to meet my date
  4. Baseless fee for money transfer
  5. Faked phone number exchange
  6. Faked chat on Viber
  7. Cutting down half on interpretation service package
  8. Made-up drama
  9. 50% service charge increase for interpreter
  10. Pretended independence
  11. Friendship for money
  12. Inauthentic letters of interest
  13. Pressuring for false statements

Some other dubious situations happened before, while and after I visited the Ukraine. As the nature of fraud is to hide, it is hard to proof it. You can read the story of my journey to the Ukraine on my blog. Other clients also reported other frauds.

Manipulated profile

When I met my date in person in December 2020, I was almost shocked by permanent injuries she had suffered. It was clear these injuries had not happened just two or three month ago but earlier. However, the photos on her profile obviously did not show these injuries. When I asked my date about it, she said (translated by the agency's interpreter) that these photos were older ones. As she had just joined about one or two month before, the agency obviously had not had her "profile checked for authenticity" as they claim on the opening page of their website.

Furthermore, my date was a frequent smoker. As soon as she met me without the agency's interpreter, she smoked. Her profile at Best-Matchmaking tells her being a non-smoker though. My date explained to me that the agency had told her she could not smoke while being with the agency and therefore it was hard for her to meet me for two or three hours without smoking.

Almost all female profiles on say the woman is a non-smoker. Other clients told me the same stories about smoking and misleading photos. It looks like, Best-Matchmaking not only fails to check their women's profiles for authenticity, but even involves in the manipulation.

Kate, the boss at Best-Matchmaking, blogged before October 2020 about the issue:

Is smoking common for Russian girls? - Yes! Especially a couple of years ago, we gead a real smoking boom in these countries. Everybody was smoking - from teenagers to pensioners. And now you can really see so many girls walking in the streets with a cigarette in their hand. (...)
Screenshot from a blog post by Kate: "Is smoking common for Russian girls? - Yes! Especially a couple of years ago, we head a real smoking boom in these countries. Everybody was smoking - from teenagers to pensioners. And now you can really see so many girls walking in the streets with a cigarette in their hand. (...)" Click for the full size screenshot.

Kate and Best-Matchmaking are very aware of the smoking issue. Oddly Kate--without giving any reason--tells us that her women does not smoke, almost all of them. There is just no logic behind, except blowing clients' minds by such smoke screens.

Intertwined ways of financial transactions

To pay the monthly membership fee, I tried to pay directly on by credit card. However, it did not work. Best-Matchmaking told me this is a technical issue they are not responsible for. While I did not doubt it at time, later I thought, it could have to do with the soundness of Best-Matchmaking. It was strange: The error message appeared even before I could enter my credit card details.

Kate, the owner of Best-Matchmaking, offered me to transfer the membership fee by TransferWise (now just called Wise) to her bank account. It worked. Later I realised that Kate used a wrong name on her bank account. On her bank account (PDF) Kate's name is ELBAKHEI KATERYNA while she calls herself KATERINA ELBAHEY or just KATERINA EL on her Contact us and About us pages. There are too many letters messed up to happen by chance. On my blog I revealed how Kate alters her name frequently.

A client reading my testimonial on my blog told me he also had transferred money to this banking account with the wrong name. Other clients said, Kate avoids payments by credit card because it is relatively easy for clients to get the money back if they tell the card issuing bank about the fraud. One client told me he had seen this "technical issue" with the credit card payment at about two years before I had. It is very unlikely Best-Matchmaking has no stocks in this "technical issue". On the other hand, another client told me he had paid by credit card.

When I paid the unexpected commission to meet my date, Kate asked me to transfer the 650 EUR by MoneyGram to her personal, not to a bank account at all. She insisted in this transfer although I wanted to directly pay cash to her interpreter. Recently I told the interpreter about the amount of money I paid for commission. She was shocked. Kate seems to hide the amounts she charges, even from her own staff.

Best-Matchmaking claims to have a main office on Malta. Malta is part of the eurozone (euro area). A legit business would ask clients like me (from Germany, also eurozone) to transfer money within this eurozone to their bank account. It is very easy to do so. However, Best-Matchmaking brings clients on intertwined ways for transactions. There is just one reason for this: Best-Matchmaking tries to hide. Kate makes it difficult to trace her and difficult for clients to get their money back.

