The Anatomy of a Fake Dating Profile – Part 1

9. July 2010

So you’re looking for lady love online. You’ve moved past the rookie bar scene and buying Jäger shots for an attractive woman, only to find yourself broke and holding her hair back while it all comes back up.

Despite the stigma, looking for love or at the very least a hook-up online isn’t just for introverts, perverts and chat room geeks. While it’s a fairly new phenomenon, the Internet dating industry is a booming business and hundreds of thousands of people find love online. Whether you’re searching for a cyber hook-up using a dating service, a social-networking site like Facebook, or you’re a cyber geek looking for a love match on World of Warcraft, lady love is just a mouse click away. While online dating can be a fantastic way to find love, like real-life dating, you always need to use protection.

Before you fork over the cash for an online dating account or scour Facebook for a hot love interest, arm yourself with information so you’re not mixed up like a cheap cocktail. With the right tools, a fake profile can be as easy to spot as Pamela Anderson’s implants.

While not everyone with a dating profile is potentially a scammer, it’s always good to approach anyone online with caution and educate yourself on some of the most popular red flags.

Just for fun, we put together some stereotypical fake profiles and tips to help you decipher if she’s the real deal.


The “Supermodel” Profile

For most guys, approaching a stunning woman in real-life takes some serious cajones. The difference in online dating?  Approaching a hot girl online is easy. The thought of rejection isn’t as brutal when you’re shielded by a monitor.  When it comes to the allure of the “supermodel” profile, think before you “wink”. Emailing her may result in something far worse than rejection: nonstop spam.

General Characteristics:

  • Occupation listed as “model”
  • Has little or no text in her profile
  • Only one photo which you swear you saw in a back issue of Maxim
  • You’re asking yourself why a woman of this caliber is looking for love online?

Who she probably is:


  • A 20 year-old computer science major running a scam out of his dorm room

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You chat online and she seems really into you. The next day you end up with 100 e-mails promoting penile implants.


The “Sexy Kitten” Profile

It’s no secret that sex sells and fraudulent online scammers know it best. The “Sexy Kitten” profile can be among the worst to encounter…this girl has claws. If you’re looking to scratch an itch, think twice about clicking on the link to her “webcam.” Just like your mother always said, promiscuity can leave you with something you can’t get rid of. In this case, not even with antibiotics.

General Characteristics:

  • Scantily clad photos and links to her webcam
  • She looks like an actor in the “independent” film, Double Trouble
  • Profile reads a sexy, flirty girl “just looking for a good time”
  • Communication is vague with sexual innuendos


Who she probably is:

  • Sweaty, obese guy in his 40’s with a close resemblance to Newman from Seinfeld

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You end up with a Trojan and not the protective kind.


The “Debbie Downer” Profile

You peruse over a profile you finally like. She seems cute, you like her “about me” section, so what the hell? Might as well e-mail her, right? Be vigilant of the sympathy angle most prevalent in the “Debbie Downer” profiles. Anyone that’s asking you to wire money because they had a tragic accident most likely wouldn’t have the funds or the time to subscribe to an online dating community.

General Characteristics:

  • Recently experienced a tragic bus crash in Istanbul, killing her entire family and siblings
  • Asks if you could wire her one hundred dollars to help her get on her feet
  • Communicates in broken English with really poor spelling
  • Looks like the girl next door

Who she probably is:

  • 21 year-old Nigerian man working out of a hut

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You wire her one hundred bucks and she steals your identity, leaving you feeling like a chump.


The “Red Herring” Profile

Someone once said that men are more logical and women are more emotional.  Whoever made the statement never encountered the “Red Herring” profile online.  In logic, a red herring is a fallacy committed when a person introduces unrelated material to the issue at hand, so that the other’s attention is preoccupied when it comes to the points made. Be cautious with this fraudulent-type profile and allow your own logic kick in.

General Characteristics:

  • Tap dances around questions you email with non-specific statements
  • Denies her phone number when you ask
  • Makes statements like, “I haven’t had any luck on this site until I came across your profile”
  • Sense of urgency for a reply

Who she probably is:

  • Your ex-girlfriend

Worst Case Scenario:

  • She can now stalk you around town and on the web


The “Long Distance Love” Profile

Every wonder why some girls that wink at you on a dating site live three thousand miles away? Why don’t they have any local friends in their profile? More often than not, the “dream girl” in this profile is looking to start a “relationship” in the effort to set up a scam. The distance allows her to continue to without being confronted to meet in-person. Not all long distance profiles are questionable, but any discussion of money or personal information, as with any online dating, should be considered a red flag.

