Take things slowly, never give away personal info, meet up in person in public settings before you start to let your guard down.
Profiles with just one photo or some even with more photos but a limited bio and wide open preferences (particularly Match and OkCupid) should raise a red flag.
Some people will do some investigation beforehand by reverse-image searching photos* to verify profiles and identities but this is not always guaranteed or proof of identity. (All the more reason to not make your Instagram and Facebook profiles public to avoid identity theft by scammers).
To reverse-image search, go to: and click the camera icon to upload the photo in question. Remove any borders any use the highest quality photo possible. Images on non-indexed pages like private Facebook accounts, password-protected sites will not be displayed as possible matches.
People with preferences with wide-open age limits i.e. 40-65, people with height preferences of 4’4? to 6’10” and profiles seeking people within 100 miles are giant red flags.
For people in more remote areas, large radii are more common but pair those preferences with other clues mentioned here. It’s easy to get photos from a public Facebook or Instagram account these days.
Checking for catfishers or those using photos that are old is easy. Check Instagram, Facebook, Yelp or EXIF data on photos on their website or company page to see when photos were taken. For more techniques, check ou this post on dating profile checks.
Video Chats, Moving Offline Away From Dating Apps, Moving From Datin Apps To Text
One of the common scams right now is getting matches to move conversations from dating apps to other messaging platforms or even video chats. Dating apps can be buggy no doubt but proceed with caution as reporting improper behavior is harder to do once you leave the dating app.
I typically recommend people don’t relinquish private info, contact information until after you have met and after you decide you want to meet again. With that said, video chats can be a great way to verify identities and save time from bad dates and possible catfishers.
When possible, stay on the app for communication (text, calls and videos) until you meet in person and after you decide you want to see the person for date number two.
I wrote more about red flags with video chatting here but the main scams through video chatting is sexual acts captured on video and then uses recording this info to blackmail you by threatening to contact family, neighbors, colleagues or employers.
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Love Bombing Online Dating, Signs Of Love Bombing
Love bombing is a method whereby matches overwhelm targets with flattering messages, attention, grand gestures in a rather short period of time, often times before even meeting in person. Some identities can include service men overseas for example.
Prime targets are people who are a little older, show signs of depression, are divorced, widowed or share a little too much information online that is generally recommended.
Focus on actions, in person gestures rather than those who are the first people to make you feel good or wanted. Also, if the person is significantly younger than you or significantly more attractive than you or if the person asks not sure tell others about him or her, proceed with extreme caution.