Giving online dating a shot is not as unusual as you might think! A lot of single people do it, but this also exposes us to a lot of creeps online. Don’t make the mistakes I made, and know how to identify the catfishers online before you get your heart broken!
Are you thinking of giving online dating a try? Make sure you don’t get catfished!
It is easier said than done to navigate the online dating world, especially when everything seems to have been changing so fast when it comes to the internet. Gone are the days when you would meet someone you clicked with through friends or family, or out and about in town, or even at church! You can still end up meeting them in such ways, but as a senior, it can sometimes be tough to meet other single retirees.
This leaves us to try all the methods out there, which includes trying to find the next true love online! There are tons of different successful love stories that have their origins in the online space, so we know it is not impossible, yet it is easier said than done!
The online dating space is just as appealing as it can be insidious and downright dangerous. In order to make sure that you are going to be one of those amazing online love stories, you have to be able to spot those who do not have the best interests, and this starts with finding those fake dating profiles!
Catfishers have gotten way better at what they do in the last few years, yet they are still not as good as they think they are! Here we have gathered the easiest and most telling signs that you are talking to a catfish, so you too can stay safe while dating online!
Have you been catfished before? Tell us everything about your experience in the comments below!
Overusing power words
You may not even know some of these words are thought of as “power words,” but they are used to catch people’s eyes and draw more people to these fake profiles.
Some of the most commonly used keywords these scammers use in their fake online dating profiles include the likes of widowed, Ph.D. engineer, Nigeria, Catholic, self-employed, engineer, and, we are not joking, royalty and female!
You may believe that some of these are pretty outlandish, particularly female and royalty. But the sad truth is that, yes, there are real women on dating sites, but 24% of scammers online are going to pretend to be the opposite gender and target their own gender. Why? It is easy to know what to say when you know what you would like to hear! The royalty one is pretty obvious; they are trying to attract people by posing as being extremely wealthy.
The people who create such scam accounts do not care about morals, and they will use all the words and pictures they want in order to get your attention. If anyone you are talking to online has these words in their profile and they make a big deal about them, then there is a high chance they are a scammer.
Some of them who have these words could be real, but if they keep bringing any of these things up, there is something fishy going on. After all, why would the prince or princess of some faraway country be on an online dating site in the United States and make a big deal out of it?
If you want to get better at identifying these power words, make sure that you give this book a read to become an expert on the subject!
Having very few photos
The first thing you are going to pay attention to when you look at someone’s online profile is going to be their photo gallery. After all, we are all trying to put out our best selves and make a good impression while also giving a few details about ourselves that could interest others without having to spell them out in our profile.
However, others may not be as eager to show pictures of themselves, which is understandable, but other times it could be a sign that they do not have the purest of intentions despite being on an online dating platform!
If the profile of the person you are talking with only has one picture and it is one in which they look really attractive, it should raise some question marks in your mind! It could be the profile of a scammer who is simply using a picture of a conventionally attractive person because they know they have a better chance of luring people in. And we are not just saying this! Research shows that 73% of catfishers use pictures of others that they found online in order to bait others and scam them out of money or personal information.
If you are not sure whether the person you are talking with is real or not, you can easily find out! Save their photo to your phone, and then use Google Images’ reverse image search to see if you can find it. If it’s on Google Images, then the chances are very high that this person is a scammer and is catfishing you!
They seem to not exist online…
If not having a lot of information on your online dating profile is a red flag, it is also good to talk about how they appear on other social media platforms. Chances are that you are on one social media site or another, be it Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter (we wouldn’t recommend that one, however).
And while some people prefer to only have their close friends on their online profiles or have them really tightly locked when it comes to what people they do not know can see on them, if you search for the person you matched and they do not exist anywhere, it could be a potential red flag.
The bigger red flag is that if you are looking for someone that looks like a model and they have a public Facebook profile with, yes, only one picture and about 50 friends, then that account is definitely fake. Out of all the millions of Facebook profiles, researchers estimate that about 83 million of them are fake and used by scammers.
Another red flag would be the fact that they have no or very little activity on that social media platform. Of course, people could just use it to send private messages to their friends and family and like pictures and posts, but if they talk about how active they are on Facebook when they aren’t, that profile is probably fake!
If the profiles are basically empty but they have friends, it means they probably friended thousands of people in mass in order to make their fake profile look as legit as possible.
Do your research and make sure you stay safe when dating online! And never, ever provide personal information on the internet! Or, God forbid, send money to people you don’t know.
… And they do not share much about themselves
You have to be careful when you are dating online, especially since you cannot truly know who you are talking to. This is why you should be paying really close attention to the other person’s profile and reading through the information there carefully.
You will not only be able to spot some of the really big red flags right away (like those power words we talked about and maybe some really weird morals they could have listed that could be an immediate turn-off), but it can also tip you off towards something else. If the profile of the person you matched with is pretty much empty or completely empty aside from the information they are required to provide to the app, then you should steer clear of them.
Sure, it could be that they are cautious about sharing information online, but when is sharing your favorite movie or song or talking about your hobbies going to reveal anything truly of substance that could jeopardize your safety? The answer is never! This is why empty profiles are just as much of a red flag as those that are full of power words.
The person who made that profile only has one thing on their mind: how they can lure you in and potentially extort money out of you or steal your personal information. Now what they should be doing is making a connection and finding a romantic partner!
On the other side of the coin, you should also make sure your profile does not look like it could be fake! You should try to put time into your profile and make it appealing while being truthful so that people would like to press on it and agree to talk and eventually meet with you. If you haven’t been getting many responses, this could be the reason why!
No need to be scared of dating, even if you are over 50! Sure, it can be pretty daunting but this should not deter you from finding a new life partner even if you are widowed or divorced! Just make sure you keep these rules in mind and you will have no issues dating even as a senior, online or not!