Illicit commission to meet my date

I had arranged a first meeting with the women I had found on Best-Matchmaking's dating platform, when Best-Matchmaking interfered and made me pay an extra commission.

I had paid the monthly membership fee to use Best-Matchmaking's online dating platform to find my date. This way we had been even, so to say. However, Kate, the owner of Best-Matchmaking wanted to get more money out of me. Kate offered me her Romance Tour (regular minimum price 2100 EUR at that time) with a discount, which is reasonable because I had arranged everything on my own already. However, the 1300 EUR Kate asked me for, I still considered to expensive, among other issues. Therefore I did not book the tour and declined Kate's offer. So far so good. But now Best-Matchmaking interfered illicitly...

The agency told my date I would not come to the Ukraine and our meeting would be against the agency's rules. Therefore she would not show up at my hotel as we had agreed before. To me Kate explained 1300 EUR offer was not about the Romance Tour (as she had tied to sell it before) but just a minimum commission to meet a lady from her agency.

While the commission claim did not convince me, Kate also tried telling me I had to join her Matchmaking program to let her allow us to meet. While there is nothing on that restricts meetings to matchmaking program clients, Kate clearly writes in her blog post The Ultimate Guide to Ukrainian Mail Order Brides under the cross heading How to choose a good mail-order bride site:

"Apart from matchmaking services, you can try simple online dating on our site."

My date, as many female clients at Best-Matchmaking, knows very little English and could not check the agency's rules on the website, which is in English, German and Japanese only, not in Russian language. Therefore my date could not check the agency's policies. In fact, there is nothing at all on against clients meeting each others. And there is also nothing about a commission to meet each other. Best-Matchmaking just will come out with this "rule" if they cannot cover up this fee in other overpriced sales.

I protested. However, as I was waiting in the hotel in the Ukraine, I was in a very weak position. Furthermore, my date was waiting to hearing from me. Because Best-Matchmaking reserves the right, to survey and suppress any communication through their online dating platform, I had no way to contact my date. Exploiting such a plight is extortion. In Germany this is called Wucher and it is illegal. What ever this behaviour is legally considered in the US or the Ukraine, it is fraud.

Anyhow, I bargained with Kate and finally we agreed on a "deal" for meeting the woman for 650 EUR, including 6 hours of interpreter service.

Baseless fee for money transfer

After I had transferred via MoneyGram the 650 EUR for the illicit commission to meet my date, Kate asked me to pay another 25 EUR to the interpreter on the first meeting with my date.

Kate had insisted on the MoneyGram transfer to her personally (not even to a bank account) while I had suggested to pay cash on the meeting. Nevertheless, Kate wanted another "surcharge" for this transfer. She simply claimed only 625 EUR had arrived. On the following screenshots you can see that I actually transferred the entire 650 EUR. On top of that, I myself had paid the transfer fee of 3,99 EUR that MoneyGram charges for the transaction.

Screenshot from The transfer fee of 3,99 EUR is included in my Estimated Total Costs and added on top of the 650 EUR to transfer to Kate. Click for the full size screenshot.
Screenshot from The transfer fee of 3,99 EUR is included in my "Estimated Total Costs" and added on top of the 650 EUR to transfer to Kate. Click for the full size screenshot.
Screenshot of my MoneyGram account: The 650 EUR have been transfered to Kate. Click for the full size screenshot.
Screenshot of my MoneyGram account: The 650 EUR have been transfered to Kate. Click for the full size screenshot.

Faked phone number exchange

Towards the end of my first date with a woman from Best-Matchmaking, we exchanged phone numbers. At least, I thought so. Days later, the woman told me, that the phone number I got was the number of an agency smart phone she had been given to communicate with me. She also did not get my phone number.

Only by chance, I gave her my business card. This way she could figure out my phone number to contact me directly.

Another client of Best-Matchmaking also told me about this fake contacts fraud. It seems to be a (probably optional) part of this made-up fraud game.

Faked chat on Viber

I had been back from my journey to the Ukraine for three months when the interpreter as well as the woman I had dated there both contacted me and told me that the interpreter not only had given the agency's phone to the woman I had dated, but the interpreter also had texted me "on behalf" of my date. As my date did know very little English, I would not call her, but text her with the help of Google Translate. Therefore, I would not find out who held this phone in her hands.