General Characteristics:

  • She’s super-attractive and looking for “a relationship”
  • You live in New Jersey and she lives in Alaska
  • She often probes you for personal information
  • Doesn’t ask any questions about you or your interests

Who she probably is:

  • Young Iranian guy that looks like Samir from Office Space

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You get your hopes up, self-disclose too much information and find out you have a maxed-out American Express card you never knew you had.


The “Gold Digger” Profile

Kanye said it best. “She’ll take your money, well you’re in need. She’s a triflin’ friend indeed.” The “Gold Digger” profile is one to watch for since this can be considered a romance scam of epic proportions. The only funds you should be forking over are the membership fees for the dating site- no matter how hot she it. Before you use up all of your Sky Miles to fly her out to visit, use your instincts. She’s looking for the “green” kind of love.

General Characteristics:

  • Hooks you with her looks
  • Says she’s 30 but looks 19 in her profile
  • She’s self-employed and accustomed to “the finer things in life”
  • Loves Louis Vuitton and asks you put up one thousand dollars for a plane ticket to come see you

Who she probably is:

  • Young, handsome Caucasian man in his late 20’s setting up a scheme while at work

Worst Case Scenario:

  • Book her a flight from the link she sends you. You show up at the airport with a surprise Louis Vuitton bag only to be stood up. You check your account to see if you have enough cash for parking and it’s cleaned out, leaving you feeling taken advantage of- and not in a good way.


The “Loaner” Profile

When an online profile has no friends in their list, no posts on their wall and lacks any photos with friends, one has to wonder if it’s real.  Sure, she appears good looking in her one photo, but if she’s really looking for love, where’s the info? If you’re looking for a lady with substance, be sure she has a somewhat complete profile with interests, friends, posts, can carry on a thoughtful conversation and isn’t just a pretty face.

General Characteristics:

  • Correspondence is overtly vague
  • Asks you the same questions repeatedly
  • Expresses no interest in your life, occupation or friends
  • Has no posts on her wall, no friends in her list and not even one “goofy” picture with friends

Who she probably is:

  • Acne-clad 16-year old running a scam out of his parent’s basement

Worst Case Scenario:

  • Ping her once and realize she’s a dud.


The “False Advertising” Profile

Nobody likes false advertising. The “what you see is what you get” motto doesn’t always apply to online dating. She can be whoever she wants- online.  Most everyone filtering through online prospects has eventually come across the “false advertising” profile.  With this type of fraudster, it’s important to look for the signals when things don’t match up. She may look like the girl next door in her photo, but always read between the lines. Use your detective skills to be sure you’re not getting played.

General Characteristics:

  • She posts her high school yearbook photo as her profile image
  • Her image is a tiny thumbnail and her profile says “curvy”
  • She won’t give out her phone number or meet you after 5PM
  • Profile says she’s “single” but she ends chats abruptly without saying goodbye

Who she probably is:

  • 35 year-old and unhappily married

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You wind up having an unwanted extramarital affair with a woman whose husband’s name is Butch.


The “Take Her Home to Mom” Profile

You’ll hear it time and time again: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. While a seasoned online dater may be privy to this notion, newbies may succumb to the temptation of the “take her home to mom” profile. This profile is the essence of the perfect woman. Be sure to look for inconsistencies in your conversations and avoid clicking on any links that she sends.  Get to know her before you consider taking her home to meet mom.

General Characteristics:

  • She’s beautiful, sexy and intelligent
  • Her profile is seamlessly perfect
  • Says she’s from LA but uses terms like “me mum,” indicative that she may be foreign
  • Has atrocious spelling in her e-mails and chats

Who she probably is:

  • Creepy spammer in Iowa

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You tell mom you’ve met the perfect woman. A week later, you’re asking mom for rent money because you your bank account is mysteriously empty.

Bonus Tip

The “Venue”

Just as in real-life dating, you are the company you keep.  If you’re not searching on a legit website, it can be like walking into a seedy bar without a wing man. Bogus dating sites are more apt to take your money or your identity rather than connect you with a love interest. Approach new websites with caution and watch out for sites that contact you via spam messages, regardless of which social networking site is generating it.

Online dating can be entertaining, exciting and even lead to locking lips with your lady love. While not everyone that has a dating profile is a spammer, it’s always a smart idea to understand the warning signals.

Now that you have an idea of the anatomy of a fictitious dating profile, you’re on your way to being a seasoned serial online dater. Happy clicking!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: