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.

  • Expert

    Most women’s profiles on dating sites, including Ashley Madison, Match dot com etc, are fake.

    Just a fact of life. Any woman or girl that is as nice looking as the come-on winks/flirts, hits on the men etc, don’t need to be online looking for a man! If they sit in the post office for five minutes they get hit on!

    Waken Up!

    The other universal truth about these scams – because that is what they all are – is that they send to your email address come-ons with fake women in them.

    It is the oldest con in human history, a woman’s face, boobs, ass etc to get you to buy blip!

    And you fall for it every time. It is no wonder that this quack Dr who owns Match dot come is a millionaire! With suckers like you out there he does not need to do anything!

    There is but one way to find a good looking woman on line and that is buy her time, ie a prostitute.

    Se la vie..

    Oh BTW I have scored more ass just smiling at girls in the grocery store in one month that I have in over 10 years on the net.

    It’s like when Adult freind finder first came on the net, all the guys thought they were going to find loads of pussy that easy. Well they were wrong. That site and many more like it are run by the mob, and they take or bully their sex slaved girls into posting on there. So the only way you could or can get such pussy is to PAY FOR IT.

    As I say above, that’s life, deal with it and move on…. without these lying scam dating websites.

  • Charley

    Good looking guy emails me and says his 3 days are up. I gave him an email address…not my real ome, and he emailed me all about how his wife died amd his son is all he has. His profile said stuff like have flown my own plane across Africa, delivered baby horses in wine cow try, partied with presidents at the Kennedy Center. I googled those phrases amd it turns out there is someone on Cupid with the same profile only he has tthree daughters. So I called the guy on it. He even has contact information with a corporation, and he’s on Linked.

    He was furious with me. Told me all us “rich women” are the same. I got a charge out of that!

    I am going to dig a little deeper into his company. He told me to call the CEO of his company if I didn’t believe him. Why in the world would I do that?

    A guy can have a bogus Linked account just like he can have a bogus Match account.

  • vikram

    I am on this site for 11 days. feels like years. I have e mailed to 50 or so women and winked to 70 or so. I am real I want to hook up with someone. only one bitch responded saying no thank you. I wrote sentimental, complimentary emails fucking whores did not even respond. on top of that I got about 15 winks from the women half of my age. Initially I exchanged emails and soon I noticed the gap between their english and qualifications. One of them had just one shot of her face and said she was a surgeon with us army in Bagdad. she found me and I thought fuck this is it. This is the woman for me. But as I exchanged emails her english and info became poor. Soon I rejected her and then there was a desperate flow of winks from same kind of whores with their emails on the first text message. It appears that there are gangs working out there to do some kind of scam. I am pretty sick and tired by now. I have not done anything except to check my messages et. for last 10 days. I am on my computer day and night. I feel like a junkie. I have paid for 6 months. I want to quit right now but I am not able to. Don’t go this way please. Stay away from these sites. I hope I will be well soon. Soon a new message should come. God please help me

  • barbara

    “Howaboutthat60” on match is.a.psycho! He is a.passive aggressive.coward.that uses and abuses all women. Birmingham, al 35242. Says he is 60 but is.actually 64. Seriously abnormal. Beware!

  • Match Sucker

    It is a shame. I see a lot of what I think are fakes. I was about to sign up for and went to add it to my shopping cart but backed out. The next few days after, I noticed a bunch of emails sent to me or winks. I never got any emails or winks the last year when my profile was idle. So, I joined to read the emails to profiles that were deleted. I think Match sees through your computer that you were interested in signing up and just didn’t. Then to get you to sign up, they send you a bunch of fake emails or winks to peak your interest and purchase a membership.

    I really want to like too. It seems like the best to meet people because at least you have some background on them and know they are most likely single. I have tried well over 100 times the past few years by the normal way of picking up girls and had just terrible results and I’m not a total slouch. It is a shame that is running their business with a lot of deceit and fake stuff.

  • Kathy

    I have been a member of for a week and there is no question there are fake profiles even with guys. The one pic, and little info, and the “ideal match” is usually left blank or little info. Who pays $35/mo and does not fill out their profile completely? Also the daily matches are a joke, do not bother. Again I am guessing many of these people are former members of match or no longer single as daily match emails and or winks almost always never get a response.

    There are also a lot of scammers on here they usually are out of state and they IM anyone and talk to anyone. Block these people or better yet just turn off your IM’s. People that first sign on to the service and just learning about it are most gullible to this as they do not know what to watch for.