They gave me various reasons and explanations for this. However, all these explanations do not fully convince me. Non of them can explain the whole story.

More interesting is the fact that they both contacted me the same day with the same issue after we had not talked about it since I had left the Ukraine. I did not think about this before. And I did not asked them about this. I think, the interpreter actually did text me from that agency phone. There is no reason why they would make up such a story. However, why they both came up with this issue just recently has another reason. It was Best-Matchmaking's attempt to put the blame on others.

Cutting down half on the interpretation service package

Although it obviously was an illicit commission charge, I had to pay it to meet my date. We agreed on 6 hours of interpreter service to be included (down from 10 hours originally). Despite having purchased and paid for 6 hours of interpretation service, Best-Matchmaking refunded the interpreter for half of it only. After the first meeting (3 hours), the agency did not refund their interpreter for our second meeting (also 3 hours). The agency told the interpreter to collect the interpreter fee instead.

After I got to know about this, I contacted Kate, the owner of Best-Matchmaking and she ensured me that there was no issue with the 6 hours of interpreter service. I told this to the interpreter. However, on the next meeting with my date, the interpreter asking me again to pay for the 3 hours interpretation service at our second meeting.

Of course, this kind of issue is very disturbing on a date. It is compromising the whole atmosphere. I looked like a bill-dodger in front of my date. However, the interpreter not even acted very unprofessional. She even made up a drama on the issue before I even knew about it...

Made-up drama

Despite having purchased and paid for 6 hours of interpretation service, Best-Matchmaking refunded the interpreter for half of it only and told the interpreter she had to collect the interpretation service charge for the second half. Otherwise she would not get paid for the second half of her 6 hours of interpretation.

In this situation, I would expect the interpreter to contact me to settle the issue privately. Such money issues are kind of sensitive, especially when you date somebody for two days only. However, the interpreter did the opposite. She made up a drama.

I was not contacted by the interpreter about the issue, but by my date instead! In a text message I received after our second meeting, my date told me that she was in shock and that the interpreter was crying, because neither the agency nor me would pay her for her interpretation service.

The interpreter and my date had told me being friends already. Nevertheless, it had been beyond my expectation that an interpreter would deal with such an issue so unprofessionally. At the time I did not know it was even a made-up drama. Months later, my date and the interpreter both told me that it was actually the interpreter who texted me "on behalf" of my date.

The interpreter obviously made up the drama to soften me up. Which finally worked out...

50% service charge increase for interpreter

I thought, I had settled the interpretation package issue when I met my date the third time. Despite the interpreter brought up the issue again straight at the beginning of the meeting, I was even confronted with another fraud. The interpreter now asked me for 30 Euros per hour. Before Kate had offered me 20 Euros per additional interpretation hour.

Also on, interpretation service is quoted as 20 Euros per hour. And this is a reasonable fee in Ukraine. Considering the low quality of the interpretation, it was even a good price. 30 Euros per hour is overpriced.

When I asked the Interpreter about the price, she came up with even another price the agency would "usually" charge, 25 Euros per hour. Her explanations ended up so contradictory that I stopped asking. It was too embarrassing.

Pretended independence

Already at the first date, with the woman from Best-Matchmaking, the interpreter offered me to work directly with her, bypassing the agency. After the extortion, I was obviously not happy with Best-Matchmaking. However, this offer felt very odd to me. How could the interpreter manage to keep such trickery secret. She actually mentioned, the agency should not find out about it. Therefore I hesitated. It felt all fake. I preferred an interpreter who has nothing to do with Best-Matchmaking.

On our next meeting, I suggested to organise an interpreter myself. But my date preferred the interpreter of the agency. She said (translated by the interpreter) the interpreter is her friend and she feels uneasy to be with another interpreter. Therefore I stuck with the interpreter arranged by Best-Matchmaking.

After the interpretation package cut half and the 50% service charge increase, I definitely had enough of Best-Matchmaking's services. I told the interpreter to pay her directly and she would work for me directly.

Unfortunately, the interpreter still followed the same agenda as before. She continued to follow the "rules" of the agency. She arrange our meetings in a way, I could never meet my date without her. She still arranged the same "taxi" with the same driver for us.

