I often hear stories of women who lost a lot money on romance scams. It is hard to understand how can someone start sending money to a person they never met. I blame loneliness. Some people are starving for a connection, others are starving to feel needed or loved. That combined with how clever some con-artists are and all of a sudden you find yourself wiring money. Don’t be fooled!
It is painful to realize after corresponding with someone for awhile that their profile is fake and you have no idea who you have been talking to for the last few weeks. Some fakes are very easy to spot. I actually think they are bot, computer generated. But some are very clever and can trick anyone.
I have become very clever at spotting fakes, so here some tip, s that I picked up along the way, on how to spot a fake online dating profile. Please note this is my experience and, of course, there are exceptions. I always rather be safe than sorry, so whenever in doubt I block the person.
- First and foremost always Google the pictures and the content of the profile. I cannot stress this one enough. Often it leads you to discover that the picture is from a model and that the profile has been repeatedly used by scammers. Even if they are legit it may lead to getting additional information on the person and confirming if what they are telling you is true. Facebook helps a lot. There was this one guy that I was talking to that seemed very nice but when I saw his Facebook page I was shocked! It was full of angry outbursts against government, religion, minorities, etc. That was enough for me to realize that person was not for me.
- Never, ever, give anyone you never met your address or other sensitive personal information. The right man will not pressure you to do anything you are not comfortable doing. If he keeps pressuring you for anything, then he is not for you.
- Never, ever, send anyone money or gifts. If a man needs to ask me for money or gifts he is not somebody I want to be dating and neither should you.
Watch out for:
- Profiles that are too short and barely contains any information. Not only signals a fake profile, but if the person didn’t bother providing any information it shows to me his level of interest in actually dating someone.
- Profiles with no pictures. I don’t want to have my pictures out there, but it is the price I must pay to do online dating, so I expect others to do the same. Profiles with no pictures normally have something to hide. In my experience most are married.
- Profiles that mention an abundance of the following words: honesty, God-fearing, family-man, true romance, gentleman, old-fashioned, fairy-tale, dream-come-true, etc. There is something wrong with someone that needs to tell you over and over how honorable they are.
- Profiles that are very long but they don’t contain any real information about the person. They just go on and on about romances and fairy-tales. If you Google part of it you will probably find the same words in many different profiles, and often connected to Romance Scams.
- He says he works in the Military/Government profession and is stationed overseas. So far I have never come across a legit one.
- He says that that he works in the OIL/Gas Industry (I am in the OIl/Gas industry, so there are indeed exceptions)
- He is working in the Middle East or some other country but will be returning soon. When someone gives me that line I just say: contact me when you are back.
- He is a widower, wife died of cancer and he is caring for their child alone (or some other sob story). I did meet a widower that was real and a great person, but most often they are fake.
- He never answers any question directly. Doesn’t provide any real information about himself. He either asks too many personal questions or does not ask anything. He just goes on and on on how God-fearing and family man he is.
- He wants to take the conversation off line and off the dating site right away. On the first message he already sends his email and phone number and/or asks for yours. (see me sample below*)
- It is a third party contacting you. An employee, a cousin, father, etc. contacts you on how perfect you are for their relative, friend, etc. Not only is fake, but who would want someone that cannot contact you himself?
- He says is stationed/working overseas, but will be retiring soon and is deciding on the city they will move to. If they like you they hint they can move to your town. This one is just too creepy for me.
- His writing seems awkward. Hard to explain, but once you read you realize this person’s first language in not English and in the meantime they are telling you they were born in the US and have lived here their entire lives.
- He is full of praise and compliments on how amazing you are. If someone never met me and on the first email he is telling me I am a dream come true I run, and they go on and on it makes me run. I am amazing indeed but he never met me. So he is either a scammer or he is telling everyone he corresponds with how wonderful they are. In either case he is not for me.
- If you suspect he is not who he says he is then suggest meeting for coffee right away (you don’t have to go through with it if he says yes). But every time I did that I got stories of how he is travelling on business or had to travel because of a sick parent.
*This is a sample of a fake profile message that I just received:
How are you doing ? i am new on here and you seem to have a very lovely picture and i must say you look beautiful and i wish to get to know you more , what do you seek on here ? looking for a true and long lasting partner ? i want same .. please write me at me personal email ‘’ alexschmidtkoiln atgmail i would be glad to get a Mail from you and would be sure to write you back . Thank you
To me online dating is great, but “buyer beware”! I play it safe. I do my research and homework before meeting someone in person. I follow my instincts but I don’t take chances. And you should do the same!
Remember: If it seems to good to be true, then it probably is!
and on this note I have to run. Catching a flight later on to Brazil. I am going to see my family and bring my mother back for a little stay.
Please forgive the typos and grammar errors, there is not time for editing.