Online dating is a valid way to meet people in the twenty-first century. Sites such as Match.com, Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, eHarmony, and EliteSingles.com have made online dating into a multi-billion-dollar industry that fulfills a need for a lot of people who are too busy or too shy to go to bars or on blind dates. Although there are success stories of couples meeting online and finding great relationships, there are just as many stories of people getting scammed by fakes. Remember, anyone with an internet connection can set up a profile on a dating website. Here are five signs that your online date may be a fake to watch out for as you peruse a relationship online.
- Their online profile
picture lookslike a professional model. If their profile picture looks like a professional photographer took the picture, your online date may be a fake. Most real peopletake photos of themselves that look like real people. To find out, simply do a Google Image search on the picture to see if they lifted it fromthe Internet instead of putting their own mug up there. Be especially suspiciousof any military photos as well – it is really easy to pull one offthe internet and appear as if you are serving overseas. Also, be suspiciousof anyone who posts a suggestive or revealing picture – bare abs, swimsuits, and the like are not usually pictures of real people but areoften fakes.
- The grammar and spelling are poor overall. Not everyone is a grammar fiend, but when their posts or messages are riddled with misspellings and poor grammar, you can almost guarantee that they are spambots or fake profiles. Often these spammers are located in countries such as China, Russia or Nigeria, which are notorious for online scamming schemes. Another good test to see if they truly are a local, ask them specific questions about the weather or even something like “What’s the capital of Michigan?” If they cannot answer the question or if they give you a nonsense response, they then are most likely a fake.
- If they quickly turn to
showeringyou with words of love and affection, they may be a fake. The objective here is to gain your trust and love as quickly as they can so they can gain access to your bank account. The faster they fall in love with your picture, the more likely that they are not really looking for a date in real life. Scammers want to progress to a “real” relationship quicker than you may be comfortable with, so listen to your gut if this happens. If someone who says they are “in love” with you starts asking for money, then cut off all contact and run the other way! Report these scammers to the specific dating website, the FBI.
- If they refuse to meet in person or if they are always away on “business” or live in another country, they may be fakes.Cybercriminals are busy trying to take advantage of people online, so they aren’t really interested in meeting in real life. Another red flag is if they live or work somewhere internationally – why are they responding to a dating ad for someone who lives in New Jersey if they themselves live in Dubai? Potential dates who are really interested in dating will keep location in mind when contacting singles’ ads. If someone claims to be from the U.S. but is currently working or stationed overseas, you might want to think twice before pursuing them.
- If the person wants to contact you outside of the actual dating site, be careful. Oftentimes they will ask you for personal information quickly to get you away from the official dating site and onto your personal email, texting, or direct messaging. This is a huge red flag and something you should NOT do with a stranger. Messaging through the dating website or app is always the safest approach to take, especially in the beginning. Do not share any personal information with someone you have just met online, they may turn out to be cybercriminals or, even worse, cyberstalkers.
How do you make sure someone is legit and not a fake? The most reliable method is to hire a private investigator to investigate your potential date and uncover any evidence that would lead them to believe that you are involved with a scammer. Manhattan private