How to Spot a Liar Online
I’m normally upbeat about online dating and encourage my dating coaching clients to meet men this way. However, I’ve been getting some questions that made me want to share these tools to weed out potential liars. While I don’t mean to launch your inner Sherlock Holmes (or should I saw “Sheryl Holmes?), if you do start to smell something “catfishy”, now you’ll have ways to do that detective work.
If you are dating online, there is a tendency to “fudge” some facts like age, height, weight and for men – hair. Using old photos is extremely common as well. But, not surprising some people lie about their marital status, saying they are divorced when they are still separated or have never even filed.
De-Fib Your Own Online Dating Profile First
If you are worried about meeting men online who are liars, take a good look first at your own profile. Where did you feel OK to fib a little? Clean up your own profile first before judging others. According to the Law of Attraction, “like attracts like” which means whatever you think about or focus on is often what you attract. And in this case, if you lie, you may attract a liar.
Now I’m not blaming you! It’s just something to think about right? I’ve had many clients who tell me their age is on the cusp of a decade and want to shave a few years off. I get it. My dating coaching advice is to use the age you want in the age statistic area. Then fess up in your profile that you are really 51, but wanted to be sure you made it into the search.
How Do You Draw a Line Between a Fib or an Outright Lie?
Interesting question yes? Here’s the problem – people have different tolerances for lying. To some a matter of 3-4 years is nothing. To others, one lie is a sign of more lies to come. I can’t make that decision for you – it’s up to you how much lying and about what is okay with you. This happened to me when I was dating 30 men in 15 months to meet my husband. Number 29 was a really nice guy. He had so many of the qualities I wanted in a partner and we were very compatible.
One night he showed me his driver’s license – I can’t remember why. When I looked closely, I saw that he was four years younger than me. I asked him why he lied and he said it was because he didn’t think I’d go out with someone younger. But that did make my wonder about him and cut into my level of trust which had been good up until then.
Common Sense Ways to Uncover a Liar
1. Virtual relationship, but no face-to-face dates. Before you fall in love with a profile, know that the man is only dating material if he asks you out. Don’t get sucked into one of these virtual texting, emailing or phone relationships that will never come to fruition. Most experts agree that you only need a few exchanges before you meet. Don’t believe that “I’m busy at work” excuse or “I’m traveling for business”. That’s bull! If he was real and available, he’d want to see you.
2. Long, poorly written profile. I’m all for giving a guy with typos a chance, but that’s a lot different than poorly written profile by a non-English speaking person. They make language usage, grammar and spelling errors mistakes that no one who lives here would do.
3. Just one photo. This isn’t always a sign, but if you can add it to other things that make you think something is up, pay attention and move on to other men.
4. Rush to get you texting, emailing off the site or see you. Love at first sight is rare. Love at first profile read is highly suspicious. Don’t fall for that, “Where have you been all my life?” nonsense or how he’s been waiting to meet a woman like you. Honest, quality men just don’t say that stuff. If they are in a super hurry to see you, they usually just want to get you into bed.
5. He asks lots of questions but doesn’t share much. Sometimes scammers will asks tons of questions about your life showing interest in you, but will share very little about themselves. If you stumble upon a man who is tight-lipped, think twice. don’t fall for one of those silent types thinking you’ll help him out of his shell.
6. Request for money. Seriously, if you want to give to charity, by all means do so. But don’t shell out a dime to anyone asking you for help online. I’m sure most of my readers are smart enough to know this, yet it amazes me how many women get taken in by a sob story.
Detective Methods to Uncover an Online Dating Liar
As you can imagine, there has been a lot written on this topic, so I gathered up the best recommendations to share with you . My hope is that you won’t go overboard and reserve the tools for a guy you like, rather than with every single date. Hyper vigilance might work against you, causing you to distrust every guy you meet.
Back to the Law of Attraction – if you expect to meet liars, chances are you will meet more than your share – because you are looking for them! So, just do detective work when you smell something fishy or before you fall in love with a man if you feel you need to be sure.
1. Sites like U.S. Search and Spokeo. These sites can help you check for a person’s age and where they live. I took myself off Spokeo for privacy, but others might not even be aware these details about you are posted. Here’s the link to take yourself off the site. You can also discover where he lives and the value of his home. Knowing the surname and town can help you identify between people with the same name.
2. Photo Test by Google. There’s an app for your phone called Google Goggles that let’s you put in a photo and search the web for others like it. This tests to see if that photo is really someone else versus the person from the dating site. You can also do a Google Image search with the person’s dating photo.
3. Google His Email Address. You might be surprised what you get when you do this. I just Googled my gmail address and it connected me to my name which doesn’t show in the email. So, this could be a good way to find out if the person’s name matches their email address and possibly more.
4. Google His Name. Once you know his name, you can google the guy to see what comes up about business, divorce, criminal record etc. You just enter the name and “criminal record” and see what comes up. If it’s in the public records, it will show up. Oh goodie right?
Overall, I’m not trusting of everyone and not mistrusting either. I aim to strike a balance and call it “Positive Neutrality”. You can be open and happy to meet people. You can be excited about a guy. But if you keep a “we’ll see how things go” attitude, you’ll remain more objective as you gather the date you normally can by dating and getting to know people.
Most people don’t like about more than their height, weight and age, so don’t feel too worried about what you’ll encounter. However, if you are afraid or been lied to once too often, now you are armed with tools to know and that knowledge will help keep you safe.