Our meetings continued to follow the same plot. She would come together with my date. We would talk in a restaurant, and afterwards we would go to a kind of shopping. I would never sit closer to my date, than her, even in the car. The interpreter and my date would still leave together in the same car as before. My date was still not allowed to smoke when we met. There was always an excuse when I tried to alter this setting. Even when I ask her to meet her without my date, she would not do so.

The interpreter also continued to interpret our conversation in a way that would make it hard for us to get forward in our relationship but rather keep us in uncertainty about each other.

Even though, I did not see through the interpreter's behaviour as far as I can see it now, I clearly felt that she would not work for me, even though I paid her. Retrospectively, she did not changed her service at all. She also continued to control the communication between me and my date by the agency's smart phone and did not allow my date to communicate with me directly.

Friendship for money

From the beginning, I wondered how financial interests might interfere the interpreters performance. How unbiased she could translate. And how much her friendship with my date is based on financial interests.

Therefore I decided to test both of them. For the upcoming weekend, I organised an interpreter and tourist guide with a car, who would all three of us show around. While I would pay all expenses, this money would not go into their hands.

After I told my date and the interpreter about this weekend plan, they where upset. While my date wanted to travel around, the interpreter suddenly was not sure any more, she would have time to meet me at the weekend. Both left the meeting almost immediately, even though we just had met.

The same day, my date (texted by the interpreter, as they committed months later) told me she could not come because her room mate had been tested positive of COVID-19. Later, the interpreter also told me by her own phone, that she prefers not to join me on the tourist tour.

Interestingly, the COVID-19 came in handily in the moment, I brought them to the scratch whether to meet me without a payment touching the interpreter's hand. Also they would not be able to control the taxi, as the tourist guide would for sure follow my instructions. Once before COVID-19 had played a role in my visit to the Ukraine: Two days before I left for the Ukraine, my date wanted to bring her friend to interpret for us. Later, when we actually met, I asked her and she told me that her friend got infected by COVID-19 and therefore she could not come to interprete for us. This was (as everything in our meetings) translated y the interpreter from Best-Matchmaking, of course.

On Sunday, my date managed to meet me however, without the interpreter. The COVID-19 infection of her room mate was no issue now. She told me how the agency would not give her my phone number and used the agency smart phone to pretend we would have exchanged phone numbers.

Obviously, the interpreter's friendship with my date ended exactly where she would not gain money from it any more. It was a friendship for money.

Inauthentic letters of interest

Back home from the Ukraine, I received four letters of interest from four women the same moment (according to the time stamp of the mailing system, as I realised later). All these letters where written in general terms. Non of them referred to me in a way, that would prove the woman had read my profile. Later, I found out, another client of Best-Matchmaking had received the identical four letters of interest from the same four women at the same time. This are too much coincidences to happen just by chance. Women might sent their letters of interest identically word by word to several men. However, four women doing this to the same two men at the same moment is not possible. This letters has been sent by the agency pretending the interest of these women.

After I had published this fraud of fabricated letters of interest on my blog yopa live, Best-Matchmaking adjusted to sending these fake letters of interest more carefully distributed over time. They will not arrive at your inbox at the same moment any more. However, it is still possible to recognise them. Please contact me for how to find out.

Pressuring for false statements

In March 2021, both, my date and the interpreter contacted me on Viber within a few hours after. They both told me that the interpreter texted me from the agency smart phone, which was given to my date when we met in the Ukraine.

They both suddenly came up with this issue after we had not communicated for months. I had never asked them and I had not blamed them for that before. I not even thought about this possibility before.

They gave some explanations. For example, the interpreter did text me "on behalf" of my date, because my date was so busy. However, they also said, that the interpreter always told my date what I was writing and my date would tell the interpreter what she would text to me. That makes no sense. This way, my date would be as busy as by texting directly with me.

I also had a video call with the interpreter where she strangely hid behind a baseball cap. It was weird.

Later, when her explanations got inconsistent again I ask her about this. She told me that they told her to put take all blame on herself. Afterwards they were not satisfied and pressured her again.

The agency pressured their interpreter and probably also my date to make false statements towards me. Probably to let me think the fraud I experienced with Best-Matchmaking was the interpreter's (and maybe my date's) fault only. This way, Best-Matchmaking could say, we are legit, just some bad people around us do bad things.

