Digital Dating – The Fake Profile

Standard

Online dating has now become such an integral part of the dating world that sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like without it.  More and more people are meeting new partners, lovers, and whatnot online than ever before, and there are an ever-growing list of apps and websites for people to use.

Sadly with all this technology it has also brought with it those who’s only goal is to scam you via a fake profile.  This could be to get some personal details from you to steal your identity, financial information to rip you off, or to get you to spend money on other apps or websites by signing up for ‘trial memberships’.  Or any number of things they try to get out of you.

Most of the time these fake profiles can be easily identified as they’re openly advertising some business or website to garner more customer traffic.

But for others, it can be a bit more difficult to spot.  Mostly because these people do their best to showcase exactly what you’re looking for, all wrapped up in a gorgeous, model-like package.  Sometimes it’s just too good to be true.

Scammers

A ‘scammer’ is someone who’s sole purpose online is to trick people in giving them money by illegal methods.  A lot of the time these people will spend weeks chatting you up, gaining your trust, only to end up asking you to send them money to help with their bills, an emergency that’s come up, or perhaps even to buy a ticket to come visit you.

But don’t believe it.  This is how they operate and are most likely chatting to multiple people at once.  These aren’t easy to detect without checking IP addresses, language analysis, or analysing their submitted profile picture (they generally use the same pic on different sites, so once flagged on one it’s flagged overall).

Imposters

These profiles are clearly using other people’s photos and details, sometimes even using a celebrity’s images. Or they’ll just be using generic stock photos they’ve downloaded from the internet.  Most of these pictures will look like standard headshots or as if they’ve been taken professionally.

As well, the imposters will generally not have more than one photo on their profile.  And if they do, then the additional pictures will most likely just be variations on the first one.

Too Beautiful for Words

Carrying on with the imposters, some will use pictures of what you might think is probably the most gorgeous guy (or gal) in the world, and just looking at their pic makes you drool.

It’s sad to say that profile may be fake, as they’re playing into your need to feel attractive and want for someone better looking than you to be interested.  Sure, sometimes it’s not really about looks or body shape, but on your personality and who you are as a person… but if it feels fake, then it probably is.

And let’s not even start on those who use their own pics from years or decade past, from when they looked hot AF.

Profile Discrepancies

Sometimes these imposters or scammers can’t seem to keep their stories straight.  For instance, their profile will say they’re living in Manchester but every day it shows them a different distance from you – when chatting on Tuesday they’re 4.5 miles away, but on Thursday they’re 4000 miles away, then apparently around the corner the next day.

But it can also happen that what they say during your chat contradicts what’s listed on their profile… and as soon as you call them on it they’ll either disappear, change their profile, or accuse you of something silly to take the pressure off them and make you feel bad for even pointing it out in the first place.

Chat Offsite

Be leery of those who ask fairly quickly to chat off the site you’re already on.  A lot of the time, this will be to move to another chat site of some sort.  These other sites may be free initially but there’ll be in-app purchases or you’ll be required to sign up for a ‘trial membership’ that doesn’t get cancelled and you end up being charged.  They purposely make these difficult to cancel as well.

Or the popular one is to ask for your mobile number so you can chat on Whatsapp or exchange email addresses.  Again, be careful of this as scammers can use these details to sign you up for all sorts of things, which could end up with you being charged for services you didn’t ask for.

Relationship Status

Some advice out there states to avoid those profiles that state the user is widowed or a widower, as they’re using the sympathy card to lure you in.  And perhaps this can be true, but it leaves you dismissing a possible new partner because of their status.  This should probably be the last thing to look at when determining if they’re a fake.

All in all, just use your common sense before giving out personal details online.

Be safe.  Be sane.  Be real.

Digital Dating – Tips for Your Online Profile

Standard

In this day and age, it’s rare to find anyone who’s actively looking for dates, mates or anything in between who doesn’t have an online profile of some sort.  Hell, most partnered or married guys I know have one as well (joys of open relationships..).

