5 Tips for Spotting and Avoiding Fake Profiles on Dating Sites

Online dating scams

You’re not alone if you have no idea how to detect fake from genuine accounts on dating sites. Spotting fake profiles is becoming harder and more difficult to detect as they are honed to fool their intended victims.

Almost half a billion dollars a year are lost to “romance scams,” which account for almost one in 10 fake profiles on dating sites. This isn’t an issue that’s exclusive to dating sites on the internet. About sixty percent of all profiles on social networking sites are either dormant or created in order to deceive others. Con artists will use whatever method at their disposal to manipulate you into giving them sensitive personal details or money.

If you’ve ever used an online dating site, chances are pretty good you’ve been messaged or targeted by a fake profile. They will tell you whatever you want to hear, but there is always going to be some kind of cost associated with it, whether it’s an emotional or financial price you pay.

You need to know how to spot a fake profile before you send money to that Nigerian prince who emails you three times a day telling you that “he just needs your bank account details so he can wire you millions of dollars.” We’re going to tell you how to spot and avoid fake profiles on dating sites!

There are several telltale signs that a profile is fake and the person behind it is a con artist rather than a genuine suitor. Some are blatantly obvious, while others are a little more sneaky. A person’s online dating profile is suspicious if it engages in any of the following behaviors common to scammers.

1. Certain Words in Fake Online Profiles

Typical buzzwords for false profiles are Catholic, widower, female, Ph.D., Nigeria, engineer, self-employed, or Royalty. Perhaps you’re wondering why the word “female” appears on this list of power words to watch out for, as many real women use dating sites. 

A whopping 24% of catfishers, though, usually men, will claim to be the other gender. Everything hinges on the people they have in mind to target. Aiming to get your attention is a primary goal of those who establish fake profiles. They try to catch your attention with interesting words and images. They tailor their accounts to a certain demographic in the hopes of achieving better outcomes from their scamming endeavors.

If a profile contains any of the terms above reinforced, it could indicate that the account was created by an up-to-no-good type and is fake. 

fake profile

Despite the fact that some legitimate profiles may include these words, it should serve as a warning sign. Do some investigating to determine if the profile exhibits any other telltale indicators of being a fake before cutting the profile out immediately.

word salad

2. Word Salad Messages

Fake online profiles created by automated chatbots often make even less sense than communications sent when someone is drunk texting. Sometimes it’ll be sentences with funny wording, or a strange choice of emoji or expression.

This is due to the fact that most bots and non-native speakers of English create bogus accounts. Research suggests that many people who engage in romance scams are based in West African nations like Nigeria and Ghana.

And this is also true of their profile. Do they have several typos and spelling errors in their text? Do they seem to be spamming their page with unrelated posts? They were probably in such a hurry to create a fake profile that all the material was just copied and pasted.

Even if the person’s profile seems genuine, you should be wary if you can’t have a sensical conversation with them on a dating site. As we always advise people, listen to your instincts. If anything about the conversation feels off, you should certainly check into it before going any further.

3. No Photo or Only One Photo

Your photos are a major part of your online identity–that all-important initial impression is formed by them. Your interests and personality traits are communicated to the public. Even if the individual is really quite beautiful in their one and only picture, this might be a warning sign.

Generally speaking, fake accounts aim to be attractive so that more people will interact with them online. Keep your guard up around the guy who looks like he might be in a Gucci ad and the girl who looks like she could be a high fashion runway model. The chances are pretty high that the fake profile is not the person in the picture.

Catfishers often pose as someone else online. If they look too good to be true, it’s most likely a trap, so don’t take the bait. You can do a reverse image search on Google if you’re not sure whether the picture is real or not. A phony profile is more likely to include a picture that can be easily found online, and they’re probably using the image to trick others into giving them money.

no photo


4. Way too Brazen or Flirty

Online dating scams frequently involve explicit material like porn or activities like prostitution. Getting sexy messages from someone you’ve never met or talked to? They’ll probably want you to pay for their photographs or access their site pretty soon. 

Some people just naturally have a very forward or outgoing personality. And it’s okay if you are into that! But be cautious and check to see whether he or she cares about you beyond your bank account before getting too involved.

5. They Ask for Personal Info

If a potential suitor on a dating site asks for personal information such as your complete name, address, phone number, or Social Security number, they are likely attempting to steal your information for fraud or theft. 

We encourage you to be tough with anyone asking you for any of this information! Because, after all, they undoubtedly intend to harm you. Tell them you won’t feel safe sharing such information with them if they ask for it. Always assume the worst when dealing with a faceless persona behind a screen.

If there was a simple case of misunderstanding between you two, the other person will likely ease off and say they are sorry for causing you to feel uneasy. Do not give in to someone who is aggressive or insists on rushing you to give them info by stating that they’re in some kind of crisis situation.

personal info

Avoiding Scams and Fake Profiles

There is a wide range of possible objectives for fake profiles on dating sites, and some are far worse than others. A fake profile might be made for any number of reasons, including a harmless joke or an attempt to manipulate your emotions, but it could also be a deliberate romance scam to get access to private information or financial resources.

When meeting new people, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety. One way to do this is to use reputable third-party services to do background checks on prospective dates or profiles you think could be fake.

If you decide to meet the individual in person, it’s a good idea to get the opinion of your friends and family beforehand.  A third party who is not emotionally invested in the situation may be better equipped to see warning signs in a relationship.

Last but not least, it’s essential always to be cautious when it comes to protecting your personal information when using the internet. If another person wants to meet up, do it in a public area. Verify their identity before sharing any personal details with them. Never give out personal information like your bank details, SSN, credit card numbers, or home address to a complete stranger over the internet.

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