Do's, Don'ts and Advice for Finding Your Life Mate Internationally

How to Spot Fake Online Dating Profiles and AVOID Scams

meet in person-couple
Watch out for a fake profile when online dating. | Photo by Gerd Altmann on Unsplash

The Internet is popular to help people find love. So much so that there are plenty of dating apps and websites that cater to helping people find their romantic partners. It doesn’t matter what someone’s gender identity, sexual orientation, or occupation is; there’s a website or an app out there if they’re looking for someone to snag a date. But problems occur when someone creates a fake profile to scam people.

Basically, the internet is a big, wide space of bits and bytes – binary code – that displays various media formats such as text, images, videos, sounds, and social media platforms. A lot of things are done on the internet, including entertainment, news reporting, and shopping. There are many uses that it offers. It does so much that it’s become a utility in large parts of the world, almost akin to running water and electricity.

The biggest problem with the internet is how ubiquitous it is. It’s accessible to anyone. They just need a relatively cheap smartphone and a SIM card with the right service, and they’re ready to access the internet. Since it is so easy to use, a lot of people who may have ulterior motives go online to carry out those aforementioned ulterior motives. Unfortunately, not everyone who goes online knows how to outsmart a scammer.

As far as the romantic side of the internet is concerned, bad actors abound, seeking the personal information of their targets. Those who seek to exploit those who are vulnerable or desperate will always exist in some form because there’s always a quick buck to be made.

But if there is a silver lining to the prevalence of bad actors, it’s that people know by now which red flags to watch out for and what to do if they encounter them – or to at least limit what they do to a minimum. These tools can make the experience on dating sites for singles more enjoyable for users.

Silhouette of a couple
Don’t give out your personal information unless you’re sure it’s real. | Photo by Gerd Altmann on Unsplash

Use A Reputable Service

The easiest way to tell which profiles are real or fake is to use dating sites which identify which ones are fake. Most reputable sites will do that for you. It is true that the level of vigilance varies from service to service, but every website worth its salt will have some safeguards in place to make sure false profiles can’t fool their users.

Online dating sites that do the heavy lifting in protecting users from online dating scams can take a lot of the pressure off the whole process.

Look Out For Social Media

Millions of people worldwide use some form of social media, with a few using more than one. So checking out those platforms can be helpful in rooting out a fake profile. In some cases more sophisticated scammers create entire online personas, complete with profiles on social media sites which range in credibility.

A quick scan of social media profiles or other online presences outside of an online dating site may reveal some of the more relaxed scammers. Even if it’s not totally foolproof, it’s a good way to get more selective about the types of profiles you want to connect with.

Reverse Image Search

When it comes to dating scams, con artists take advantage of the fact that pictures of pretty people are more likely to work. It’s very common for them to use photos of models. Some of them are bold enough that they use famous actresses or supermodels, but a lot of them are smart enough to use more low profile models, people who are pretty enough to be models but not famous enough to be recognizable.

Clicking right on the picture will toggle a drop-down menu. From there, you’ll be able to conduct a reverse image search, which will be an effective way to tell if the image in question is part of a person’s professional portfolio.

While there is a chance that a model is going to use a dating site, it is unlikely that a professionally beautiful person is going to have a difficult time dating that they need to use a dating site. They might use dating apps because it’s convenient for them, but they are unlikely to use a dating service on a regular basis.

Heart on a key.
Protect yourself on an online dating site with some vigilance. | Photo by Adrian on Unsplash

Read The Messages

People form patterns when they speak. Perhaps they use certain phrases or idioms. Their writing can reflect these patterns as well. Keep an eye out for certain patterns when exchanging text-based messages with someone.

If two messages are written so differently, then there’s a chance there’s a scam, because it shows that the person who wrote the one message wasn’t the same person who wrote the other one.

Look Over The Profile

People are complex, with likes and dislikes. You can usually find them on dating sites listing pieces of media that they enjoy watching, whether it’s a show they enjoy watching, movies, or books. There’s always something that brings them joy, and you can usually find them on their dating profiles.

If you don’t find any of that on a profile, then that might be cause for concern. When you’re messaging back and forth, if they don’t mention anything about what they like or don’t like you should take a step back and move on. Don’t fall for the sunk-cost fallacy, where people stick with something that’s not working because they’ve put a lot of time into it.

Personal details are important for dating profiles, so a lack of them can be a glaring omission. If there is nothing on their profile that says anything about them as a person, then there exists the possibility that they’re not really a person.

They Want To Stay Away

One of the biggest indicators that someone isn’t who they say they are is when they adamantly refuse to meet in person. They may refuse to do so because they realize any illusion they’ve crafted on the Internet is going to shatter in the real world.

Encountering a fake profile online can range from mildly annoying to heartbreaking. It can also drain your financial resources. But there are steps that you can take to stop them from ruining your life.