When you hear someone say that they met their significant other online, you wouldn’t think twice, as online dating is one of the leading ways singles meet potential suitors. Although it’s commonplace to meet people online, there are always risks associated with dating people you don’t know. One such risk is connecting with someone who has a fake profile and is more interested in scamming you rather than determining if you’re Mrs. Right. But how do you know if you’re dealing with someone who has a fake profile? And what are the red flags you should look for? Below, BeenVerified shares tips for navigating the online dating scene and helping you try and figure out if you’re dealing with the real deal or a fraud.
BeenVerified, the leading source of online background checks, helps people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. By consolidating billions of records from dozens of sources, their innovative apps helped transform the playing field of online background checks and accessing personal data. Here are BeenVerified’s top tips for helping you try and figure out if the person you’ve met online is a fake or a fraud.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR PRINCE CHARMING IS MORE PRINCE ALARMING?
1. It’s a big red flag if your online interest asks you for money, especially if it is early on and if you’ve never met face-to-face. Scammers will often ask for money on behalf of a sick relative, a short term loan to pay rent, or travel money to visit you if he lives out of state.
2. Be careful if he avoids meeting you, especially if he states he will be out of the country. There is a reason that scammers don’t want to meet face-to-face. If they are running a game, they will come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid meeting. Some may use work travel as an excuse, others may say they have shared custody of his kids and it’s his weekend to keep them, or that an ill mother needs to taken care of. Listen carefully to what they are saying.
3. Meet relatively quickly in person and in a public place. It is advantageous to meet face-to-face to see if you have chemistry and if he is what he claims to be. It is far easier to walk away from a bad situation before you feel an attachment. Choose a place that has foot traffic in case you need to call out for assistance. Always tell a friend or family member where you will be and what time you will be there. It might be wise to have a bail out call come 30 minutes into your meeting, just in case you need an escape strategy.
4. Accept the fact everyone tells lies, even little white ones, so decide where you draw the line. On-line daters want to put their best foot forward. Men may say they are a couple of inches taller than they are in reality, and women may not accurately describe their body type. Many on-line daters accept superficial lies as part of the deal. Decide what is acceptable for you.
5. To avoid identity theft scams, try Google’s reverse image search. Take a few minutes to search the profile’s pictures, and if the reverse search shows up across hundreds of pages, it is highly likely that the person is being deceitful and is using someone else’s images as his own.
6. When chatting online, make sure the flow of conversation makes sense to ascertain if you’re talking to a live person or a robot profile. Mix up the conversation; see if the person continues to track with you. If they are unable to switch gears, it could be a robot responder giving predetermined responses.
7. If his profile is comprised of only one photo and the text is basically empty, they could be a scammer. People who don’t want to be held accountable to the content of their profile will simply leave it blank. If they are too lazy to take the time to self-disclose and post some self-descriptive text, then you should probably take a pass.
8. If his Facebook account has fewer than 100 friends, there is reason to be suspicious, especially for younger users. Most people on Facebook have more than one hundred friends. There could be an explanation; he may be new to social media or a teacher that is trying to remain private. Delve deeper into his reasons. This doesn’t necessarily apply to older users, as the average person over 55 is more likely to have smaller amounts of followers.
9. If people claim to be famous or know famous people, it could be to lure you in. Some women get star struck and might continue in conversation with someone they aren’t interested in if there is hope of meeting someone rich and famous. Take their stories with a grain of salt; don’t continue the dialogue if you’re not truly interested.
10. Research as much as you can about the person before you meet in person. Search their name on Google, search all social media profiles and ask friends if they know them. You might find out that the person has a criminal record or may be in a serious relationship already! Also, you can do a thorough background check on the person via BeenVerified.com, which consolidates information from public data sources to make it a one-stop shop for accessing personal information.