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4 Red Flags That Your Tinder Match Might Be Fake

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Many stay far away from online dating out of fear—how can we trust that the person on the other side is actually legit?

A person using a phone.

Nightmare scenario: you match with the stranger of your dreams on Tinder, only to find that they’ve lured you in with fake photos, fake interests, and a fake name. How could you have ever known?

Here are a few warning signs to look out for when dating online with any app. We recommend cutting the cord if your match meets more than a couple of the Tinder red flags on this list.

1. They’ve Only Got One Public Photo or an Empty Bio

A person using a phone.

We’ve all got that one headshot from way back when that we use for everything, but if the account has literally only one photo and nothing else, you could be dealing with a fake Tinder match.

Obviously, this might not always be the case, but it is one relatively reliable rule to fall back upon. Photo verification services and Tinder reverse image search apps may help you get to the bottom of the matter if you’ve got a good feeling about somebody despite this warning sign. When in doubt, though, go with your gut. On to the next.

2. Their “Access” to the Platform is Inconsistent

A person waiting for a Tinder date.

“Hey! I actually don’t use Tinder to chat—why don’t we take this conversation somewhere more private?”

Look, we’re all eager to meet somebody IRL if we’ve taken a shine to them after a few exchanges. If a match is overly pushy about using another app to talk or is desperate to meet you somewhere odd or very specific, you might be dealing with somebody less than authentic.

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Most normal people accept Tinder as a virtual waiting room, a place to get to know potential dates before taking the plunge. Steer clear of anybody pressuring you into an unusual situation needlessly.

3. Their Replies are Instantaneous or Overly Generic

A person using a phone.

If you feel like you’re talking to a chatbot, you might actually be talking to a chatbot. We’re not encouraging you to say anything weird to test the waters, but if they seem incapable of answering anything beyond simple, yes-or-no questions, you might want to think twice.

Instant responses may also be suspect; even the fastest tapper needs some time to type a message out manually. If they’re flying back at you faster than you can respond yourself, you might be dealing with something automated.

A phone and some tree foliage.

Come on. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The Tinder phony may, in some cases, even pose as a figure of authority trying to “verify” your account. Don’t fall for it. Instead, try to confirm their identity independently. If you can’t, it might be better to just find somebody else.

If your Tinder match is acting more like an email spambot from 2001 than a real human being, you might want to reconsider investigating anything that they send you further or giving them any of your personal information. Trust us on this one.

How to Tell If a Tinder Profile Is Fake

Could your Tinder match be a fake profile? The truth is out there, but it might not always be obvious.

Heed our warning: your safety is more important than hooking up with somebody who might not be good for you, or even real to begin with. Constant vigilance and a healthy sense of curiosity should both be more than enough to see you through.

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