You finally met the person of your dreams online, and instantly think they are the one! There seem to be problems that come up with them though, like the fact that they always have an excuse as to why they can’t meet you in person, they won’t video chat with you, and they consistently ask you for money. If someone does all of these things, then chances are that they are a romance scammer, and are only after your hard-earned cash. Yet they seem so real how can this be? Romance scammers go out of their way to steal social media posts and photos from victims to pass off as real people.
How Are Romance Scammers Able to Steal Social Media Posts?
Scammers will target social media influencers on Instagram or people’s public Facebook profiles to see what type of content people are posting. They will then gather the personality of the person and photos to try and pretend to be these people. Types of posts scammers can steal are memes, Facebook statuses, inspirational quotes, and pictures.
With this information, they create a profile of their own and use it to target other victims. Most of the time, you will notice that romance scammers will make their social media pages look like a dating profile. The things they steal from others and post will indicate in their descriptions that they are interested in these things.
In their bios on Facebook and Instagram, they will say what they look for in a perfect person, which doesn’t make sense since normal people don’t turn their social media pages into dating profiles. They will also steal interests from others and incorporate them within their social media profiles.
How to Protect Your Social Media Posts From Romance Scammers
The best way to protect your profile from people you don’t know is to make your profile private. That way, only people who know you can see the content you post. However, if you can’t keep your social media posts private, you can always watermark your username or name over the photos you post. That way, people know the true person who posted these things.
You can also put in your bio that your account is your only account, and depending on how popular your account is, you can also request for it to be verified with the blue checkmark. That way even if scammers get away with stealing your photos, your profile will still read as your only official profile if victims perform a reverse image search.
If scammers get away with stealing your posts and photos, you can always report them back to the social media site you are using. However, it’s not a guarantee that the reported profile will get taken down in a timely matter. There have been instances where Facebook or Instagram don’t recognize it as a scam profile, so people would have to report the account again. However, don’t lose hope and continue to report the fake account to the FTC until it is removed.
How to Avoid Romance Scammers’ Stolen Profiles
- Look for cliche posts, such as popular memes or inspirational quotes. If they are flooding this person’s profile with no other life events and no interactions, chances are they are a scammer.
- Look for photoshopped photos or edited photos that flood someone’s page. If there are several pictures that look edited and out of place, then chances are a scammer edited the photo.
- Look for quotes or descriptions on someone’s bio that state they are ready to find “the one.” Real people with social media accounts do not post things stating they are ready to date or find the one since they use their social media profiles to stay updated with their friends and loved ones.
- Look for watermarks within the person’s photos. If someone reaches out to you that you don’t know and they have watermarked photos, this is usually a sign that they are a scammer. This means that they most likely stole the photos off someone else’s profile.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with when dealing with romance scammers.