However, Best-Matchmaking never apologised to me for their staff's mistake or the woman's questionable involvement in the trickery. Best-Matchmaking not even communicates with me any more. Also they have not offered any compensation.

Other frauds

Other clients of Best-Matchmaking told me similar stories as my one. But every story is different. And not all clients reported frauds and trickery to me. However, there where also some frauds different to the ones above.

Paid meetings

Several clients of Best-Matchmaking indicated that the women they met where paid for meeting them. They had no real prove for that. However, the behaviour of the women, would tell them. That actually means, the women would play a role to entertain the man. But it would also mean the women did not play their role well.

It is also possible that women are tricked into joining Best-Matchmaking (or local agencies that work together with Best-Matchmaking) by false and empty promises, as men are also deluded into joining Best-Matchmaking by false and empty promises. For example, the agency might tell a women, she would meet find a rich and handsome man, a perfect husband, a man as they are pictured in Holywood movies, and so on. After a woman has invested time and emotions into meeting somebody through the agency, the agency might tell the woman to play the agency's game. Otherwise, the agency might kick the woman out. All this could be explicitly outspoken. It could also be done in a more subtle way.

Fabricated letters

Another issue are the letters on the online dating platform on Some (former) clients of Best-Matchmaking are convinced that these letters of women are created by the agency. Also male clients told me stories of meeting women who did not know, what they had written to them in their letters.

In my case, the interpreter, told me that she always called my date and told her what I wrote to her. Later she (the interpreter) would listen to my date's answer and compile this answer into an answering letter to me. Even if this is true, I would still considering it a kind of a fraud.

Best-Matchmaking says they translate your letters and the letters you receive through their online dating system. It sounds like a written translation, not just a summery on a phone conversation. The women does not receive the same service as the men. They cannot read the men's love letter over and over again. And on the other hand, the letter, the interpreter creates after a phone call must be pretty fabricated as well. The letters I received from my date where so full of English mistakes that I even thought there would not be a translator involved. They also did not look like an answer given by phone. They were made up to look like a written answer originated by the woman herself, to say so at least.

Expensive dinners

More than one male client of Best-Matchmaking told me about expensive restaurant bills.

As the men are usually foreigners in the Ukraine, the lady and or the interpreter (for me it was never clear who made the initiative) would suggest a restaurant to go. They would also order because a foreigner cannot even read the menu. At the end the man is expected to pay the bill. And this bill can be very high. One Best-Matchmaking client told me he paid 700 Euros for a dinner (3 person, he himself, his date and the interpreter) in Kiev.

In my case, we also went to places, they just told me where to go. However, the prices where reasonable. Maybe 20 to 30 Euros for the three of us. As the man, I was expected to pay. And this expectation is so obvious in the Ukraine, they would not even tell.

If a dinner bill costs 700 Euros the ones who choose this restaurant would know, that it would cost a lot. And therefore they would have to warn the one who would be expected to pay. If the lady would not do so, at least the interpreter, would be in charge to do so. Obviously she failed.

However, it could be even worse. There are rumours of excessive high restaurant bills made up for inexperienced foreigners. The restaurants later would share the profits with those who brought the paying guests in.

Manipulated Skype conversations

There were also manipulated Skype calls reported to me. A client observed his date receiving instructions on how to respond and communicate with him. My own experience as well as what another client told me, both indicate that female clients are given such "advices" when it comes to Skype calls.

Who to blame?

A lot of the trickery above could be done without the agency's knowledge. I even believe, Kate, the owner of Best-Matchmaking, does not know about every detail. However, the pattern is so obvious and frequently, even for me, as an outsider. Kate must know, what is going on. And even, if she would not know, she is responsible for it. Best-Matchmaking, puts a big focus on how serious and reliable her contacts are. Therefore we can expect them to take some extra measures to ensure this. However, Best-Matchmaking fails to do so.

On the opposite, Best-Matchmaking avoids transparency. They agency tries to prevent clients from sharing their experiences. Best-Matchmaking does hides who are their partners. And Kate does not respond to critical questions.

Finally, in my case, where I have made the fraud publicly visible, the only response is blaming others. Even by pressing for false statements.

Therefore my conclusion is: Best-Matchmaking is fraudulent. And Best-Matchmaking is responsible for that.