Is the profile incomplete? If there’s no information in the profile, then the person behind the profile doesn’t have to worry about keeping a story straight, particularly when they may have many fake profiles to keep track of.
If you are speaking with someone online who you are unsure of, ask the online prospect the same question twice, worded differently, and expect a consistent response. A Million Matches often employs this investigative tactic on behalf of our clients when investigating a candidate’s career and work history.
Sign up with a service like A Million Matches that tracks fake and suspicious profiles over years and across dozens of websites and puts that knowledge to use for its clients.
2) EVALUATE PHOTOS
A profile with no photo or a photo that looks like a stock image is a suspect profile. To determine whether an image may be a stock image, use Google Images to search for the photo and see if it pops up in a stock image directory or in other strange places.
Make sure profile descriptions match the profile photo. If a profile says they have brown eyes and brown hair, but the person in the photo has green eyes and black hair, that is a red flag.
Real people should be able to send you more photos (e.g., by email). If someone you are speaking to online can’t send you more photos, this is a red flag, particularly if their profile only has one photo.
Ask them when and where their photo was taken and then look for clues of deceit in the photo itself. For example, if they say the photo was taken last summer at their cottage, but the person in the photo is wearing winter clothes, that is a red flag.
3) AVOID HIGH-RISK SITES
Unless you have the help of a professional, be on the alert on free websites. No credit card means no accountability.
Avoid sites that specialize in hook-ups and short-term relationships. Don’t be surprised to see fake profiles on such sites, including profiles of daters claiming to be who they are not.