By this point, you know Tinder. Heck, if you’re single, you’re probably on it. It’s one of the largest dating apps around with recent estimates putting the number of people on the app at around 50 million worldwide. Of course, with that many users, there are going to be at least a few people trying to rain on the parade. That’s right: many of the pretty faces you’re swiping past with no bio could be fake Tinder profiles.
People use fake profiles for all sorts of reason—to scrape personal data of accounts linked to Facebook, to do user research, to catfish somebody into dates—but there are a few telltale signs that give away fake profiles, no matter the motive. And while each of these signs taken in isolation may not necessarily mean that the profile is fake, they each should set off red flags. Taken together, you should probably swipe left and report the profile.
The profile doesn’t include a bio.
A bio is a way for you to advertise your personality to other singles. If you don’t include one, it’s not winning you any points. This begs the question, why wouldn’t you include one? Well, one reason is you’re not a real person. Some online dating scammers use bot scripts to create multiple profiles, swipe right on every profile, and trick matches into divulging financial information or profitable personal data. A poorly written bio is often even more of a dead giveaway than the lack of one altogether, so amateur scammers will code their bots to leave the bio blank altogether and go for the quantity over quality approach. Swipe left.
The profile only has low res, few, or no photos.
On Tinder, the first thing you notice about somebody is their photos, so you can bet most people who are trying to meet have at least a handful. Tinder requires users to have at least one photo, so when someone has few photos, low resolution images, or no photos of them whatsoever, there’s a good chance the profile is fake.
Their photos have URLs in them.
Tinder has improved their game on this one, but a few years back this was a big problem. Spam profiles sometimes watermark their photos with URLs for shady websites, to advertise to people swiping through their feed. If there’s any sort of advertisement in someone’s profile photo, you can be pretty certain it’s a fake profile. Report and keep swiping.
They initiate the conversation, but their responses don’t exactly apply.
So many of the fake profiles out there are poorly scripted bots that are designed to redirect you to shady websites. Because most of these bots are cobbled together, often their conversation lines are canned and clunky. Usually, a bot will reach out with a flirty opener, you’ll respond, then they’ll reply with something completely unrelated to what you just wrote, usually directing you to some sort of service outside of the dating app. A good rule of thumb is if it looks like your responses have no bearing on the conversation, they probably don’t. Report them for feeling like spam and move on.
They want to move to some other messaging service.
Tinder has employees and programs that frequently monitor the app for fake profiles and suspicious behavior. It only takes a few reports for an account to get banned, so often fake profiles will try to direct the conversation to some off-app messaging service. They’ll often say something like “I don’t like talking on here” or “Tinder is weird.” The real reason is their account might get banned at any moment, and they have a vested interest in keeping the conversation going, usually to get you to divulge financial information. This should be a big red flag.
They respond with superhuman speed.
You thought 60 word per minute was fast? Think again. If you’re chatting with someone on Tinder and they’re able to respond with a whole paragraph in the time it took you to spell chocolate, there’s a good a chance they’re a bot. Bots can type much faster than humanly possible (quite literally) and many of them are programmed to respond instantly. If you’re not sure how someone could type that fast, they probably can’t. Report them and unmatch.
There are many ways to tell which Tinder profiles are fake, which is great, because there are a lot of them out there. Remember not every profile that hits one of these marks is fake and some that skirt all of these lines are. The best way to look at it is to trust the feeling. If it feels off, then it probably is. Happy swiping!