Unfortunately, there are con artists that would love to make a fool of you (and steal your money). The dating websites don’t say too much about it, and they do try to weed out fake members. Most of them have responded fairly quickly when I’ve reported a fake. Regardless, it is a very common problem that you are likely to encounter. Women simply join faster than than staff can monitor.
Sometimes the fake profile/picture even makes it to the website front page; the “featured profiles” (I spotted and reported this quite recently).
I’ve communicated with other men who’ve experienced the same thing. The con artists are sneaky and usually get a few male admirers before getting kicked off the website.
I’ll give you a couple of simple, free steps for sniffing out the fake picture scam. If you don’t follow my advice, you will regret it.
The Fake Picture Scam
I’ve seen all kinds of fake pictures on Filipina dating websites. Girls will use everything from pictures of their pretty friends to pictures of celebrities (yes, it happens–since most foreigners are not familiar with Filipina celebrities/models). I’ve had girls send pictures and forget to erase the model’s name from the image. I’ve been sent pictures that I later saw on the cover of magazines. There are millions of free images available to anyone with a computer.
Sometimes they do this as part of a money scam (which I’ll discuss in the next article). Sometimes they are simply hoping to get a man’s attention or they are just playing games.
If the picture you see looks a little too professional or too good to be true, be very cautious. Here’s a few very simple things you can do to try to verify a picture’s authenticity:
1. Swap several pictures. She should be able to show you pictures of her with family, friends, etc. Filipinos love pictures. Even if she is poor and has no camera, chances are that she has friends with digital cameras and cellphone cameras. If she only has one to show you, be suspicious. Think about it–how could she have one super-glamour picture and yet be too poor to have anything else?
2. WEBCAM. This is the best way to verify that the girl you are talking to is indeed the same as the picture. Internet cafes with webcams are a little bit more expensive, but they are not too hard to find in the Philippines. If she consistently refuses to show herself on webcam, it is a really, really bad sign (especially if she lives in one of the major cities, like Manila, Davao, etc). Whenever this has happened to me it always turned out to be a scam.
3. Be Cautious with New Members. Go ahead and send messages to new members–they are, after all, probably the most eligible bachelorettes. Just keep in mind that brand new members are more likely to be fakes–not enough time has passed for them to be caught and kicked off the website.
Don’t trust anyone too quickly. Proceed with caution.
More on identifying scammers in the next article . . .