Dating scams are at an all time high thanks to the never-ending amount of social media platforms and dating apps. Anywhere someone can upload a photo without requiring verification is a breeding ground for romance scams.
Many of you know the basics: the bad grammar, the military background, etc. But there are other signs that many people overlook.
CONNECT THE DOTS
See those three dots in the upper right corner of the profile? Those indicate that there are additional photos uploaded to the dating profile. But also note the one long line across the top of the page. That one long line means there's only one photo uploaded to the profile. That line is the only indicator the profile has multiple pictures. The dots were done away with in one of the past upgrades of the apps. If you see those dots, it's a fake profile.
KEEP THINGS MOVING
First, let's start with the obvious: this guy is not 47 years old. He's late 30's at the oldest. The real indicator his profile is fake is the bio. Hardly on here text me.
Scammers want to move their targets off the apps and sites as quickly as possible because they know messaging is being monitored. To their credit, apps keep an eye on the exchanges between users to help prevent dating scams. The apps are programmed to send up a red flag if certain language is used. The other upside of moving the conversation to Gmail or Yahoo is that they can delete their profile at any time, making it more difficult to track them.
Scammers like to present themselves as sympathetic. Many pose as single parents or widows/widowers in the hopes people will lower their defenses. Side Note: This guy's profile also had the three dots but only one photo. He also messaged me saying he was a veteran, a common occupation of scammers.
You can call this paranoid if you like, but not knowing popular cultural references is a glaring red flags someone is scamming you. No 50 yr. old man hasn't heard of the movie Scream. It was a blockbuster that spawned 3 sequels over ten years. I could buy that someone hadn't seen it, but there's no way someone is oblivious of such a pop culture juggernaut. The other suspicious aspect of the profile is the the man used a full name for his profile. With privacy issues and identify theft so rampant, most of us know not to use your real first name for any public profile. The reason scammers do this is because they've stolen the identity - pictures, backstory and all - of strangers. Should you Google their name, their story will check out. The scammer is pre-emptively trying to win your trust before you even say hello.
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