Fake Profiles Online

April 1, 2024

I walked out of the room today after watching a movie on Netflix and came back to find a documentary called “Don’t F*** With Cats” had started to play A horrible hunt for a male who posted videos of animal abuse and then went on to kill and dismember a human. It was horrific but compelling and it took about 18  months for him to be finally caught and justice served.

This reminded me of a number of fake profile  accounts that people  set up online on various social media or chat groups and one in particular where someone claims to be the actor Dakota  Goya, known for movies such as “Real Steele”.

I was never an AOL user, although many speak about the fun and good times from that era. These days, there are a number of chat sites online, of which I have visited a number, stayed in only three and been a moderator in various chat rooms.

If you have ventured online yourself, I am sure you have come across many bots and perhaps even some of the more sophisticated AI that are capable to having a coherent conversation with you. They are uncannily good, but something inside you should just alert you to their provenance.

Here are a few of the more obvious fake accounts

1.  Valentino/Valentina: the one who has fallen in love with you within 2 days and now wants to come to visit you.  These target single women/men who they feel might be vulnerable. Romance fraud is huge and these scammers are quite good. Watch out for the ones calling you Queen, Princess, Sexy, Hunky or the like. They will suddenly have their bank account frozen unexpectedly the day before they were due to fly to see you; please could you loan them the money and pay for the ticket at the following travel agent, they want you to buy them that shirt or dress so they look sexy the time you chat…

2. He/She Looks a Bit Too Perfect?: if you don’t know the person, it’s always useful to use Tin Eye or Google Reverse image to check if the image posted has been “borrowed” online. Yes someone could have a FB account and be using their image online in a chat room and that’s fine. Equally the profile picture of the hot chick may in fact be the front for someone completely different or even a male.

3. Walter Mitty: Online, a person can be anyone they want and some create an account just to liberate themselves from their daily life. Just be aware that you may spend a lot of time in dialogue with someone in a house of cards. Just be careful.

Online chat can be fun; I’ve met some great people who I’m now friends with in real life. Have fun but beware !

Have you got any funny stories from people who have tried to mislead you via online chat rooms ?

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