Dumb Date Data Physical descriptions need to be proportional. For example, someone who is 6-feet tall usually does not weigh 90 lbs. Ask them to take a photo holding a unique phrase or their own name on it and send it to you. Ask to have a live video talk using Skype or Facetime. Profile Picture Test Professional photos are a red flag.
Look for amateur photos — and more than one. Look for detail in photos — wedding rings, locations, activities, time of day, how they are dressed — to see if it matches. Someone claiming that a photo is from a July 4th fireworks party, who is dressed in a fur coat, in daylight, might be a dead giveaway that someone is lying. Using a free inspection service that shows the location and time that a photo was originally taken can shed light on a photo liar. Cut and Paste Profile Alert Introductory letters on dating websites are often copied by catfish scammers.
See if the same information appears in other places or has been copied from someone else by searching for it online. For example, someone claiming to be from St. Spelling and Grammar Fail Hear the words when you read their writing, and check their spelling and grammar. A line that sounds like it could be from someone in a far-off country but portraying themselves to be in your same city will usually have a local dialect misfire.
Derailing You from the Dating Site Red flags should be raised if, right off the bat, they want to get you to instant message or email, taking you off of the dating site where you originally met. Always create and use a unique email address that is different than your personal and professional addresses when setting up a dating website profile.
Too Serious, Too Soon Watch out for someone rushing things. They play on your sympathy and strike when you are the most vulnerable — caught up in the romance and emotional. Ask a Lot of Questions Inquire about where they are from, and verify landmarks and spellings of cities online. Catfishers like to ask you a lot of questions, but seldom let you go deep into their lives, coming up with excuses about why they are reluctant to offer more personal information about themselves.
Shut off communication immediately, and close all open doors if you have a hint that it is a sympathy scam. Although most catfishers are not after money, this one should be a wake-up call to a scam. Facebook Fakers At this point, if someone has no Facebook page, but they are sophisticated enough to create an online dating profile, be warned. Also look out for potential fake Facebook pages. Signs of a fake Facebook profile can include the fact that the Facebook page was started near the same time that a dating profile elsewhere was established, if few photos are posted, or if there are no people tagged in their photos to show a connection in a relationship.
If they are on Twitter, read through historic tweets to see if the story they tell matches up to the same the person you are prospectively dating. Like Facebook, Twitter accounts created around the same time as dating profiles should be treated with caution.