    90% of winks go totally ignored. If you are interested in someone, send them an email. I’ve gotten to the point of deleting winks as the couple guys I have winked back, totally disappear. So they are fakes, scammers, or just into playing games.

    So far I am talking to 1 guy who is local I am interested in. The rest are not my type or do not legit.

  • reachmintwaxed is a total joke. I would recommend it if it was free just for entertainment purposes. I am male looking for a female for long term relationship, put up a very sincere profile and I am fit and good looking also. No luck. Not even a reply to an email. Just unreal.

    I am sick of reading profiles of super hot women in their late 20s, early 30s, with great careers, large incomes, have all their ducks in a row, who are looking for a man to make them laugh, they engage regularly in exotic travel all over the globe, regularly frequent fancy restaurants but also love to cuddle and watch a romantic movie. Let’s get real ladies. Why are you on a cheesy dating site with that sexy body of yours and a great intellect. How can you even afford to live that lifestyle in an expensive city like Toronto.

    At the same time these impressive ladies do not want a man who will use the relationship for their own happiness because they are supposed to be happy already. That just blows me away. Their guy must be driven, stable, good career, confident but not arrogant, passionate, compassionate, love kids, be sociable, do volunteer work and make them laugh. Tall order for any real guy. Can this be for real? They sound like 16 year old high school girls in terms of mental capacity. How about the women in their 40s who want kids “someday”. Its too late no honey, what were you doing 20 years ago? Too busy going to exotic locals and partying in fancy clubs?

    They don’t realize that most people in the real world lead pathetic lives and just trying to make ends meet from day to day and yes some want to still get laid and possible meeting someone to make them happier. Is that a crime? That’s the real world ladies. You really think that these super guys you are looking for will hang out on a cheesy dating site. Why are you on this site girls, you seem so perfect in every way. You have just scared off 99% of the dudes looking for a date. I am sure some of them are really good guys, who may not have the money to take you to a beach in southern France and some of them would even hate your family. Its the real world.

    I suppose a shyster lawyer, dentist, accountant type can really clean up on these sites. These women just want to be lied to. They are begging for it. They can flash their money, cars, career, travels, muscles, etc. I bet all these women eat it right up and could be really fooled by all that but you would loose out ladies. There would be nothing lasting for you and you all claim that a lasting relationship is what you are looking for. If you want to be superficial you will get superficiality and be constantly on a dating site.

    Also is infested with fake profiles, scammers for Russia abound and will send you sexy picks of young women. Winks will come constantly from non exist people with no profiles or pics even. Profiles will mysteriously disappear within a day. The Russians ask for you persona email address, Not sure what they are after but its most likely mafia guys writing all the emails and sending the pics of girls.

    So the at least is a total mess. You get your top 3 matches every day and they all look like they just walked off a porn set, they are doing their masters degrees, have high income careers and love to travel to exotic locations on the side but also love to cook for their chosen love. Get real. This is not the world I see around me. Does anyone else know women like these in your town?

    Below your top 3 matches you get the ordinary type women, also with super high standards no regular honest guy could ever meet. For example the divorced woman in her mid 40s with 3 kids living at home, who claims to be smart enough and experienced enough not to settle for second best or good enough. You are exactly who all the guys are looking for and expect to be rejected by. Brat Pitt will come calling soon, I hear he likes lots of kids anyway. Ger real lady.

    Then below you get the trailer trash, you can meet at any WalMart. I think they are real. I think I will visit a WalMart for that.

    So any advice from anyone on a better dating site with real profiles and real women who live in this world and are not from outer space???

  • http://none Charles

    That is similar to me. I live 75 miles from ANY small town. 220 miles to an actual city, and yes this is continental USA. I’ll drive 250 miles to meet someone, that’s just how it is here.

    I’ve met EVERYONE in the 100 mile radius that I wanted to, there is no one else, unless someone new pops in. So range is not really an issue in many circumstances. 500 miles is my radius of choice. I mean, I drive 75-220 miles to get groceries – yeah, like I’m going meet someone.

    I interacted with a scammer once, (not from match) and it was pretty funny, she confessed eventually. We are still friends after 2 years, she was looking for money and barked up the wrong tree. Over the years I helped her with her “issues” by talking and improving her life and now she don’t scam people for money, she has a real job. She was from Alexandria, Egypt.

    But distance, it doesn’t matter to some folks. Who cares if you hook up and live 500 miles apart. You just got 2 houses, each others is a vacation for the other. No biggie.

  • Hurr

    Wow no wonder why you guys are all single. You think everyone profile on a dating site is fake? lol, and PoF sucks.

