The profiles first go through automated screening software, which flags both traits in the profile, such as certain ethnicities, and things that aren't visible in the profile, such as certain IP addresses and even certain passwords that scammers seem to like more than other people.
Then a person on staff looks through the flagged profiles and decides whom to ban, Velasquez says.
Mark Brooks of Online Personals Watch works with many online dating sites – and says that all of them are plagued by fake profiles, scammers and criminals looking for money, not love.
Q: Is there an easy way to spot scammers from ‘normal’ daters? If scammers have made it onto a dating site, its because the profile looks normal. If they want you to get off the dating site asap – and communicate by email, say – that’s a sign. Older women, because its tough to find a hot older gentleman. Bear in mind that its the scammers job to get users off the site asap.
Seeking Arrangement has banned 60,000 profiles in the last 10 months, or about 220 a day.
Here's what they've found are the ingredients in the typical scam profile.
They’ll pan for gold among tens of thousands to find a few pieces of gold. If they’re a different person than on their profile photo, bail! If the person has a Facebook profile with 10 friends, well that’s a dead giveaway as well. For example, we know people don’t use the word ‘wire’ in regular dating communications. Report to the local police and ask to be referred to their cyber crimes unit. The problem is, most of these scams are cross-border and it becomes tough to coordinate jurisdiction.
It used to be easy to just Google phrases – criminals often reused them – but now it is less so. Q: What should I do if I suspect someone IS a scammer? That’s a red flag and is usually picked up by dating sites auto-detection systems. But the scammers know better to use that word on dating sites now. Its exhausting, and most victims just want to put the entire event behind them.