Beware of photo swaps on dating apps

- Who can blame you, if you pick the most flattering photos to introduce yourself on a dating app. Or, to even do one better…sweeten the photos to look a little slimmer or younger. But some profiles skip the photo-shopping and go straight to the photo swapping.

“I want to show you something.” I said the first time I interviewed author Dave Asprey.

He threw his head back in laughter as I showed him screen-shots of someone’s Bumble dating profile.  The man’s name is Emanuel, but the photos were all Dave.
               
Asprey is a New York Times best-selling author and was in Los Angeles recently on a book tour for his new book, 'Head Strong.'
               
As I scrolled through the screen shots, Dave did his best to identify them.

"That's me at a conference in Greece," he said. "Who’s that," I asked. "Someone from that same conference the
Bumbler said he was 51, and a consultant for the World Health Organization."

In my text conversation with him, he told me he was Greek and an ophthalmologist. 
               
Dave’s reaction to the stolen photos. "There are a lot of people who take random photos and make fake profiles. What gets me is he says he’s me at  51."  

Dave is only 44-years-old and plans to live to 180.
               
Julie Spira literally wrote the book on cyber-dating.
               
She says, the number one complaint is that people show up for the first date and they don’t look like their profile photos.  

In the case of Emanuel, she theorizes he may be socially awkward or just needs an ego boost by matching with women on the dating apps.

“Having the opportunity to chat with someone to boost your ego, if you're looking like someone they might want to go out with. It's a game and it's really a sad game, because you're really tugging at digital heart strings,” Spria told me.

She said, those with the photo swaps likely have no intention in meeting their dating app matches.

What a disappointment…as I did try.  Dave told me I was awesome, when I confessed, I tried to “catfish” Emanuel. 

"I said we should meet here,"  I confessed to him. "That would have been the funniest thing, ever."

If you suspect you’ve stumbled upon a fake dating profile, try a reverse image search.
      
Take a screen shot of the suspect photo and then upload to CTRLQ.ORG.
    
I tried it with a shot of a comely, bearded man with salt and pepper hair.  Bingo! He is a model.  There are lots of photos of him on line. 

Another red flag to watch out for is when there is only one photo on a profile or if there is too little information in the descriptor. That was exactly the situation for another profile that had a young Steve McQueen as his Tinder profile.

But a more common complaint is that people put outdated photos on their profiles.

Albert Ly thought he had a pretty good connection with a woman he met on Tinder. They texted and talked on the phone. When it was time for them to meet, he offered to pick her up for their first date.

But the woman he thought he was gong to meet wasn’t the one who walked out of her home. "She looked like a completely different person."

Now, in addition to the texting and talking on the phone, Albert asks to exchange social media accounts. "That would be a way to kinda filter out...she's a fraud, she's a scam, she's a catfish whatever it is."

Good advice. These days everybody has a digital footprint—Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram even Linkedin could be used to confirm that the person you’ve met online is the person you’ll meet in reality.

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