  • Zach

    I’ve been off & on for yrs. I’ve met a few decent women over the yrs, who were actual live human beings, but for every real email or reply i’ve gotten back, i’ve had just as many fakes as well. I actually had a fake one today & two last week! Very annoying to say the least. Makes me want to quit Match permanently but I guess the limited success i’ve had, keeps me coming back for more abuse. LOL Plus, I know they can only do so much.

    Here’s some more ways to spot a fake….

    1. If the girl looks incredibly good. I’ve had emails from women that look like models or porn stars (even though i’m an avg looking dude) but they were obviously fake.

    2. Only having 1 pic & generic description.

    3. Never mention anything locally.

    4. They want you to email them back at a different address.

    5. Their profile is gone soon after they email you.

    6. Broken english

    7. Your middle aged & they are in their 20’s. Very rarely do women that young want an older guy.

    8. Getting winks/emails right after you leave a site.

    9. Want you to send them money.

    10. They live overseas

    So be careful out there. I don’t think online dating is all bad but you have to be careful & use common sense.

  • Zach

    No, we don’t all think dating sites are fake. But we do know for a fact that some profiles are.

  • Sher

    OMG…You just described my story..he’s from UK working in Nigeria as “independent contractor installing IT support center of a new hotel”. He sent me his itinerary and never showed up.

  • Barb

    You are absolutely right. Goodlooking pics and then the profiles are gone.

  • wtny64

    Hiya-I ordinarily wouldn’t comment on such an old thread, but your remarks about what these sweethearts are looking for reminded me of a Foto Funny in the National Lampoon way back in the day.
    (Picture a man and woman in bed. As the woman talks the guy’s face gets more and more disgusted-looking)
    Her: I want a guy who’s stong, yet vulnerable enough to cry…he needs to have money, but shouldn’t flaunt it…he should love his Mom, but not be a momma’s boy…
    Him: Hell, if you find a guy like that, I’LL f*&k him!

  • Carsonvalleydude

    I’ve had a profile on match for years. Mostly don’t take it seriously but…. Here’s what always happens: A profile or two catch my eye and I look at them many times over a few days. I get views in return but nothing else. As soon as I lose interest I start getting views and winks from other profiles as well as more views from the ones I was looking at. Interestingly, many of the views come from profiles that are exactly what I typically look at, but have never seen before. I’m always skeptical since the pattern is usually familiar but then an email will pop up. Of course I don’t know who it’s from but curiosity has, a few times, gotten the better of me so I cough up some money to find out. So far, either the profile disappears, no longer gets logged onto or the email was from an obvious scammer. Since I paid I take the opportunity to try and contact many of those profiles that viewed me and they almost always disappear right away.

    The tips I see here are right on. One thing I would ad is watch for a profiles zip code to change.
    Even though it seems easy and convenient to date online, your odds are still better trying in real life.

  • mad as heck

    I just did and it was not a pleasant experience. Chatted and so forth with an average looking guy, cute but not overly so. Claimed to be in the military. Emailed some pics. Wrote a couple poems. Seemed like a pretty nice guy. Down the road he told me that he was being deported to a part of Africa. We did text but after he “got to Africa” he told me that I would need permission in order to talk with him since he was on special assignment. I emailed the address that was given me asking permission to be able to communicate with this supposed army man. Got a response that they needed $250 in order to process request. I was not happy at all. Of course I didn’t send the money and sent a seething email to “Martin”. Really sucked. I am recently out of a long term relationship and this is my first experience with it. I learned very quickly how careful one has to be.

  • Elizabeth

    I know this is an old post but I just cancelled match because of issues such as those described here. I’d say one in every 15 is fake. The ONE photo or ONE photo and three of his dog or car or motorcycle — dead give away. A guy who writes like a chik flik — dead give away. A guy who is into everything from one extreme to another — dead give away.

    I came across THREE profiles with the same photo. Different profile name. In one he was widowed, one he was divorced, one never married. Wording was slightly different.
    And, how many widowed fathers of two, conveniently in my age range in my neighborhood, can there really be? NO WHERE in their profile do any of them
    discuss their deceased spouse. Not natural. They are going for the “AWWWW factor” the woman who wants to nurture a broken man.

    Then there was the one where your “robot” mixed up MYTOWN, Pa., and MYTOWN, Calif., listing all the “hot spots” around the West Coast MYTOWN instead of the one on the East Coast.

    Each time I outed one of these profiles through email, the “good looking single guy” with just one photo or one photo of him and two of his dog, suddenly didn’t exist anymore.

    The closer I got to the end of my contract, the more “perfect” guys were “viewing” my account. Cut me a break.

