How to Recognize and Avoid Fake Profiles on Senior Dating Sites

Even if you are a pretty tech-savvy person, it can be difficult to see through a carefully curated fake profile on a dating site. Some of the phony accounts created to deceive and scam people who are online looking for a genuine connection seem genuine, as there are real people behind the bogus profile–they just aren’t the person in the picture. And not only are they taking advantage of people on dating sites who are there to find love, which can be emotionally crushing, but scammers can also drain your bank account.

So if younger, computer-literate daters have a hard time detecting fake from genuine accounts on dating sites, it can be much more difficult for seniors to sniff them out. That’s why older adults need to know how to recognize and avoid fake profiles on senior dating sites.

As the sophistication of fake accounts grows, it becomes harder to spot those that aren’t genuine.

“Romance scams” are responsible for almost one in 10 phony accounts on dating sites and cost victims about $500 million annually. Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem that only occurs on online dating sites. Sixty percent of all social media accounts are either inactive or made to trick others. Con artists will resort to whatever means necessary to trick you into handing them your money or private information.

A fake profile has likely messaged you or otherwise attempted to contact you at any point if you’ve ever joined an online dating site. Users will tell you whatever it is that you want to hear, but you’ll always have a price to pay, whether it be in terms of your heart or your checkbook.

Prior to sending money to the damsel in distress who contacts you three to four times a day saying, “she needs you to wire money because she’s trapped in another country after being robbed,” you should learn how to recognize a bogus profile. Find out how to recognize and avoid fake scammers on senior dating sites.

Several red flags indicate a fake profile whose owner is a scam artist rather than a legitimate suitor. Some of them are really evident, while others are more subtle. If a user’s online dating profile exhibits any of the following characteristics, it should raise your hackles.

Phrases Often Used in Fake Profiles

The terms “Catholic,” “widow,” “female,” “Ph.D.,” “Nigeria,” “engineer,” “self-employed,” and “Royalty” are often used in scammer language. Since many actual women use dating sites, you may wonder why the term “female” is included in this collection of power words to be wary of.

Twenty-four percent of catfishers (primarily males) will pretend to be a different gender. Their success or failure depends entirely on their intended victims; attracting your interest is the main objective of scammers who create false accounts. They want to draw your interest by using appealing language and visuals. They optimize their profiles for certain audiences to improve the success of their scams.

Any of the aforementioned phrases repeated in a profile might be a sign that it was made by a scammer.

However, even if some genuine accounts include any of these terms, you should consider them a red flag. Before blocking the profile, you should look into whether or not it shows any additional signs of being a scam artist.

Minimal or No Photographs

You can tell a lot about a person based on the photos they post online, so it could be a red flag if the only image available of the person is one in which they looks absolutely perfect.

Fake accounts, in general, are designed to be appealing in the hopes that more people will engage with them. Keep your distance from the handsome senior man who looks like he might be in an AARP commercial and the woman who looks like she could be a mature model. It’s quite likely that the person in the photo did not create the fake profile.

Catfishers and scammers often assume false identities while communicating with their targets online. Do not fall for things that seem too good to be true; chances are they are. If you need clarification on whether a photo is genuine, you can run a reverse image search on Google. A photo that could be found online is more likely to be used in a fake profile, and the person in the picture is likely trying to scam other people out of money.

They Want Private Info

If a possible suitor on a dating site requests sensitive information like your full name, address, phone number, or Social Security number, they are probably trying to steal this data for fraud or theft.

You should be firm with anybody who asks you for these details because they intend to cause you harm. If they ask, say you are uncomfortable revealing such information to them. When communicating with an anonymous individual online, you should always assume their intentions are suspect.

If it were just a misunderstanding, the other individual would most likely stop and apologize for making you feel uncomfortable. Do not give in to someone who is rude or insists on getting information from you quickly by saying they are in a crisis.

Confusing Messages with Random Words

Automated chatbots that construct fake accounts online frequently use language that is even less comprehensible than drunken texting. It might be an odd choice of emoji or expression, a bizarre use of a phrase in a statement, or anything else that makes you say, “HUH?”

This is due to the prevalence of fake profiles created by bots and people whose first language is not English. According to studies, most people that run romance scams seem to be headquartered in West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana.

ChatGPT

It’s also consistent with their general profile. Do they have a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes in their writing? Do you find that they constantly update their online presence with irrelevant content? Likely, they were so rushed to make a bogus profile that they just copied random material and added it to their dating site profile.

If you can’t hold a conversation with someone on a dating site, you should be cautious even if their profile appears legitimate. Always trust your instincts: if something feels off, it probably is!

Too Forward or Flirtatious

Prostitution and other sexually explicit content are common elements in online dating scams. Do you get sexually suggestive messages from a person you’ve never met? Sooner or later, they will ask for payment from you to see their photos or access their personal website.

Some people are born with an extroverted nature. It’s OK if that’s your thing; there is no shame in that! But before becoming too invested, make sure to verify that their interest in you extends beyond financial affairs.

Final Thoughts

Fake profiles associated with dating as a senior can serve various purposes, some of which are far more sinister than others. A phony profile might have been created for multiple reasons, from an innocent joke to an attempt to sway your emotions to a more malicious plot to get access to your personal information or financial resources.

It’s essential to be cautious while meeting new individuals for the sake of your own safety. Using trustworthy third-party services to verify the authenticity of accounts you’re interested in or suspect could be fake is one option.

Talk to your loved ones about your concerns before meeting the individual in person. The relationship warning signs may be more evident to an objective third party.

As a final note, remember to always exercise extreme caution when it comes to securing your personal information online and that you should always meet someone in a public place if you wish to interact with them. Only give out private information once you have confirmed the person’s identity. Never offer up your bank account details, Social Security number, credit card number, or home address to an anonymous online stranger.