No matter what you’re looking for – casual dates, random hook-ups, something more long term – there’s something to be said about how you present yourself online.  Your online profile is like your calling card, and if you leave it blank or too vague, then you may not get the results you’re looking for.

I don’t think there’s an exhaustive list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ when it comes to all this, but it doesn’t hurt to bear a few things in mind when creating your online presence.  It’s all about giving a brief, general snapshot of yourself to get someone interested.

Put a clear profile photo

The whole point of a profile picture is to determine compatibility and whether you’re attracted to the other person.  If you’re not willing to show who you are, then why the hell are you even online to begin with?

awkwardAdmittedly, it could be the situation where the person isn’t out for whatever reason and is afraid if they’re found online they could lose their job, family, or any other things.  Or perhaps they’re married/partnered and only online looking for a bit of fun on the side, and they’re afraid their ‘honey’ will catch them (run away.. run far far away..).

But then there are those who’ll refuse to put up a pic or even sent one once you’re chatting, but insist that you should meet.  At your place because they can’t host (or be seen with a man in public..).  All without you know what they look like.

Sounds like a recipe for trouble.

Know and disclose your status

It’s astounding how, in this day and age of awareness, that there are still guys out there who don’t know their HIV status and don’t do anything to find out.  It may not be ‘fun’ getting yourself tested, but isn’t that better than suddenly finding out you’ve been infected and have no clue when or how?

Not only that, but there seems to be this ignorant stigmatism that anyone who’s HIV+ is somehow ‘unclean’.  It’s not like it’s something you can wash away with a  vigorous shower.  And let’s be honest, you’re more likely to get infected by someone who doesn’t even know their status than someone who’s aware, on meds, and probably has a low/non-existent viral load because of it.

And if you don’t want to date someone who’s positive?  Well, then don’t.  Just don’t be an uneducated idiot by using the word ‘clean’.

Preferences don’t allow racial profiling

grindrEvery guy out there has an idea or fantasy of what their perfect guy looks like, and for many that can include their potential partner’s race or ethnicity.  Who hasn’t seen profiles with ‘No Blacks/Asians/Arabs/etc’ on them.  And all that’s doing is limiting yourself to your own prejudices.

Types can change over time.  And just because you hadn’t previously had experiences with someone from a certain ethnicity, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future.  And to specifically put that on your profile, then you’re just showing how closed minded you can be.

And on that note….

‘Masc4Masc Only’ or ‘No fats, no femmes’

Once again, regardless how much you may say this is your preference, but to someone reading you profile it could be a blow to their self-esteem.

images11One of the great things about life these days is there are no set rules for what is masculine or how a man should act.  Life is quite gender fluid, even if it’s within your own gender.  It’s buying into and reinforcing those gender stereotypes we’ve all fought so hard to get past.

And though you might say it’s not your problem, by being dismissive and bitchy towards someone you may not be physically attracted to just reinforces the body-shaming issues they may already be dealing with.

If someone you’re not attracted to gives you a compliment, then just politely accept it and move on.  Simple.

Don’t massage the figures

We’ve seen it.. guys who lie on their profiles about their age, weight, height, or even their cock size all in fear of being rejected.  However, what’s the point?  All that’ll happen is you’ll end you being rejected for lying about any of those things, and not the item you had issue with itself.

If there’s something you’re afraid guys will judge you on, then why not just omit it to begin with?  If it’s something that comes up in conversation down the line, then you can choose whether you want to reveal the information.

And along the same lines, what’s the point of using a photo taken several years ago that no longer looks anything like you?  All you’re doing is setting yourself up for awkwardness later on and possible rejection.

In the end the best thing to do is just be honest, project a positive outlook on life, and ultimately just be yourself.  Because after all, it’s the real you want them to fall for.

This post has been influenced by — Five things no gay man should put on their dating app profile

wanna-make-out