  • JPee00

    Yep, great article. I’m on match and it is absolutely horrible. I’m not a bad looking guy AT ALL. I’ve sent more emails to people than I even want to admit and in 4 months, only a handful have responded of which 99% were scams.
    I always see new profiles that are added and then mysteriously, they are deleted just days later. I’ve caught a couple scammers asking me to send them an email at their personal address (red flag #1). I did this a couple times without sharing any details about myself (just to see) and I rec’d this ridiculous long winded email of how great i am because i seem so open and they definitely want to get to know me, blah blah blah. And they live in Russia (red flag #2). Seriously?? Next thing you know, their profile was deleted. Just to see what response I got back, I questioned that person why they deleted their profile and mysteriously, it was back. I got a response saying they only want to be with one person and they don’t want to deal with everyone else on match, only me. Right. LOL! What a joke.
    Can’t wait to cancel. I’m sure all of a sudden, their will be lots of interest from people close to when my subscription ends to ensure that I continue paying for my subscription. I will not be falling for that and will go back to meeting people the old fashioned way.

  • curious

    most of the profiles specially beutiful pictures are fake 100 %this i beleive and is my theory is plaev there by the co. so you believe everyting is beautiful but thre is only few fat women around you because there is no one else the beutiful women is there fake non existing so you get traped and you think you are not lucky but lucky with all 80 ç% woemen specialy russian could say 100%russian fake a few but you wouldnt feel atracted in this sistem you get a desperate person and tell i got a relationship how real

  • matchhater

    I joined on a free 7 day trial, got billed on day 5 and had to fight match through my credit card to get my refund. I’ll never go back to, I feel the whole site is a big scam. A paid member should be able to tell if a profile is from another paid member that CAN actually respond if you were to email them. While I was fighting match to get my money back I had my profile 100% blank, nothing filled out what so ever and still received emails saying I had up to 24 matches at a time! Matched based on what, blank pages? It’s fun to look around on there from time to time but never give those scam artists your money…my 2 cents.

  • Lml

    Why can’t something be done about match? They are the big scammer!

    I’m so sick of starting conversations with guys only to find they disappear a few days later.

  • Angela

    Wow…Bitter much? I think your general bad attitude might be coloring your experience. You seem to have contempt for women; no wonder you can’t get a date!

  • Lilac_Calla

    I recently decided to try I cancelled my account after a little over a week. I didn’t like it. The attention was flattering but I had guys trying to convince me they were my one and only after one or two emails. There were a few I think may have been real but for the most part I got freaked out by it. I only posted one picture because I don’t have many without my kids in them and I didn’t want my kids’ pictures on there. When it comes to what I want in a man I don’t really care about height, income etc. I just want someone I can connect with. Online dating really sucked. I only paid out money for because I was hoping it would help weed out the creeps and scams a bit. I don’t think it did much of that at all.

  • Stupid Sandy

    Oh god…it is so humiliating when it hits you that these people are manipulating you. I was on match for 3 days. I am 58 and not hideous, but not good looking either. I had two men madly in love with me. One claimed to be from Fresno Ca,,,,,his profile was expiring and he wasn’t going to renew it because he was so busy building log homes and bridges in Lagos Nigeria. He built things all over the world. He was a widower with a 17 year old daughter that was encouraging him to date again because she was going to be going to nursing school next year. Coming off from a 36 year marriage from hell, it felt sooo good to be talking to someone who understood who I was and what I needed. He has both of my active email addresses, pictures of me, my separated spouse, my daughter and granddaughter. I got suspicious when he seemed too interested in the property settlement. Why would a successful engineer with international contracts care who got our condo? When I went looking I found the exact posting, same picture on the scam site. I sent him a yahoo message suggesting that he will burn in hell. I have not heard from him since.

    The second guy claimed to be Norwegian. Claimed Norway man didn’t speak good English. My profile showed I was of Norwegian German ancestry. ( the other guys name was Alex muller…and claimed to be German by birth) Norway man claimed his American wife had left him with 9 year old daughter for his best friend. His ” infatuation” was so out of perspective it was scary. I told him he was too young for me…age is just a number I was told. He claimed to have a good job in Idaho working on airplane installation. I must have blown his mind, because in a spirit of helpfulness I found him a more age appropriate woman on craigs list. Thinner, younger, had a son.
    But of course what man would want that instead of a 58 year old woman who looks like she has been ridden hard and put away wet. When he didn’t understand words I used, I was Ms. Helpful and started using an English Norwegian translator. He did not know the words. He also did not know any of the

  • Pook

    maybe it’s because you are a total psycho…

    Just a thought