The Ultimate Guide To Spotting Fake Dating Profiles

A comprehensive guide to identifying fake dating profiles, providing valuable tips and insights
UPDATED March 7, 2022
Written By Stephanie Walker

Online dating sites are an excellent way for people to escape the harsh realities of life. They use these services to occasionally find someone to share their views and feelings. Some find it highly beneficial, while some take advantage of the opportunity to meet a possible lifetime partner.

Digging deeper into this terrain may prove to be quite the experience especially when users are unfamiliar with the game's rules in the online social dating arena. The difficulty of identifying faulty online dating profiles, increase the possibility of users having encountered online predators, catfishers, and scammers without them realizing it.

Often, these profiles appear to be genuine, with impeccable photographs that readily lure naive users. They maximize their profiles to increase their victim count and execute their fraudulent acts. On the plus side, a considerable background in spotting the red flags that point to a fake profile or suspicious user goes a long way in safeguarding dating app users. Avoiding these warning signs becomes significantly easier and quicker.

This article will present a concise yet comprehensive guidance on how to recognize a fake dating profile.

Here Are 8 Ways to Spot a Fake Profile on Online Dating

The first thing to know about how to detect a fake dating profile is scammers are quite meticulous with what they put on their user accounts.

Take note of the following pointers before proceeding to meet an online mate or friend in person:

Their Profile Contents are Too-Good-To-Be-True (or Sketchy)

One of the reasons why the quest to spot a fake profile on online dating sites seems to be more elusive over time, is because the individuals or organizations behind fake dating profiles are target-focused. They have their plans set on catfishing a specific demographic.

They employ "power phrases" to create an alluring impression on visitors to a particular dating site. These "power words" enable these non-existent identities to take on someone else's identity.

A surefire way to spot these fraudsters is the association of information that is too-good-to-be-true on their profiles. They can be a God-fearing lady from New York, a Catholic widow, or even an architect or florist. In essence, they create fictitious backgrounds and storylines that imply they are worth checking out.

Make it a habit to scrutinize and screen every new profile you encounter. If a user account appears to be too perfect to be genuine, it is most than likely owned by a scammer.

Their Profiles Have Limited Photos

Having a small number of photos on one's profile does not automatically constitute someone a fraudster. Some people are camera shy or dislike taking and sharing numerous photographs of themselves. Simultaneously, the lack of variation in their pictures can be a red flag that should be ignored.

Scammers may occasionally use another person's face to deceive people. This is entirely conceivable since there are still countless social media profiles made available for the public to view and scrutinize. Some people are careless when it comes to their privacy online, thereby inviting identity thieves to steal their information. By failing to implement the most basic security measures, they make it easy for scammers to acquire their personal information and use it for criminal purposes.

Every online dating and social media app user should practice conducting extensive research whenever they click on another person's profile. If the photographs appear excessively "stocky" (as though they were taken from a stock photo), this should serve as a signal that the identity projected by the suspicious profile is fabricated.

Another way to verify the identity behind a profile is to request a more recent or fresher photo of the person on the other end. Suggest a video call and watch how they react. A genuine user will readily send their most recent photo, or will be open to engaging in a video-based call or chat.

Pro Tip: If you're still unsure about the photographs given by the person, Google's "search by image" tool will suffice.

Social Media is Missing

The majority of catfishers do not have social media profiles associated with their dating site profiles. Users who are really skeptical about a particular profile individual can leverage the strength of social media platforms to fish out dodgy members who share their profile name.

If the individual is active on a particular social media platform, verify the account's creation date. There are specific guidelines on how to spot a fake profile on a dating website through social media.

Is the profile active?

Was the profile updated recently?

How many friends does the profile have?

A newly formed profile with a few friends implies that the account was built to socially display the non-existent identity and give the impression that a real person created it.

Surely, some people prefer to keep their social profiles private and exclusive to close family and friends. Conversely, that bikini-clad model with a single photo and 60 Facebook pals is most likely a fake.

Fun fact: Estimatedly 83 million Facebook profiles are believed to be phony.

A genuine profile will include a history of posts, images, and other forms of interaction with their online social connections that indicate they are an actual person. If the profile is inactive, it was most likely made quickly in an attempt to trick someone who is not being cautious.

Fake social media profiles has a small number of friends because only few individuals fell for it. They probably issued friend requests to thousands of people in hopes of reaching a number of friends that would make them seem like the real deal.

Automated Conversations

The majority of scammers employ automated messages to communicate with numerous victims concurrently. This is why some messages appear to be meaningless. Fake profiles frequently sound robotic, and they are notorious for throwing in obscene emojis into their messages. It is a messaging behavior that was frequently observed in non-English speaking scammers.

