How to Spot a Fake Profile

This post is part of a series of posts on online dating and Check out the other posts here:

If you haven’t noticed it already, there are tons of fakes, spammers, frauds inhabiting online dating sites. Match is a little better than a free site like plentyoffish, but it still has it’s share of fakes and scammers.

Where I live, I’ll probably identify one fake out of every 30 profiles. There are a number of tip-offs for spotting a fake and after reading this post you’ll be able to identify them too.

Why are there fakes? My theory is that the online sites actually employ people to re-post old, disabled accounts in order to balance out the male-to-female ratio. The ratio is already skewed against men, but these fakes give off the impression that there are a few more fish in the sea. I don’t have proof, but if you do a google search on “fake profiles” you’ll see a TON of consumer complaints. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Some fakes are spammers, and these folks are trying to induce you to send them a real email address. Others are scammers who will try to extract money from you after you contact them. Avoid all of these completely if you suspect a fake.

Most damning though, and this is conjecture, is that an online site employee would send you a wink or email from a fake account to get you to renew your subscription. I’ve often received what I felt like were fake flirtations when I didn’t have a lot of activity going on with my account.

Let’s dive in. Here’s how to spot a fake. I’ll use a profile I found recently as an example…

Okay, the first and biggest tip-off is that the fake doesn’t have any additional pictures. Rarely will a woman post only one picture. Even if she creates a new profile, she’ll usually upload at least 3-4 pictures. I’ve actually seen fakes with 2-3 pictures before, but these are infrequent. This is the first tip-off but in itself doesn’t guarantee a fake profile. Let’s keep going.

Tip-off number two. The fake has no “In my own words” section! Nada, zilch. Why? Because whoever is posting these are too lazy to actually fill out the profile. When I see this combined with only 1 picture, I’m 99% certain the profile is fake.

Number three. Note the bad writing in the “About me” paragraph. Notice it’s short, generic, and poorly written. Big tip-off there. Watch for a lack of specifics. Check out the very last line: “I hope Match you…” Bad english is the best tip-off because most scammers are non-English speakers.

My favorite part of the whole fake profile is the “About my date” section. Notice the scammer posted a broad height range (5′ to 7′), which is unrealistic. Real women are obsessive about height ranges and they sure as heck aren’t going to list 5’0″ as the minimum. Most chicks list around the 5’8″ to 6’4″ range, with the really hot chicks shifting towards the six-footers as a minimum. If you’re interested in reading about an awesome experiment one dude performed as it pertains to height and looks, see here.

Also, real people usually fill out the education, job, and income fields.

So there you go, a handful of tip-offs to separate wheat from chaff. Fake profiles are annoying but I don’t let it prevent me from using All online services have them and it’s like any other form of dating. There’s a game to be played and the game has pitfalls.

If you root out a fake, use the Report A Concern  feature on the right hand side of the profile to notify the customer service team. This will help to keep the overall community clean.

Have you ever encountered a fake profile or scammer on Let me know your experience in the comments below.

  • Peter Collén

    Best comment I have ever read regarding dating sites. Not a paying member with Just did an account but there is another serious site here in Sweden and pretty much ALL girls write as you have said above reachmintwaxed. I have even made an sticker in my own thread stating allmost the same thing you are.

    And Angela, get real. Or at least look for your self.

  • Leslie

    No. I am one of those women, who abandoned for the same reason that you did…too many imposters on there, just looking for someone to scam. I simply think that the intension of the site was good, but unfortunately, our world corrupts and devours good, leaving decent people in a real hurry to get away from the evil that lurks there!

  • BoBo9000

    Match is ok… I’ve had countless dates and a few medium-term relationships from match. Once I meet them, it’s all up to me and match isn’t involved. If you’re not getting any response, spend a little more time on your profile. There are plenty of articles on how to spice it up. Does anything look at all menacing? Women are pretty wary of contacting “Charles Manson Jr.”

  • Liz Barnett

    I’m super psyched I found your blog. lol I’ve been using since it was Love @ AOL and I left of course during times that I had real relationships, but was on and off of it forever – so for over 15 years. Yes, it’s crazy. Yes, I will probably write a book about it. Anyhow, I think your post is dead on. Almost every guy I have ever met from the site has said something along the lines of, “wow it’s nice to talk to a real human” or “it’s good to meet a real person”. It’s a shame it has to work like that, but I have the same theory. I believe that pays people to create fake profiles. They probably pay a company that pays a company that pays a company but regardless of how it’s done, it’s done. I do think that it works though. I’ve dated a few guys that actually believed some of these women were real and had an inflated ego because of it. As a female, I don’t think there are as MANY fakes, but even the info you provided is a general guide I use anyway. Who wants to date someone that has no standards at all? Usually the guys who don’t select anything under height – or exercise – are just looking for a no holds barred one night stand. Or they are “currently separated” and ignoring the fact you aren’t interested in that. So even if they aren’t a fake, why would you want to deal with them anyway?

