Navigating online dating is difficult, and the increase in fake dating profile pictures and profiles intended to deceive doesn’t help matters. It’s important to know how to spot fake dating profile pictures if you want to stay safe while dating online and avoid falling for common online dating scams such as catfishing.
Our article gives you advice on detecting fake dating profile pictures and verifying if the person you are speaking to is telling the truth about their identity.
Why Do People Use Fake Pictures on Dating Sites?
With the increasing popularity of online dating and dating apps that you can access right from your smartphone, the occurrence of fake pictures and profiles on dating sites is also increasing. People utilize fake pictures and craft fake profiles on these sites for a number of reasons, such as being insecure about their appearance or not wanting to reveal their true identity.
More sinister reasons for using fake dating profile pictures include the intent to scam, harass, or catfish the individuals they connect with online. It’s for these reasons that it’s important to be careful when online dating and always take time to vet the individual you are speaking with for safety and their identity before progressing further.
Ways to Spot Fake Dating Profile Pictures
There are several ways to spot fake dating profile pictures and accounts. We list the most common warning signs to look out for so you can stay informed and aware when using any dating site.
The Pictures Are Poor Quality
The pictures used are cropped weirdly, out of focus, low definition, or otherwise poor quality. This is an indicator that the pictures have been pulled from somewhere else online or that the person is trying to hide what they really look like.
The Pictures Are Spectacular Quality
The pictures used might be too good to be true – lots of modelesque photos, pictures of people that look like celebrities, and pictures touting expensive activities, items, or experiences might be taken from other places online and used to lure people to match with the account as part of a scam.
Run a reverse image search on images that seem like they might have been pulled from a real social media account elsewhere.
The Pictures Aren’t of Them
The pictures aren’t of a person but are instead objects, pets, crowds of people, and places. Some individuals might do this to hide their true identity and get a feel for the app, but others do this in order to get their profile approved as verified before changing to false or stolen false pictures as part of a scam.
The Profile Itself Is Flawed
The profile accompanying the suspicious pictures is blank, filled with nonsensical answers, or the messages received from the account don’t make sense. Oftentimes, accounts like this will be operated by bots that send out mass messages to any matches or by people that copy and paste the same message to their matches regardless.
The Person Tries to Get Things From You
The person behind the account with suspicious pictures sends messages containing links off of the dating site, tries to get your number or other online information, or immediately starts telling sob stories and asking for money. These are all classic signs of a dating scam.
The main takeaway from this is that you should be closely examining the pictures in dating profiles that seem suspicious or too good to be true. Pictures that are highly edited, appear to have minor or major celebrities in them, or those that are cropped badly, blurry, and don’t really show a person’s face or identifying characteristics are all bad signs when it comes to a dating profile.
What to Do if You Think a Profile Is Fake
If you think that a dating profile you’ve encountered is fake, there are a couple of things you can do to try and verify their identity. It’s important to take these steps when online dating, as it protects you from being scammed and ensures that whatever person you choose to meet offline is safe to be around.
One of the best things to do when online dating is to run a background check on the people you match with. You can utilize their name and an online search tool for this, but keep in mind that you will need the person’s real name in order to gain real results. A fake name or a background check full of issues all indicate that the person is not one you want to get to know further.
A quick check of other social media accounts that might belong to the person, reverse image searches, and in-app conversations can also help you determine if an account is fake. Keep in mind that refusing to meet up in person, not sending a selfie in real-time, and asking for money are all major signs that the person on the other side of the online match might be trying to deceive or scam you.
Staying Safe While Dating Online
Staying safe while dating online is a priority, especially in today’s world full of potentially fake profiles and individuals who might not have the best intentions when using online dating websites.
Make sure to take safety steps when connecting with people online such as scrutinizing their profiles for fake pictures, using caution when chatting, and running background check searches where possible to determine if a person is telling the truth about their identity.
By doing this, you can protect yourself and ensure that your online dating experience is as safe and scam-free as possible.
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