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  • How old am I:
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Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. One problem, however. Experts weigh in. Shah said societal pressures may help explain why people lie about who they are or bend the truth about their appearance. Shah said some people catfish in order to get past the tight criteria established on these dating apps.


in. By Jessica Huhn for DateAha! Scammers, fakers, abusers and other individuals who threaten your safety and dignity run rampant on dating sites year-round — no hibernation here. So, how can you steer clear of these predators while searching for a match online? Vet your matches. Some criminals love dating sites because, by not punishing or flagging their profiles, the sites essentially give these bad actors a free pass to do their worst.

Block anyone who sends you extremely inappropriate messages.

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If you want a record of the behavior so you can report it, make sure to take a screenshot before you block the bad actor. Learn how to spot bots — dating profiles run by computer programs. Bots are computerized scam s deed to trick you into giving up something usually money, goods, or personal information. Luckily, bots are easier to spot than fake s with a human sitting directly on the other end. Read my article to learn the ways bots give themselves away — and how to trick these pesky programs into outing themselves.

Did your match say something in their profile, then contradict it in conversation? Does their profile have conflicting information in different places?

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Or do they struggle to answer simple questions about their background and interests? Watch out for people who have the exact same hobbies, interests, and priorities as yours — the profile is probably fake.

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Yes, scammers, fraudsters and abusers pay attention to your likes and dislikes, and then craft enticing profiles targeted at you, in the hopes of reeling you in and victimizing you. You may get super excited when you find a profile like this because it seems like a perfect match, but use your instincts and stay on guard. They might be a catfisher waiting to catch you hook, line, and sinker.

Ask questions to see if they really have the interests they claim to have. Look out for messages that seem like they could be sent to anyone. Many lazy scammers send the same or similar messages to multiple profiles, hoping at least one person will fall for their schemes.

To catch a catfish: why do people create fake online dating profiles?

Watch out for identical or near-identical profiles. Did you see multiple profiles with similar bios or photos…or even the same name?

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Research known dating scams. Then fire up Google and do some research. Their behavior might match up with a dating scam that others have already unearthed.

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Keep in mind: many dating sites ignore fake profiles — and they often craft fake profiles of their own. And to keep people on the site and encourage them to shell out money for premium upgrades, dating sites create fake profiles of their own. Save this info for people you trust. This means no posting your address or exact location on your profile…otherwise, stalkers will know where to find you.

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Tracking the locations where photos were taking is an easy way for stalkers to find and prey on vulnerable people. How can your dating profile photos give away this sensitive info?

To catch a catfish: an online dating predator exposed

Online conversations are way too early for people to ask about your finances, relationships, or work location. They probably lead to spam sites, porn sites, or sites that trigger viruses or malware. The only links you should trust are links to known social media sites. They could have a history of crime, or they could be a scammer. Pass these people by and look for someone more honest.

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And any time spent with a bad actor is wasted time! Also, once you match with someone, take plenty of time to get to know them online before you meet them face-to-face. Continue to watch their conversations for anything that seems suspicious like an inconsistent story. If your match immediately asks for an in-person date, watch out!

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This person might be a catfisher — someone who is using a totally fake name, photos, and story. Instead, pick public places, like a park or restaurant, for your first few dates.

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No one should have to deal with harassment, but so many toxic users still choose to abuse or harass others online because they believe that they will face no consequences. Types of Harassment.

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Unfortunately, dating sites often ignore reports of harassment, and legal authorities also often do not or cannot do enough to seek justice for the reporters. This perpetuates a vicious cycle — abusers and harassers think their behavior is perfectly acceptable, because they are never held responsible for their actions, and so the amount of online abuse and harassment increases.

And most importantly, we must hold toxic individuals able. These comments will force individuals to act more responsibly and respectfully, and keep toxic users from preying on others. Bad actors will need to change their ways, or else they will receive negative feedback on their profile, struggle to secure a match, and possibly be forced to close down their ! Now, users will easily be able to identify who is really serious about a relationship and who is fraudulent, threatening, abusive, or otherwise toxic.

Use DateAha! Bringing transparency and ability to online dating by enabling comments directly on top of any profile for other daters to see and reply to — Me2. Get started. Open in app. in Get started.

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Get started Open in app. More from DateAha! More From Medium. Northern Utah CCF. MaryBeth Gronek in P. I Love You. Angus Porter. Karen Finn. GhostPepper, The Dreamer. Barrett in P. That College Chat Group. Gautam Chaturvedi. Relationships and Peoples.

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Comfortable with an experience targeting bigger fish will be tricky.