How to Recognize a Fake Dating Profile

Posted by on Dec 15, 2020 in Couples Counseling For One | Comments Off on How to Recognize a Fake Dating Profile

Internet dating is a very popular way for singles to meet and form a connection. At the root of all of these sites and apps is the dating profile. It’s meant to represent who you are to other potential daters. However, some of these profiles are fake.

People create a fake dating profile for all kinds of reasons. It could be to boost their own ego, manipulate you into giving them money, market a product, or steal your personal information. Men and women, straight or gay, it doesn’t matter who you are. You could be a target. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to spot a fake dating profile.

Check out the Photos

A fake profile will likely only have a few photos posted to the profile. Also, there might not be a full-body picture or clear pictures of the person’s face.  Or, the photos may be square versus rectangular in shape, which is a sign that they might have been stolen from another profile or website. The photos could also be of someone who is unbelievably attractive.

Social Media Accounts

Fake profiles typically do not provide links to social media accounts. If they do, the accounts will look new, with few friends or followers and little obvious activity. Beware a person that says the account is old or that they had to set up a new one because they got hacked or lost their password.  

Certain Types of Profile Information

Someone posting a fake profile may include information meant to tug at your heartstrings. For instance, the person might claim they are a doctor working with the United Nations or serving in the military overseas. They may try to say they are widowed with children or in financial need to appeal to your kindness and generosity.

They Ask You to Switch Apps

Let’s say that you match with someone and begin chatting using the website or app messaging system. However, they almost immediately ask you to switch to another app such as What’sApp or to text directly with them. They might say that they want to focus on you, but they are really avoiding the dating app’s platform so they aren’t caught with a fake profile.

Traveling All the Time

Someone with a fake profile will often say they are traveling for work for a few weeks or a month. Yet, they communicate just as much as they did before. This includes the same frequency, time of day, etc. If they are really traveling, they wouldn’t have time to message you ten times a day.  

They Keep Refusing a Video Call

If the person is reluctant to have a video call with you, this is a huge red flag! They may say they are shy or that they are traveling but take these excuses with a grain of salt. Phone calls are not enough; let them prove who they say they are in a video call.

Some apps have a built-in video call feature in their software; Badoo and MetMe are two that do have this service. If you use another dating app, stick to video chatting on well-known and secure platforms, such as FaceTime and Skype. Beware video that is so fuzzy or unclear that you can’t see the person’s face.

Generic Messages

Beware messages that are too generic and open-ended. Or, if they don’t flow very well together and just don’t make sense. It could be that they are copying/pasting answers from another profile or messaging chain into the one they have going with you.

It’s important to keep in mind that, with a few exceptions, spotting one of these online dating red flags does not definitively mean that someone is a fake. There are legitimate reasons why someone might not post lots of profile pictures or tells you something different than what’s on their profile. A person might be signed up for a dating app but really not have a social media account, or has one that isn’t active or updated regularly.

Fake profiles, however, will usually have more than one of these red flags. If they don’t agree to a video call, can’t pass a reverse image search, or asks for money or private information, there is no doubt they are a fake. In that case, you should cut off contact immediately.

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