Am I Being Catfished? How To Spot A Fake Profile on Dating Apps & Social Media
What percentage of profiles do you think are fake or misleading on online dating sites? 7, Views · How can I identify fake profiles in dating apps?. Jan 18, I'm new to online dating and I'm yet to know how it works here. in my profile..i like your pics and profile too and I will like to know you better. Apr 24, There are SO MANY FAKE profiles on this site and customer service does That means he is a scammer and will tell you the military lost.
That is, they have a problem with fake accounts and there is a clear reason why they have, for years, refused to do a single thing about it. I've been designing systems and writing code for almost 30 years no, I'm not that old, I started in junior high school - if you want to get serious, I've been a professional developer since about The design of secure systems is something I know more than a little about.
I'm not above admitting that in my youth I was what you'd call a hacker. Seen War Games or Hackers? It's not like that, but you get the idea. So when I see systems that have flaws, I tend to geek out on them. When those flaws affect me directly, I geek out even more. This issue has become the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard of my geek cred.
Let me also start by saying that I met my girlfriend on Match. Indeed, I'm a shareholder. But getting that out of the way, I need to blog about a problem the site had when I was active, and appears to still have.
And I have to comment on the absolute lack of concern the site's administration seems to have regarding the problem, to the point of appearing to actively ignore it.
- Match.com's Fake Problem
- 4 Ways To Spot A Fake Online Dating Profile
- How to Spot a Catfish
The Problem The problem I have is with the vast number of fake accounts and fake activity, and how Match profits from this and, thus, has no incentive to remedy the situation even in the face of obvious steps that could be taken. When one first signs up at Match, the activity and interactions begin.
Presuming you've actually gone to the trouble to create a reasonable profile and filled out the demographics, you will begin to show up in the searches that others do. Once you start looking at other profiles and liking their photos or stating that you're interested by clicking on the checkmark of your "daily matches," you will start to interact with others.
Unfortunately, many of these interactions come from fake accounts. Simple - those looking for love are vulnerable. Strike up a conversation with someone and you have a motivated target that is much more liable to fall for whatever pitch you're throwing. This avenue has a much higher success rate for the scammer than does simple spam.
Scammers know this, so they make tons of fake accounts and lure people in. The Analysis and Solution The source of my angst is that it's dead simple to spot these accounts both through their content as well as activity, and Match seems to make no effort to remove them short of customer complains. After this analysis, I'll show why this policy is actually a money-maker for them and then also allows them to state that they do their best based on complaints, a position that is somewhat disingenuous.
So how easy is it to spot these fake accounts?
7 Signs You've Stumbled on a Fake Online Dating Profile - HelloGiggles
First, let's take the easy attributes. Given a decent match on these, one could filter out fake accounts based on this alone note that I consider fake females, since that's what I see: The age being picked lately is While fake accounts use many ages, this one is picked most often. The profile has one paragraph. It is comprised of a few sentences, typically picked randomly from a list of about 30 as far as I can tell. The profile has one picture.
The age range of the men the profile is looking for is typically in the early 30s to 50s. This clearly gets it in the right searches for its purpose. The requirements for the profile's match are never filled in except the height, which is set at the maximum range.
I suspect this is because the bots only fill in the first field. But it gets even easier when you actually pattern match on the written profile.
As I pointed out, they're typically just one paragraph. Given that, one could find duplicate sentences and create candidate filters based on that alone.
But the real kicker comes in that all of these fake accounts have the same sentence embedded, which is a call to email. The email is split up to apparently avoid a pattern match that doesn't exist if it did, Match would be using it on the known patterns.
In all cases, the emails look like "username g mail com" or some broken variant thereof. Here's an actual example: Unfortunately I am unable to read messages on this site so you can emal me at nnak06 a gmal and send me a wink so I know who I'm taking to. So let's presume for sake of argument that Match decided to get serious and implemented a solution based on my above observations.
As a developer, I can tell you that I could code this up in a weekend. And that's not an idle note - Match? I'll come into your San Francisco offices any weekend you like and do it. So let's imagine that Match did this and the fake account folk got wise. That means they'd have to have humans mixing it up, which is more work than they want to do. But let's further presume that they did.What are the best dating sites? **WITH REAL PROFILES**
They can do everything else. They can even receive interactions, so in the rare case that they're a real person, that creates more incentive to finish their profile or even pay for a subscription. Fake pictures and dating sites offer them a chance to interact with females they find attractive, who may never talk to them in real life.
And I imagine the scammers are excited by the deception of it, and excited to be fooling people. They remind me a lot of myself as a teen when I used to make prank phone calls. It was such a thrill!
Dating & romance
Still, as harmless as many of these dating catfishers are, it is a colossal waste of time to be chatting to them. And online dating is hard enough as it is without worrying that you are chatting to a chipmunk using a Getty Image. Well, Google Image Search is your friend. This is a tool that allows you to feed an image into your search engine, and be shown where on the internet that image is found.
If it is only found on your dating site, chances are you are pretty safe.
At the very least, check out the pictures of people who are improbably good looking, or whose photos look perfectly staged. A middle-aged woman is unlikely to be approached by a stunning year-old brain surgeon; a year-old man is unlikely to be approached by a busty year-old.
Most of all, listen to your gut. If you have your doubts, ask questions. Ask for surnames, workplace details, or a spontaneous selfie. Keep an open heart, keep an open mind, but always protect yourself.
And please, if any of you know the whereabouts of that dude in the photo, let me know. Yes, this is a real picture of her.
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