For all of you online daters out there, you know the quest for love can be a bit trying sometimes. Now factor in that there are actually fake profiles on dating websites and you might be ready to cancel your membership. But before you compose a strongly worded email to Match.com, be sure to read the following info on fake dating profiles so you know what they are and how to spot them.
Why are there fakes? You may come across a faux dating profile for a number of reasons. For the most part, these “people” who create fake singles do it to solicit business, money, or just for the mere, twisted sake of hurting others.
- Online dating sites. The business of online dating is just that: business. And it’s a big one. With the oversaturated amount of online dating services vying for the money of singles looking for love, sometimes these companies do whatever it takes to recruit and maintain members who will dish out the dough. A lot of smaller dating sites don’t have the big advertising bucks that the large ones do, so many of them unscrupulously create fake profiles. In doing this they are able to populate their community so that it is overflowing with hot singles, luring you to be a part of their site.
Think about this: Would you want to join a dating site that didn’t have a large selection of singles for you to browse through? Wouldn’t you rather be a part of one that had thousands upon thousands of singles for you to choose from, such as Russian women, cougars, and models? You most likely answered yes to the latter. That’s how the dating sites see it too.
- Financial scammers. Another far more serious reason fake profiles exist is to attract the attention of people who might be vulnerable to an attack by an online scammer. These con artists will sign up to dating sites, create fake profiles complete with fake pictures and fake information to develop relationships and then prey upon their victims vulnerabilities—all to get a hold of their wallets.
- Spammers. Spammers use dating sites to advertise their products or services. Many companies like escort services or porn sites will misuse online dating services to gain more customers—they create fake profiles with very attractive people with the hopes of attracting real online daters who will in turn give the companies their business.
How to spot a fake. Now that you know the reasons for fake profiles, check out what you can do to avoid them:
- Be aware of the dating service. While fake profiles can exist on any website, the chances of you stumbling upon them on a major dating site that you pay to use are less likely than when you sign up with a new, less popular or free dating site.
- Too good to be true. When checking out cyber singles, try not to get too excited when you find someone with a picture that looks like it should be a centerfold shot. Of course there are plenty of attractive men and women on dating sties, but there’s a good chance that you could find that same picture if you were just to search Google images of “hot girl.” Many fake profiles are set up with pictures of models or other genetically gifted freaks in order to attract you to the services of the particular site you’re using—hey, we’d all like to join a dating site that’s chalk full of supermodels!
- Not sufficient info. Does the profile sound like it was written by some sort of online dating robot? If you find a profile that doesn’t have enough information on their bio, it doesn’t mean that it is fake, but there’s the chance that it could be. Even if it’s real, it is really worth your time to pursue someone who didn’t make the effort in the simple step of setting up an online dating profile? Next!
- Advertisements. Some companies who are trying to sell their product or service will create a fake profile on a dating service. Let’s say if the company is selling some sort of diet pill they may post a profile picture of a very fit individual who talks a lot about the specific pills and products they use to maintain such a physique. Red flag—this “person” may have motives other than dating.
- Catches. Some phony internet profiles can be spotted if you recognize their catch. This is when companies or people create fake dating profiles with a catch being that you have to visit a certain website (where they are selling a product or service) to carry on conversation with them…or it can even be blatant fraud where they are asking you for money or personal information—whatever you do, don’t fall for this!
- Expiring membership. Potential matches you’re in communication with before actually joining a dating site might tell you that their profile will be expiring soon and that you will have to chat with them outside of the site. Most likely this is a dating site that has created their own fake single to capture your business—once they have you baited and reeled in, then the profile disappears.