Cautions Online Daters to Think with Their Head, Not Just Their Heart

Share Article Spotlights a Growing Trend in Online Dating Fraud

People searching for Mr. or Ms. Right should beware, because many of the profiles online and on dating sites fake profiles are put up by scammers in order to get to know people they then bilk into giving them money.

It takes a long time and courage to work up the nerve to make initial contact with someone who has posted their profile on an online dating service. Many online daters are thrilled when their prospect replies, in many cases saying that they were flattered to receive an email expressing interest and then going on to talk about their interests that they have in common with the initiating party.

Imagine the heartbreak when the person looking for love discovers their “dream” person doesn't exist.

It is common for people on dating websites to tell little white lies, whether it be about their weight, age, income or even their relationship status, but some take it to another level, creating fake profiles in order to prey on and defraud online daters. These scammers aren’t easy to spot, they take their time to developing a relationship and getting their victims to trust them. As a result they are able to dupe a lot of people who normally are too savvy fall for scams.

Psychologists blame the "halo effect." The phenomenon that occurs when a person notices something attractive about a person, and then starts imagining and assuming other positive attributes. It's the same reason physically attractive people often paid more than average-looking people, and it happens frequently in the online dating world. People who see a good-looking person, or read an interesting profile, soon start false assumptions about that person, giving them the benefit of the doubt and letting down their guard down, even ignoring red flags. This “halo effect” makes it easy for scammers to fleece online daters looking for Mr. or Ms. Right out of money or into disclosing personal information.

The FBI reports getting thousands of complaints each year from people who have been swindled by people they have met on online dating sites. offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to these scams:

  •     Pay attention to language. Be cautious of strange-sounding English or flowery phrasing that isn't quite right.
  •     Research. Research. Research. Search for the person on social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. If a name or phone number can be obtained, use to look them up and verify their information. If something doesn’t add up, walk away.
  •     Use paid online dating sites. Paid sites have more information about their members in the form of credit card information so if something happens tracking down the person may be possible.
  •     Protect your personal information. Don’t be too quick to disclose information like phone numbers or addresses, do some research to verify the person is who they say they are before sharing your info.
  •     Never give money to a stranger.


Reverse Phone Directory provides access to reverse phone lookup online. In addition to phone number information, has search portals for public records services and provides access to the most current information. is dedicated to using the most technologically advanced searches and believes that the public is entitled to information.

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