It's simple to tell the difference between a genuine person and a chatbot. Automated messages are not programmed to respond to more sophisticated inquiries. Once the conversation takes on a monotonous and unusual turn, that is a clear indicator that a bot or a script is being used on the other end to keep the conversation going.

They Are Straightforward and Outright Flirty

Some fraudulent acts use of daring photographs of a person (typically, a model) to try and lure their victims. They exploit these images to strengthen the effectiveness of their catfishing activities. These scammers send unknowing victims hot and sensual messages, and if their victims fall for the bait, they will begin to reel them in and be more flirtatious. Expect these catfishers to send racy images derived from pornographic material.

When money is introduced into the conversation unexpectedly, it is a dead giveaway of a scammer. The best course of action is to give it some time to completely establish whether the individual behind these images is indeed looking for a match or is merely attempting to milk money out of their targets.

They’re “Famous” Or “Royals”

On online dating sites, you can meet celebrities, princes, and archdukes.

Regrettably, they are frequently not genuine superstars or members of any royal family. The infamous “Nigerian prince” is an example of a scammer pretending to be someone important or influential.

How to identify a fake dating profile pretending to be someone famous? Well, a quick Google search will reveal whether the name used by the so-called rich and royal user profile exists. A real celebrity or member of a prominent family will naturally have their images readily available for the public to find on search engines. That is because the paparazzi and professional photographers take their photos on social events and share it on the internet.

Check whether the search engines pull up a photo of a person similar to the one depicted on the user’s profile. Determine the consistency of their user profile with the photos you find. Say, the scammer indicates that they are 21 years old, yet Google’s image search results provides pictures of a deceased Middle Eastern businessman, then you have been fooled.

If these scammers agree to a video call, try instructing them to write a specific word on a piece of paper that they will hold up during the call to demonstrate their authenticity.

They're likely to abandon you completely if you demonstrate that you're not going to fall for any old ploy.

Aside from pretending to be royalty or celebrities, frauds will also try to impersonate successful businessmen and women.

Around 40% of men lie about their employment and earnings on dating services. If he claims to be the CEO of a well-known company, conduct your own fact-checking. Browse the company's website and look for the name of the actual CEO. (If the man's profile photo matches the CEO's photo on the website, this is most likely where they obtained the photo for their bogus profile.)

Nonsensical Messages

One of the easiest ways to recognize fake profiles is by what they write on dating sites. Do you notice a weirdly phrased sentences or unusual use of emojis or words?

While drunken texts are one thing, bogus internet identities created using robotic messaging systems frequently make little to no sense. This is because machines built for the non-English speaking audience use a different vocabulary and sentence structure.

The same idea also holds for their profile. Is their information riddled with grammatical and spelling errors? Are there incoherent details scattered throughout their page? There's a strong likelihood that everything was copied, haphazardly translated, and then pasted from somewhere else in haste to create a phony profile.

At times, the lack of consistency and clarity when interacting with a fellow dating app user instantly debunks the genuineness of their profile. Trust your instincts!

They Request Your Personal Information

An online dating profile that requests your full name, address, phone number, or social security number is not someone with whom you want to continue communicating.

Never be afraid to be upfront with users who ask very personal questions early on and attempt to breach your privacy. They are almost certainly doing it maliciously. Inform them that you are uncomfortable with this if they request your information.

Inquire as to why they are asking about it. While they are busy cooking up an excuse, contact the dating app’s moderators or reach out to their customer support hotline.

If there was a misunderstanding and the person is genuinely interested in you or cares about you, they will most likely back off and apologize for making you feel uncomfortable. However, if they are forceful, rude, or attempting to rush you by claiming an emergency, do not fall for it.

They Send You Links

Sending humorous memes or fascinating articles back and forth is typical in today’s digital socializing scene. It becomes a different story if the person begins sending you suspicious links or asks you to join a group or website that is vaguely familiar to you. Do not open any links sent by people you met online. These links are occasionally used in phishing schemes or installing harmful malware into your devices.

Final Thoughts

The internet is teeming with people with a broad range of personalities and agendas. The internet is not a completely negative or hostile environment. In truth, some people are overtly antagonistic, and they are driven to cause disarray among unsuspecting online communities.

Fortunately, there are already specialized and advanced methods set in place to help spot fake dating profiles and reduce fraudulent activities on the internet. Employing a moderation system to help locate and remove these deceptive and dangerous individuals and groups online effectively boosts user safety and engagement on dating platforms.

Victims of online dating scams are subject to long-term emotional and psychological trauma.

Chekkee offers moderation services for dating sites. With dating site moderators well-geared to handle all your scammer-related concerns, we ensure dependable protection against catfishers, phishing attempts, identity thieves, and all other types of malicious and hostile individuals using your dating platform. Want to know more about the scope of our dating site moderation services? Contact us today!

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