Fake profiles and chat bots were the most frustrating part of using Tinder when I compared it to its competitors. They’re everywhere, trying to sell you something or steal your personal information, trick you into downloading malware, or even beg you to send money. If you just want to swipe in peace, here’s what you should look out for.
Their Profile Is Missing a Bio, Occupation, or Other Basic Information
Tinder doesn’t give users a ton of space to write about themselves, but it’s enough to describe your personality and maybe make a joke. If the person you matched with doesn’t have anything at all written in their bio section, that’s a red flag. The same goes for their occupation and school listing. If all you see in their profile is Tinder photos, proceed with caution. That said, Tinder also lets you link your Instagram account to share photos, and that’s a feature many people use. While a photo-only account shouldn’t be the main thing you judge a profile on, a profile without a linked Instagram can be a red flag as well.
Also look out for weird links in their bio. Some profiles will have a link with a shortened URL and a teasing line like “If you want to learn more about me” or “check out my website.” Leave those links alone. They probably lead to some weird, and often harmful, places.
They Only Have One Photo
If having a profile that’s nothing but photos is a big red flag, so is only having one photo, especially if there’s no other information in their bio. If that one photo looks professionally done, you should hear alarm bells. Sam Weiner and Maritsa Patrinos at Buzzfeed also suggest you be on the lookout for profiles with obviously photoshopped photos, photos of celebrities, and profiles that seem to have multiple photos of different people. In short, anything that makes it difficult to believe they’re the person in the photo? Avoid it.
They Reply to Your Messages Super Fast
You swipe right for someone you like who has a profile that seems to be in order, you match with them a few moments later, and they send you a message almost immediately. You might be thinking “Great! This is working out perfectly,” but it’s actually an odd sign. Spandas Lui at Lifehacker Australia suggests you pay close attention to how quickly your matches respond to your messages. If they seem to respond to you instantaneously—we mean faster than people can normally type—they’re probably a bot designed to strike while the iron’s hot and lower your guard so they can draw out personal information or scam you into clicking a link that’ll lead to malware or something worse.