E-Whoring. It does not sound like a nice name and in the dating world it isn’t. Put simply, e-whoring is when a man pretends to be a woman on the internet. Start talking to a ‘woman’ who has set up one of these profiles and at best you are wasting your time. At worst, she will scam you out of your money or personal details.
So how do you spot a scam profile from a photo alone?
First, let’s start where men hang out pretending to be women. They congregate on sites single men visit and this means chat rooms and basic dating sites. These are the choice targets as they are free for men to contact women. A woman gets online, sets up a Facebook account or a free dating profile and starts to make friends. Her goal is to get you to join a site where you can chat more often or see each other more intimately over a webcam.
The man, or group of people behind the fake profile, gets paid per sign up they bring into a service. They are simply after the money. The more men who do what they ask, the more they get paid. Beautiful women have higher conversion rates, so an attractive woman will always be used in a profile. Their first step to setting up the fake account is to steal photos. Be cautious when you see –
– if she gives you some professionally taken photos but throws in a few awkward self portraits or photos with friends, then it is likely to be a real person. If all you see are shots that belong in a catalogue, then that is probably where they came from. A good way to tell is to ask for a recent photo (e.g. ask her to take a photo when she goes out this weekend). If she ignores the request or says she does not have a camera, then you are talking to a guy. Even the cheapest cell phones these days have 3 MP cameras built in.
– men sometimes think with the wrong head and the scammers know this. If you see a beautiful women and she is showing too much skin, then think hard before replying. Honestly, how many women do you think send half naked photos of themselves to men online for the purpose of finding a meaningful relationship? It never happens, so don’t start thinking this is an exception.
– this is a sign of a lazy scammer. To cut down bandwidth taken up by visitors who have not joined yet, many dating sites will only show thumbnail sized photos. If the scammer stole the photo from one of these sites without bothering to pay for a membership, then they are not going to have a bigger resolution photo. Similarly, some sites put a water mark on the photo. It is possible to remove the mark with Photoshop but it can take awhile. If you are setting up several fake accounts, then you are not going to invest that time.
– many men who set up fake profiles are not fluent in English. Because of this, they often make mistakes. Her profile might say she is 110 pounds but she is very overweight in the photo. Or the profile says brown eyes when clearly they are blue.
When chatting to women online, the most powerful check you can use is your common sense. If something does not feel right, then trust your instincts. Just remember the golden rule of not getting scammed – do not send any money to someone you have not met personally.