Penpal Safety Information

Above all else - when you are penpalling, you must remember to NEVER SEND OR INVEST MONEY with your penpal or a business recommended by your penpal. If your penpal is asking for money or suggesting they have a way to improve your finances - Sorry to say but they are not your friend, they are a scammer looking to take advantage of you.

Do you realise scammers are now setting up fake investment websites to trick people into investing their saving. These websites and scams are very advanced, they even allow you to see your investment returns and gains, allowing you to take money out - once confidence is gained and you invest even more money- the entire website disappears.

Penpal Safety and security is a primary focus for Global Penfriends. We have a variety of measures in place to prevent scammers from joining our club, but it is impossible to stop all scammers - so we remind our members to always be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report it.

If we detect a scammer on Global Penfriends we immediately lock the profile in question so no further messages can be sent and we adjust all the messages sent from the scam profile as a warning to protect our members.

Below is a list of guidelines that will help keep you safe whilst searching for penpals on the internet.

  • Make use of our internal messaging system
  • Our internal messaging system means that you never have to give out your contact details (email or postal) to any potential penpals until you have established trust. We recommend waiting at least 2 to 3 months before exchanging personal contact details such as email or socials. Remember that on Global Penfriends, you can always reply to messages for free (that applies to all members). Common excuses used by scammers to lure you away from the site, include:
    - I don't sign in here very often,
    - I would prefer a platform to share photos,
    - I sometimes can't access this site,
    - My VPN is not working and I cannot get access,
    - I will be traveling and cannot access the site,
    Be firm and let your penpals know that you want to start your friendship on the site. If you must share photos, utilise a secure photo sharing site like https://imgbb.com/

  • Don't let gifts distract you
  • Some scammers will try to gain your trust by sending you gifts. We have had reports of members being sent bracelets and other forms of jewellery early in a friendship. Gift giving early in a friendship is unusual and should make you suspicious. Don't be overwhelmed by gifts. Gifts are generous but they do not make a penpal more trustworthy.

  • Select your preferred gender
  • In your profile preferences, you are able to select if you want replies from Males, Females or Both. If you aren't looking to correspond with the opposite gender, ensure you have your preference set correctly to prevent unwanted interest. Most scammers are targetting the opposite gender through romance related scams, so this settings can be a big help.

  • Money or Investments
  • A genuine Penpal or friends will never ask you for money or to invest in any type of scheme. One of the most popular scams currently is to invest in Bitcoin. If your penpal is requesting you send them money or to invest - Alarm bells should be ringing! Report them to us immediately. The request for money is the target of a scammer and they will go to great length to establish trust - just so they can eventually make the request for money.

    Some Bitcoin scams are asking people to invest in specific websites which are controlled by the scammer. You invest a small amount, you can see your investment is going up. You then transfer a larger amount, only to find out later that money is lost and actually - the investment was never made - the site was fake.

    Other scams involve import / export businesses or dealings where the goods get held up in customs or at the port or airport and money is required to release the goods. Be aware of any import deals - If your penpaller mentions importation, be very careful.

  • Emotional Blackmail
  • Sometimes scammers use emotional situations to get their target to send them money. Some penpals may say that they need money to get them out of a tight situation. The scammer may have very emotive stories and may have even created videos and pictures to help document their problems. They prey on your emotions in order to get you to send them cash. Some common situations that scammers use include but are not limited to:
    - Someone is sick and has expensive medical expenses.
    - Need equipment related to studies / work (laptop, course fees, boss requires payment)
    - Car expenses (mechanical bill)
    - Housing expences (Rent, deposit, safer area)
    - Short on money (Due to Covid, failing business, natural disaster etc)

  • Pictures and Videos
  • Never put yourself in a situation where you have given compromising pictures or videos of yourself to any individual. Those pictures or videos can be used as leverage to get money out of you. Be smart and be careful with giving out personal information and images of yourself that you do not wish to be shared with others. On the internet no individual can guarantee the privacy of an image or video.

  • Build trust by asking questions
  • The best way to establish trust with a prospective penpal is to ask lots of questions. Ask specific questions and make sure you are getting answers to your specific questions. Genuine penpals will do their best to answer non obtrusive questions without being vague.

  • Friendship not dating
  • Always remember that this site is a friendship site and is not for those interested in dating. We have taken several measures to ensure that this club is a family friendly friendship site and any members that show activity that reflects dating or marriage seeking behaviour will be removed from the club without warning.