  • Liz Barnett

    I literally laughed out loud reading this – and I am a woman and totally agree with you!!! I do think a lot of women have really high standards and aren’t looking for someone “real” – just setting themselves up to attract a liar. I’ve tried to get a refund on my subscription recently and they denied my request so I decided to read blogs about it and make comments just to get back at them. 😛 I got on there and their #1 99% match they give me is my most recent ex boyfriend THAT THEY WOULD KNOW ON RECORD I had dated because 3.5 years ago I told them that we made our fabulous match through their site!!! Duh. Seems like their algorithms should have picked up on that. We both had the same freakin’ screename because even when you cancel, deactivate, delete – guess what? ALL OF YOUR PICTURES ARE THERE staring you in the face of how much of a loser you were 4 years ago when you met the douche bag that just dumped you. lol The reason I love your post is that it describes me!! THAT IS WHO I WAS when I met my most recent ex – I had a dream of finding a perfect guy. I was a smaller jean size, was pretty hot, had a Master’s degree, etc. etc. I thought he was everything he said he was, but he absolutely wasn’t. So I spent that relationship being disappointed during most of it wanting him to measure up and ultimately he didn’t, so he dumped me because I am sure I made him feel inadequate after day of our relationship. Well, I’ve learned from that clearly. I also came out of it realizing that people aren’t perfect including myself who has now packed on an additional 30 pounds and no longer have the good job I had. Oh and I’m mid-30s so I probably won’t be having kids. And I’m OK with that. So now I’m on there being real… and other people aren’t. So it doesn’t work out so well. All of the guys who have talked to me come to me basically tattered and torn by this crazy world – of exactly what you have described – being basically beaten up by the bitches. Then I am here to comfort them and tell them it’s OK that they are balding, overweight, really old/never married, and don’t make much money – or are 27 and still living with their parents. To be honest, I’m kind of OK with it. My ex told me he had a job. He did. It was part time and then he got laid off from it and didn’t look for work for 3 years. I’m excited a dude has a job. Don’t care where. I’m not advertising my lower standards because I don’t even look at them as that. I look at it as realizing that I am not perfect either and that I’m just looking for someone to hang out with. Too many people on there are in a hurry – to get in bed, or to get a ring. I don’t want either.

  • Liz Barnett

    LOL I love that!

  • wtny64

    How’s the BF search since you originally posted?
    In any event,good luck sugar…

  • Liz Barnett

    This is my current stage of the process:

  • Liz Barnett

    PS After I read this and went to my I started noticing some dudes that might be fake! Guys with no education but making the max salary doing jobs that probably don’t make that much. Guys with pictures that have a random kid but then don’t say anything about who the kid is and claim they do not have children. Guys that have one picture with a six pack but then claim they are looking for a committed relationship.

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  • Jay Lee

    I’m Jay Lee looking for total Package Lady seek for I join dating 3 week go send about 400 girls fakes, scammer’s Real world what we live ! I’m Not complaint I believe time matter hit Jack pot I’m Online Open Book across every where this as personnel our Great country Freedom of my Choice. Facebook Jay Lee I post picture, Dear, My Love I’m waiting here from you…
    You commented:
    This day Hart to fine Mr. right. I want it to be no Other you have ever shared in or experienced. I want to build with you be filled with substance, quality, spirituality and options, Can I love Jay ? Love is the Not about finding right person but Creating the right relationship and Love is the Good thing in Life. Love, an emotion so strong that you would give up everything. To just feel it once life time. I am really want you in my Life, fill in empty hole in your Life, you say yes ring on your hand, our Dreams shall come to True ! Do not afraid writ your heart, “I want you.” Jay Lee 2/24/2014 1:27AM
    P.S. It can be all fakes, some way our Land Share my Love, open my eyes I see your sweet face, baby I love you. you are compatible send me messages or

  • All Points Bulletin

    Did OP paint you with his brush?

  • All Points Bulletin

    Well, that or pay for women’s subscriptions so they can reply back.

  • Rita

    Beware ladies JBUDDY70 in Temecula ca now resides in la jolla. Besides the scammers there’s the guy who leaves his profile on match for years. Seriously if you have your profile on here for longer than 6 months you are a loser and or just found the perfect get laid site. After meeting a psychopath who stating he wanted a long term relationship in his profile, then after dating 3 months tells me doesn’t want a ltr! No because he was still active on match and dating other women. Turns out in reality he was using the site to get laid. And I figured out if a man brings up sex during initial contact wether phone or emails he just wants to get laid. A gentleman wouldn’t go there. Jbuddy was also a prone addict which he admitted and I should have run the other way. Live and learn.

  • Sup

    Sup Liz!
    Read your article re: Dating Detox
    Good read.
    Typo alerts: “unresolved” and one other.

  • Liz Barnett


  • Johnny Doe

    Reality sucks about women’s standards, doesn’t it?

    Then again, you probably were messaging non-subscribers.

  • Flbutterfly01

    I am very disappointed with I joined their website over a year ago and although I had parameter settings of what type of people I did not want sent to me, did not listen, even when I spoke to a representative, she stated there was nothing she could do. That was one of many problems I had. About a year later, I received an email from asking me to renew my subscription for $19.99; NOT $19.99 a month. They have you enter your credit card information and once they have it, the total charge is $119+. Not 5 minutes later I called them and told them that this was a gimmick and I did not want anything to do with Match and wanted to cancel my subscription. The representative told me what to do. I then received an email stating your subscription has been deactivated but you can activate it at any time before 10/2015. What? I called to only find out that you can’t cancel and receive a refund, you can only deactivate. What a Gimmick!