In the first book, I outlined in E.S.L. Dating Reply #15 how they get men hooked, and I even created a
little section telling everything I knew about how to spot them. I even added this article to the first book
so that everyone can see how to do what I’m doing.
The big plan is to get so many of us writing to them that the scammers get overwhelmed with e-mails
from guys like me that know what they’re up to. This way, they can’t keep up with the sheer volume
of e-mails, and we all end up with a lot more laughs at their expense! I’ve even created a forum for us to
post our letters to them, so if you’re reading this and you’d like to try, just find the link listed in the back
of the book.
Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to write in broken English. This book is mainly full of
characters I created to try & drive them away, so there’s less emphasis on the broken English in my
responses. Also, don’t use your main e-mail address, create extras so they won’t be able to recognize your e-mail address when you write to them.
So, here’s everything I know about spotting fake profiles:
1) The profile photo
Until the scammers get smart enough to use pictures of normal people, this will be the first dead
giveaway. I don’t know their exact source for the pictures, but they almost always seem to use very
professional looking photography. I think in most cases, they simply steal pictures from modeling sites.
Sometimes it’ll look more like a photo from an actor’s profile, which is another strong possibility.
The funniest ones are the ones that steal pictures from adult film stars. Even if you don’t know their
actual names, it’s pretty easy to recognize some of them. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen
profiles using Next Door Nikki photos. Some sites even have 3-4 profiles with her picture, and they
don’t even realize it!
The picture quality is one of the best clues to a fake profile. There may be some other countries where
it’s normal to have professional photography done for a dating site profile, but not in the United States.
In this day and age, when you can take a picture using your phone, or a cheap webcam, why go to a
professional studio? The picture quality on modeling sites is always so much better, it makes it
obvious when they use stolen photos.
2) The screen name
This isn’t as common as it once was, but their screen name can be a strong clue as well. Since the
scammers prey on emotionally vulnerable people, they will be trying to tell the reader everything they
want to hear. That’s why you’ll often see them with screen names like these: Lookin4Love, Trulove4Ever, LoveEternal, or Alove4Alifetime. I’m sure you get the idea, they want you to think that they’re only in it for true love.
Another sign of a scammer is a screen name with a woman’s name and several random numbers after it. Now why in the world would that be a giveaway, you ask? Because the scammers can’t re-use a screen name that just got deleted after being reported as fake. So, sometimes you’ll see a profile similar to one that was just removed, but with a new name. Same “about me” section, even the same photo, but a different screen name. That’s why they’ll have names like jennifer097623854, because
jennifer037884 got deleted so many times, they learned to use a long, random series of numbers at
the end. Whenever these professional romance scammers get one profile deleted, they simply go out
and create a new one to replace it.
Another similar thing you’ll see from some of the Nigerian scammers is the use of someone’s full
name as a screen name. Can you imagine how dumb that would be for an actual person to do that on a
dating site? What would be the purpose of using a dating site if they can just look you up on a social
networking site? If you ever do see someone’s supposed full name in their screen name, just stay
Last, but not least, some of the Nigerian ones use what looks like an American male first name as a
female last name. That’s why you’ll sometimes see names like Laura David, I actually just got an e-mail
from one with that name not too long ago. I don’t get why they do that, it’s like they think they need an
American name to make it more convincing. Of course they don’t realize that this is just another
good clue for guys like me.
3) Their headline
Most dating site require your profile to have a headline that tells a little bit about you. Most of us use this to put a favorite quote, an inspirational saying, or a favorite line from a movie. Some of us use it to put something we think will make people laugh. However, the Nigerian scammers use an entirely different approach. They’ll use their headline like a fisherman uses night crawlers. They’ll use it to say things like these:
looking for my soul mate
looking for a long lasting relationship
Looking for true love
looking for my other half
Seeking a loving relationship that will lead to
Some of the more sinister ones will even says things that would inspire an “awwww…” out of most
people, like these:
I don’t want to get my heart broken again (translation-I had some sucker reeled in, I thought he was going to send me money, but when I asked for it, he told me he couldn’t!). The Nigerian ones will get even more sinister, but I’ll go into that later, when we get to the next section.
4) Their “about me” section
I know this isn’t the exact name for it on every site, but every site requires the user to write a little something about themselves. This section is the best clue I can get about the authenticity of a profile. In
the past five years, I’ve seen so many fake profiles that I can often determine their place of origin based
on their writing style. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure most of them are either Nigerian or Russian in origin, and here’s how to tell them apart.
