The hard truth about online dating is that fake dating profiles do exist. In fact, as many as 10% of the accounts you see are not linked to real people.

There are many reasons why fake dating profiles exist. Some are created by trolls trying to get attention with a funny dating profile. Others are just trying to get you to go to a marketing site or buy products.

Then there are the really bad ones, which are by people looking to steal your money. You joined an online dating site to find romance or sex, not to get ripped off!

You’ve got to be able to tell which profiles are fake, so you don’t waste your time and/or money dealing with these people. You want to know that the person filling out the dating profile is a real person you have a chance to meet face-to-face.

The good news is that figuring out whether a dating profile is fake isn’t that hard once you know what to look for.

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words

When it comes to spotting a fake online dating profile, the first thing to do is to look at the pictures.

Do all of the photos have a plain white background? That’s a big no-no. It indicates that the person is probably using stock photography, and it isn’t really them.

Real photos don’t look like stock photography. They aren’t perfect. It could be that the background is boring or odd or clearly there by chance. There may be some red-eye effect. These are all good signs. If the photos are too good, the profile is probably fake.

Which brings us to another red flag: Is the person much better looking than the people you usually date? Then that’s probably a fake as well. You don’t suddenly attract a supermodel just because you are online.

Of course, another hint is if they only have one or two photos, especially if they’re both similar. People who want to date online put as many photos up as they can so others can see the real them.

Watch Your Language

Many fake profiles – particularly those looking for your money – are run by bots, not people. That means they are programmed to look at what you like, search for keywords, and then give a response.

Any conversations with them are going to be choppy. You’ll know it when you see it – their word choice just seems off, they don’t respond to what you’ve said, or they respond to a question you didn’t even ask.

Other fake profiles are run by people in foreign countries pretending to be local to your area. Their English is not going to be perfect, and sooner or later they will make mistakes and trip themselves up.

So, once again, if their language seems off, they are probably not a real profile and certainly not worth your time and effort.

Another thing to watch out for is if they start trying to direct you to a site you have never heard of so you can continue to talk to them. If that happens, they are probably trying to get your email address so they can sell you something, or it’s a website where you will pay by the minute for video chat. Click away and block them if this happens.

Check Out Their Dating Profile

The third way to identify a fake online dating profile is to simply look at the profile itself. It can say a lot about whether or not the person is real.

First, make sure it’s fully filled out. People who want to date online make sure their profile is complete. They want as much information out there as possible. They aren’t likely to leave parts blank, or just answer with one word.

Then take a look at the profile itself. Is it too good?

Like, seriously, so many women are tired of sloppy profiles from “millionaires with yachts and eight-pack abs” simply waiting online for dates. And a “professional cheerleader and model looking for a guy in his 50s” probably doesn’t have to go online to find what they are looking for.

Finally, take a look at whether or not the profile makes sense. Does it say in one section that they are vegetarian, but then in another section say pork chops are their favorite food? If so, that’s a red flag. They might just be putting random stuff in so they could go make another profile.

Ignore Any Online Dating Profile You Think Is Fake

Following these rules should allow you to avoid 99% of the fake online dating profiles out there.

Start out by checking the photos. There are a ton of signs right there that the profile is fake. The biggest one is if all the backgrounds are white, which probably means the faker is just using stock photography.

Then look at the language they use. You know how people talk and write in the real world. If their method of communication isn’t sitting right with you, they are probably a bot or a scammer from another country. Move onto a more promising profile.

Finally, check out the profile itself. It should be fully filled out. It should not be too perfect, and it should make sense. Think about people in the real world. Does this profile sound like someone you could know, or does it seem like it was lifted from a dating profile template?

Now that you understand how to spot a fake profile, it’s time to find out what online dating app will work for you. There are a ton out there, but with just a little effort and research, you can shortlist a couple of sites that will take you a few steps closer to finding your perfect match.

Remember that we’re always here to help. We have tons of online dating tips for you to be on top of your game! Be in the know – browse and read through more articles here.