Recently, I was a guest on FOX 11, Los Angeles, in a special feature about people grabbing photos from the Internet and creating a dating profiles on mobile apps and online dating sites.
While this happens, it’s really in the minority of profiles. Still, if you see a hunky model’s photo on a message to you, here’s how to tell if he or she is real.
After watching the video, scroll down to see a sample email that was sent (in bulk) on an online dating site to many users. If you find one like this, don’t reply. Report it as suspicious to the dating site, because they take dating safety seriously, and so do we!
RELATED: Here’s How to Tell Your Date You’re Not Interested Without Ghosting
Photo Swapping on Dating Profiles
In my interview with Susan Hirasuna, I explained the following:
“Julie Spira literally wrote the book on cyber-dating.”
“She says, the number one complaint is that people show up for the first date and they don’t look like their profile photos.
“In the case of Emanuel, she theorizes he may be socially awkward or just needs an ego boost by matching with women on the dating apps.”
“Having the opportunity to chat with someone to boost your ego, if you’re looking like someone they might want to go out with. It’s a game and it’s really a sad game, because you’re really tugging at digital heart strings,” Spira told me.”
“She said, those with the photo swaps likely have no intention in meeting their dating app matches.”
RELATED: 10 Dating Safety Tips
The Suspicious Email
On a popular online dating site, this email has been floating around.
Note the following red flags:
- There’s it’s not personalized. “Hi there” doesn’t list your screen name or name.
- The writer claims to be in the military, which is a common sign.
- The writer claims he is financially stable, something that will attract a woman.
- He wants to communicate OFF the dating site and offers an email account and asks for yours.
My name is John and I think your profile looks amazing as It feels great to meet someone who has a positive outlook at life and still looking to find the right one. I am a loving, kind and successful man who is still looking to find the right match. I’m a senior personnel working with the United States Military and would be retired in a couple months. I am secure, own my homes and financially stable. I have lived a great life with the exception of having that special someone to make memories with as life is full of beautiful memories. I believe life’s adventures are better when shared with someone special and would really love to get past the introduction part and get to know each other personally. I would prefer to communicate via email as I don’t come on here often. You can leave me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave yours as we seem to be on here at different times. It would be refreshing to get to know each other and see how much we share in common and where it could possibly lead. Would look forward to read from you.
While John may indeed be a real person, he won’t brag about his money, be unavailable whenever you are logged on, and won’t immediately ask to communicate off the site.
If you receive an email like this, you can ignore it or report it, but be careful about falling in love from your computer screen with someone who has never appeared to have read your profile.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles dating services. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and was the recipient of the 2017 Best Dating Coach of the Year Award.
For dating advice, FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.