The Nigerian ones are the most common, and unfortunately for me, the least amusing. Their English isn’t all that bad, but their sentence structure is. It’s quite common to see their sentences carry on for several lines, even 8-12 lines without a period. Most of them are so bad at putting a sentence together in English that they simply use lots of commas, or end a thought with a bunch of periods, like this…..
Another common sign of a Nigerian profile is the use of randomly capitalized words. I don’t quite
understand the logic behind it, maybe it’s because they use a translating machine, and these words are
normally capitalized in Nigerian. In English, however, it’s pretty clear that you don’t need to capitalize words like Basketball, Swimming, or Jogging. Activities and Hobbies aren’t Normally Capitalized in English.
Last, but not least, some of their words they use can give them away as well. Nigerians commonly use the word cos as slang in place of because. These attempts at slang are often pretty funny, I’ve got a
few good examples of these bloopers. Since English is, at best, a second language to them, it’s very easy for them to screw it up.
Just last week, I wrote to one that tried saying “hit me up and let’s see what happens”. However, she left
out the word up, so her profile ended with her saying “hit me and let’s see what happens”. I wrote to her claiming to be an abused circus midget, and I told her I was looking forward to being the one doing the beating for once. I was surprised when she actually wrote back after I told her that. It just goes to show you, these scammers will write back to anyone, no matter what you tell them.
Another one had a headline that tried to imply that she was easy to get along with and would go along
with anything. However, I don’t think she realized what it meant in America when she said “easy as a
breeze”. She even added into her profile that she wasn’t just looking for sex, and didn’t understand
why guys were e-mailing her just looking for sex. I think she would have had better luck if her headline
had read: “I was a gymnast in high school”, or “I can put both feet behind my head”. I suggested that she
change it to ”these legs are open for business 24-7”.
One last thing to cover is their attempts to pull on your heart strings. They know well enough that the
heart strings are often attached to the wallet strings.That’s why they’ll say things like “I am a Christian”,
or “trust in God almighty”, so they can reel in the religious fanatics. They’ve heard enough people
describe America as a Christian nation, so they know that’s another demographic that they need to
One of their more common efforts to go for the heart is to say things like “I lost my mother”, “I lost
my father”, “I lost my mother and my father”. They want us thinking that they have no one in their life,
so we end up thinking that they have a huge, emotional void that we can fill once we’re together.
They’ll try virtually anything to grab our attention, so even saying things like “my last boyfriend cheated
on me” or “I think I’m finally ready to love again”. They want to give us the impression that they want a
mister nice guy type, which is the exact demographic they’re keying in on.
A new clue I felt was necessary to add in to the revisions of this section is the new trend of claiming to
be Mormon. The fakes can be pretty obvious to people who are of the Mormon faith. However, for those who aren’t, try asking them a little about their faith, or even ask them when they joined. I’ve seen a lot more of them in the past week or two, so I imagine that will be the next trick up their sleeve.
Once you get past their section where they describe themselves, there’s still more clues that can give
them away. For starters, take a look at the age group they are looking for. The less creative ones will put
18-99 for their age range. Why, you ask? Because they’re only looking for “true love”, so they’ll tell you things like “age is nothing but a number, true love is all that matters”.
The other key demographic they have to cover is the middle aged guys that still have the confidence to
think that they should go after girls that are 20 or more years younger than them. That’s why the smarter ones will say age 40-99, even if their profile says they are 24 years old, and their profile picture is
of a bikini model. You’d be surprised at how many guys that are 58 years old will get a flirt from a girl
like that, and then think “I can still get girls like that? I guess so, if she just e-mailed me!”.
That fake profile just became the ego boost that guy needed, so of course he’s going to write back. The
girl will tell him things like “older men are so much more mature, and distinguished”, and let him think
she’s into older guys. Some of the more experienced ones will use 70 as their age cutoff, but it’s not
uncommon to see an age range of 30 to 80 for a fake profile.
The last two areas to cover in the fake Nigerian dating profiles are distance and height. Most people
will have a range somewhere between 5 and 6 feet for females, and 5’4 or 5’6 up to 7 feet for males. Not
the Nigerians though, they will date guys that range from 3 feet tall to 7 foot 11! This is how I got away
with telling one of them that I was a 3’2”, 175 pound, chain-smoking, alcoholic crackhead. After all, true love is all that matters, right?
As for the distance, that’s another area that helps make it pretty obvious that you’re looking at a fake
profile. Most of us will say things like “within 20 miles”, within 50 miles”, maybe even 100 miles. Not
the Nigerians though, for them, distance does not matter at all! They’ll say things like “within 20,000
miles”, because they want us thinking they would travel to the moon & back to find true love.
