If you haven’t done the online dating thing for a while, you’ve probably had this happen to you. You match with a drop-dead gorgeous person and think you’re luck is turning around. Then they start sending you some sketchy links, and that’s when you realize, that hottie is just a hacker trying to steal your identity. Meanwhile, all you wanted was for them to steal your heart.
While it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid them, here’s how you can better spot these fake accounts and save yourself some time and minor heartbreak.
- Look At The Photos. If the profile only has one or two pictures, consider it a red flag. Also, if one of the pics has a white background it could indicate it’s a stock image. At the very least it’s a person that needs better dating profile pictures.
- Too Good To Be True. Do they have perfect pictures? Are they bragging about having lots of money and status? Is there no way this 10/10 would actually even acknowledge you IRL? It’s a trap.
- Be A Grammar Nazi. Most of the time these fake profiles are created by a computer trying to get you to click on some spam link. Check the wording in their bio, if it seems a bit robotic, of the grammar seems off, it’s probably a sign your Prince Charming is actually a malware bot.
- The Ultimate Test. Looking for a great way to prove that someone is real? FaceTime them. If they refuse, they’re probably a fake profile. Or you overstepped and moved a little too quick for them.
Licensed professional counselor Emily Pfannenstiel says you should be trying to meet your match for a date as soon as possible. “This way, you can know right away if the person is who they say they are and if you like them and want to date them in the first place anyway.”