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How Dating Sites Fool People With Fake Profiles and Bots. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Some guy finds a nice girl on a dating site, chats with her for a bit, then they decide to go out for dinner together and meet in real life.
Low and behold, he shows up, and she looks nothing like she did online. Or, worse, it isn’t a “she” at all, but a serial killer…or a scammer, an undercover cop, or even a collection agency that tricked him into showing up so they could repossess his car (true story).
How Dating Sites Fool People With Fake Profiles and Bots
There is no shortage of crazy stories about lonely lovers being fooled online by a fake dating profile or bot. We all know the risk is out there—people always warn “you can be anyone online,” and yet, somehow, we still fall for it. Why?
Reason 1: Statistics + Romance = A Match Made in Deception
Online dating is growing like crazy. Over one in five relationships, today start online. Around the world, there are over 7,500 dating sites and apps.
It makes sense. We can get anything online—from our groceries to tiny-homes to live crickets on Amazon, even. So, why not love?
With online dating becoming more and more popular, it’s become a lucrative spot for criminals, hackers, and others to create fake accounts. One of every ten online profiles is completely fake or a bot, according to a Business Insider report. And these fake accounts make up for nearly a third of all communication on dating sites. That means for every ten conversations you have, three of them are fake.
So, statistically, if you’re on a site that lets you scroll through profiles quickly like Tinder, you could be exposed to dozens or even hundreds of fakers in just a few hours of browsing.
Since these fake sites are designed to look as good as possible—of course you’re going to be interested in them. After all, what reason would a lonely, single guy have to say no to a young, beautiful, bombshell of a woman who loves sports? Why would a woman looking for a relationship say no to a successful and spontaneous entrepreneur with a gorgeous house and a sports car?
Remember, three out of every ten conversations you have on these sites are probably with a bot. And they’re tailored to be as attractive to you as possible. Even if you catch the first few fakes, there’s so many that you’re bound to fall for one, eventually.
Reason 2: Hackers Know it Works
Sex sells. Marketers and advertisers have known it for years, and now so do scammers and hackers. According to some research done by PerimeterX, 70% of men on dating sites who received a surprising link from a stranger will click on it if the message appears to be from an attractive woman.
70% is crazy high. Most websites and brands would kill for that sort of click rate on their ads and newsletters. And the scammers are only getting better. They are hard at work refining new tactics and learning what does and doesn’t work with every attempt.
Reason 3: Dating app need to make money
Some dating apps lure prospective members with fake (scam) bot profiles in other to keep them subscribed to their app for long. You will receive messages from Bot profiles every now and then. When you reply back to the messages, you don’t get a response.
Some dating apps even go as far as hiring men and women as virtual assistants to reply to messages sent by registered members. The industry deplores all kinds of tactics to increase their membership base and also to keep members subscribed to their app for long.
Reason 4: Singles are Desperate Optimistic
Picture this. You’ve been single for years. Traditional dating is hard. After months of trying and failing to meet people in social gatherings, bars, or through work, you succumb and build a dating profile. After all, site promises that true love is just a few clicks away!
You finish setting everything up and wait patiently, checking your phone a thousand times to see your stats. Has anyone looked at my profile today? Any messages? Any likes? A few days go by with nothing. Not one hint of romance.
Finally, you get a message from someone who has seen your profile and thinks you’re really cute and interesting (good match). And they’re ready to meet.
This is what you’ve been waiting years for, right? It’s the whole reason you downloaded the app and made your online profile. At this point, after years of loneliness, you can’t help but hope for the best. A love-filled heart has no room for suspicion.
Why dating scam is successful?
Fake profiles and bots work because we want them to work. Now, obviously, we don’t want to be scammed—that’s not what I’m saying, here. What I mean is that we want the dating site to work as advertised. We want to find true love. We want those fake profiles to be real. So, we wishfully hope that they are when we come across them.
We want it to be true that the pretty perfect girl is interested in us—so our hearts naturally skip a beat when that message comes. We’re wishful in thinking that a knight in shining armor wants a relationship—that’s why we jump at the chance to meet as soon as they click “like.”
That’s the biggest reason why fake profiles and bots are so successful. It hurts, but it’s true. Those scammers and criminals are preying on our hopes and desires—promising us exactly what we’re looking for.
How do you know a fake profile or scam bot?
When you send a message or receive a message from either a man or woman, the first thing you want to do is analyze their profile and see if you could find any of the following signs:
- The profile has only one photo
- The photo looks like a stock photo
- Their message response doesn’t add up
- They send you a link to visit an external website
- The profile is barely filled out
- They send you a one time message and never reply back
- The profile photo is very attractive. i.e. looks perfect
- They are not open to exchanging photos or doing a video call.
If the profile matches any of the above, there is a 99.9% chance that you are probably dealing with a fake profile or scam bot.
So, the next time you’re looking for love online, remember to use your head when your heart is too vulnerable to trust. Your logic will be a lot better at spotting fake profile and scam bot than your emotions—keep that in mind and you’ll find your perfect love without finding the perfect fake.