So, now that you have all of this information, I’m now going to create a Nigerian style profile so you’ll
know what to be on the lookout for:
Headline: Seeking for a relationship that will last a lifetime
I am English in spoken, I am single, I live alone, got no kid, my Traits are honesty, Loyality, generous,
intelligent, articulate, driven, compassionate, caring, faithful, understanding, fun, funny, generous, I love
small animals, I am a good cooking, Basketball, Taxes, Affectionate, Loving, hard working, Passionate, Creativity, supportive, faith in The Lord Jesus My Savior, Hockey Tacos, I also love Swimmering,Racquetball, Baseball, Football, Jogging, Poetry, I like all kinds of music, I am seeking for a man who is looking for a long term relationship that will lead to marriage and would be a good fatherhood to our future children some day in the future with me in our future together. I am lonely in this life and am tired to be one, my last boyfriend cheated on me, I caught him in bed with my best friend, but I’ll tell you more about that later I am also lonely cos I lost my mother and my father in a car crash, or my father was killed by terrorists, or the government, and he has US$6.7 us dollars locked in a foreign account that I will need to transfer to you after you send me your bank account information……
Speaking of using lots of periods, that’s another writing style for the Nigerian scammers……some of
the ones that are trying to adapt do this instead of using lots and lots of commas……another
important clue of theirs is the occasional use of ALL CAPS when they tell THE NAME OF THE CITY
THEY LIVE IN, or the country they’re currently in……when they do admit to being in Nigeria, it’ll
usually be something like “I am right away now in WEST AFRICA NIGERIA”, and they’ll say they are
there buying antiques, doing a photo shoot (if they are a model), or visiting a sick relative in the
Now, as for the Russian scammers, it’s so much simpler, and so much more entertaining! Their form
of broken English is usually quite amusing, though it can be quite poetic at times. It’s the Russians that
actually inspired me to start writing like this, I never imagined I’d still be doing it five years later! I love
how they take the most simple, common expressions, and re-arrange the words into an art form!
For instance, I’ve seen at least one that turned the sunset into the scarlet decline. It took me several
minutes of re-reading it to figure out what in the world she was talking about! Their phrase for telling
that they’ve never been married turns into “I was not behind the husband”. Also, since they have one
word that means he, she, or it, I had one that kept referring to her grandmother as it!
I think some of them use programs to translate what they want to say, from Russian to English, and that’s how we get sentences like these:
The computer in a service acquaintances found to me some structures of the people, which coincide
with mine by inquiry. I decided to send you to first the message because your structure seems to me more stimulating. On her fault to us could not the client will phone, and the favorable contract hardly was not broken. If something should be difficult for you to understand, do not hesitate to ask about it. I do not
wish to have between us the essential barrier of language was.
That last quote is where I got the name of the second book. I’m going to try to do that from now on, using great broken English quotes when I’m picking titles for future collections. I’m thinking the next one will be
a collection of the greatest broken English one-liners I’ve ever seen, and I’ll call it “My What I Mean
Was….” Don’t quote me on that just yet, I am still writing new material, and sometimes I’ll get a lot in
a short amount of time. There’s also a one-a-day broken English one-liners calendar in the works, that name could work well for that one too.
I know that to some people, fighting them seems useless, since they’ll never totally go away. It’s like
trying to put out a fire that’ll never go out. However, if we raise enough publicity for this problem, a lot
more people will know what to look for, and hopefully at least reduce the number of victims that fall for their scam. If you ever suspect you may have a “flirt” or e-mail from a fake, just check the “how-to” guide in the forum. I will always post any new tricks they are doing there.
In fact, here’s one new clue to add: a Facebook profile doesn’t necessarily make a fake profile real.
Just look for the same clues in their Facebook profiles as you would look for in their dating profile. The same rules apply to pretty much any social networking site.
Okay, that's it for now! I have one new idea I should mention before I go. Once this how-to guide gets spread around the internet a bit, one of theri next steps could be to create a profile with only minimal amounts of information. So, if you see an e-mail or a flirt from someone with hardly anything in their profile, and it says something along the lines of "here's my e-mail address", and the only clues to their identity are a picture of a hot girl, and their short e-mail they wrote to you, it's probably just another trap.
If anyone reading this picks up on any new clues for fake profiles, please feel free to e-mail me, i'm always looking to add more clues.
Content copyright . ESLDATINGDIARIES.COM. All rights reserved.