We have a love/hate relationship with dating apps. Dating is tricky enough IRL, and in some ways, trying to use an app to find “the one” makes the whole process even harder. For example, you might never know if that hot, funny guy who DMed back-and-forth with you for hours and then just ghosted was offended by the terrible pun in your last message, or if “his” algorithm played itself out.
Apps with a women-friendly mission tend to be better at blocking trolls and bots, and one of our favorites is now taking that a step even further. Bumble, the app where ladies are required to send the first message (so you don’t have to deal with dudes who just mass-send inappropriate pics), just added a new feature that requires users to upload a selfie to verify their account.
The feature is rolling out first to people who’ve already been flagged for poor profile conduct, and later, it will become a standard feature. When you’re setting up a profile, the app will send you a photo of someone doing a specific gesture (like flashing a peace sign next to their face) and prompt you to imitate it. Then a moderator will compare it to the rest of the pics you’ve uploaded to your profile and determine if you can be verified. And if someone tries to create a fake account? Bumble’s gonna bump ’em before their catfishing butt can get anywhere near you.
Nothing’s 100 percent fool-proof, but this update should go a long way to cut down on the number of bots trying to slide into your DMs and scam you. But if you’re still not sure if someone you’re matching with is legit, here are a few signs to consider:
1. You’re not on Bumble, Huggle, Blume or Coy. Of course, not everyone on dating apps is a fraud, but these apps are the ones who’ve gone the extra step to add some sort of photo or video verification.
2. His photo is suspiciously well-lit. Is he standing in front of a solid white background, just casually laughing? Sounds like a stock photo to us. Do a reverse image search on Google Images and see what turns up.
3. Their messages sound canned or just flat-out make no sense. Some people aren’t great texters and just don’t come off as naturally in writing as they would speaking. But if you get a bunch of random words strung together and they don’t immediately follow it up with “Ugh autocorrect FML,” you should probably be suspicious.
4. They send you a link to their next gig. If your clever opening line is immediately met with a “Haha, check out my website,” or “I’m playing this show next month, you should come,” they’re probably more interested in selling tickets to their lame coffeehouse acoustic set than actually meeting you.
5. Their profile info is practically blank. If someone’s setting up a bunch of bots, they’re not going to spend a lot of time crafting the perfect bio for each one. Even if it is a real person, best-case scenario: They’re too boring for you to bother anyway.
What are some of your tips for avoiding online dating scammers, bots and trolls? Tweet us your strategies @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)