Having been part of the online dating world for several years now – it still never ceases to amaze me how I can get fooled by men claiming in their profiles to be someone that they clearly aren’t.
Just over a week ago I stumbled across Aaron’s profile on PlentyofFish. He had about 6 pictures (all seemingly normal of a 24 year old guy) and claimed he was an investment banker living in Toronto. His profile stated he also had a Yacht called “the Anna Maria” which he liked to take out and sail over Lake Ontario. Okay — so that should have been an immediate red flag.. but I was still curious to learn more about who this guy was. Maybe he just came from a wealthy family and was fortunate to have luxuries in his life like that.
I messaged him asking whereabouts he worked in Toronto. Never got a response…
Fast forward to today and I receive a message back from him.
Hey. Yeah I work as an investment banker in the financial district. Whereabouts do you work? Would you be interested in meeting up over your lunch break tomorrow?
I was caught off guard with his mention of meeting up so soon. We had no back and forth communication whatsoever. I thought it was a bit odd – although at the same time refreshing to hear he wanted to meet in person to learn more about me versus having a long winded dialogue over PoF or text.
When I got home – I decided to put on my Nev and Max cap (for those of you who don’t know who they are, learn about their TV show Catfish here). I thought to pull some of Aaron’s profile pictures onto my desktop and drag them into Google Images. The first image I dropped in to my surprise WAS A HIT! It was the exact same picture as a guy on LinkedIn (with a different name) who had 500+ connections, went to a University in Kingston but currently lived in California – and worked as an engineer. Had no trace of banking anywhere on his professional page.
I gave myself a pat on the back for taking some time tonight to investigate – especially before I gave away any more information about myself. I immediately reported Aaron’s profile on PoF and provided the LinkedIn page for the moderators to see. Surely within minutes, his profile was deleted!
For those of you who are also currently online searching for love – don’t rush into meeting up with the guy/girl you’re talking to. Make sure to do enough basic research beforehand. Enough that you can be almost 100% sure that the person you are meeting up with is being true to who they say they are. I always try and speak on the phone before meeting up in person – I would strongly encourage you to do the same. Another tip that’s worked for me is to find out what school they went to / what program they were in. That way you can do a basic Facebook search to try and uncover a bit more about them and make sure what they’re telling you is the truth.
P.S. If you’re wondering – Advertising Boy and I are still talking almost every day. I’m still exploring the online scene as I’m not sure if it will turn into anything with AB just yet. We’re making plans to go out again shortly.. so definitely staying optimistic!