Tips

Been Verified App Weeds Out Potential Scammers and Fakes from Online Dating

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Been Verified App

Don’t you wish you could tell if someone on an online dating site was lying, or if all the information provided was accurate and up-to-date? Well it seems there’s an app for that.

Been Verified is targeting users of online dating sites in its marketing campaign. The service provides online background checks to help people “discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives.” Basically, Been Verified consolidates data from many sources of public records, providing a background check on potential dates, including police records, mortgage deeds, and social networking profiles.

If this is unsettling, remember – it is all information that you volunteered or that is automatically public record. So, everyone is searchable, but sometimes it’s difficult to gather all of the information that’s out there. Been Verified just makes it easy – one-stop shopping, if you will.

Been Verified has dealt with a lot of fake profiles and scammers, so they wanted to get the word out to online daters about how to protect yourself. Following are some tips they recommend:

  • It’s a big red flag if your online interest asks you for money, especially if it is early on and if you’ve never met face-to-face. Scammers will often ask for money on behalf of a sick relative, a short-term loan to pay rent, or travel money to visit you if he lives out of state.
  • Be careful if he avoids meeting you, especially if he states he will be out of the country. There is a reason that scammers don’t want to meet face-to-face.  If they are running a game, they will come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid meeting. Some may use work travel as an excuse, others may say they have shared custody of his kids and it’s his weekend to keep them, or that an ill mother needs to taken care of. Listen carefully to what they are saying.
  • To avoid identity theft scams, try Google's reverse image search. Take a few minutes to search the profile's pictures, and if the reverse search shows up across hundreds of pages, it is highly likely that the person is being deceitful and is using someone else’s images as his own.
  • When chatting online, make sure the flow of conversation makes sense to ascertain if you’re talking to a live person or a robot profile. Mix up the conversation; see if the person continues to track with you. If they are unable to switch gears, it could be a robot responder giving predetermined responses.
  • If his profile is comprised of only one photo and the text is basically empty, they could be a scammer. People who don’t want to be held accountable to the content of their profile will simply leave it blank. If they are too lazy to take the time to self-disclose and post some self-descriptive text, then you should probably take a pass.

Been Verified was founded in 2007 by Josh Levy and Ross Cohen with a mission to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. With millions of app downloads and millions of monthly visitors, BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses and property records.

A Perfect Online Dating Profile Isn't Perfect

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You've heard that you need to put your best foot forward online. So, thinking you were doing exactly what you're supposed to do, you agonized over your username, your self-description, your photos. Every detail of your profile was carefully reviewed and redone until you felt confident you'd achieved perfection.

What if all of that was unnecessary? According to research from the University of Iowa, appearing too perfect online can actually work against you.

The study found that daters are distrusting of profiles that are too flashy or flawless. Instead, the most successful profiles are those that offer an authentic look at who a person really is.

"We found people want to contact a person who appears to be accurate in what they are saying about themselves online," said one of the study's authors, University of Iowa communications professor Andy High, in a statement. "It's tough when it comes to dating profiles because we want someone who seems like an amazing person, but we also hopefully will have a relationship with this individual, so we want them to exist."

To test how daters respond to different types of dating profiles, the researchers created 8 fake OkCupid profiles (4 men and 4 women) with combinations of two possible orientations. The first was “Selective Self-Preservation.” Profiles with this orientation highlighted the good aspects of the person's life while downplaying the negatives. The other kind of profile, “Warranting,” contained information that could easily be traced to a real person.

150 men and 167 women were asked to review the profiles and decide which ones they would contact. The majority chose profiles of the second type – those that did not present the person as perfect, and contained info that made the person feel more real.

In other words, people were turned off by profiles that appeared too good to be true. When stories of online love gone wrong come out on a daily basis, it's hard to blame them for being wary.

“Users of online dating sites are aware that people misrepresent themselves, and inaccurate profiles are one of the biggest drawbacks to using online dating sites,” the study says.

It's a difficult position to be in. Paint an unattractive picture of yourself and your profile won't get very far. Paint a picture that's too attractive and you're in the same boat. So what's an online dater to do?

“You want to balance all that is wonderful about yourself with some things that aren’t negative, but more humble or realistic about yourself,” says High. “It’s important to put your best foot forward, but maybe not in your best pair of shoes.”

How To Choose The Best Photos For Your Online Dating Profile

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Let's get this out of the way right now: it's what's inside that counts. I know that. You know that.

But we also know that no one's going to get to the inside if they don't like the outside first. It's not pessimistic or cynical, it's just honest.

Your picture is one of the first things people see when visiting your profile. And if you use a service like Tinder, it's practically the only thing they see. It's hard to overstate the importance of a photo under those circumstances, isn't it?

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to catch someone's eye, and they don't have to be complicated or expensive. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Your profile picture should just be you. You may love a picture of you and your bestie, but you don't want visitors to waste time wondering which one you are. They'll swipe left simply out of frustration. Once you're past the main profile picture, feel free to include photos with friends. They show off your social side and prove you aren't a narcissist who only snaps selfies.
  • Include a variety of photos. A collection of headshots – each one exactly the same except for a slightly different angle – says nothing about who you are. (Or maybe it does, and it says “boring.”) Mix things up a bit. Have one picture with a pet, another engaged in a hobby, and a third showing off your silly side. Visitors get not only a better idea of what you look like, but also a better sense of your personality and lifestyle.
  • Show off your face and your body. I know. It's scary. It feels vulnerable and you're worried someone will criticize you, or move on without taking even a second to read your profile. But think about it logically. You can't lie or hide when you meet someone in person, so you might as well be totally honest up front. You'll waste less of your own time and everyone else's.
  • Stay current. Some people intentionally put up photos that are outdated. Others simply forget that they haven't refreshed theirs in a while. The same rules as above apply. Lying by omission is not a good way to start a relationship. And who knows? A feature you don't like may be incredibly attractive to someone else. At the end of the day, almost nothing is sexier than confidence.

In the competitive world of online dating, making a memorable first impression – and making it the right one – is critical. Choosing the right photos gives you a powerful leg up.

'How to Make Online Dating Work,' According To Aziz Ansari

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Who is your go-to for dating advice? Your best friend? A parent? A stand-up comedian?

The last one may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but Aziz Ansari is out to change that. Together with Eric Klinenberg, a professor of sociology at New York University, he has penned a new book called Modern Romance. In a recent article for The New York Times, the duo shares a few insights gleaned from two years of research for the book.

“Online dating generates a spectrum of reactions,” they write, from exhilaration to fatigue to fury. The question is, “Is there a way to do it more effectively, with less stress?” After two years of study, Ansari and Klinenberg believe the answer is yes. They offer the following tips for singles looking to make online dating work better.

Don't rely too much on algorithms. You can filter to your heart's content, but at the end of the day, “we are horrible at knowing what we want.” Think of online dating as a vehicle for meeting people, rather than a method for finding the love of your life. An online dating site can only predict so much. Introductions are guaranteed, but only by meeting in person can you decide if you have long-term potential as a couple.

Your picture matters (probably too much). OkCupid launched an app called Crazy Blind Date that offered users only a blurred photo and minimal info. After going on the date, users were asked to rate their satisfaction with the experience. On OkCupid's regular site, women who were rated highly attractive were unlikey to respond to men who were rated less attractive. But when they were matched using Crazy Blind Date, they had a good time.

What does that mean? According to Christian Rudder, an OkCupid co-founder, “people appear to be heavily preselecting online for something that, once they sit down in person, doesn’t seem important to them.” Next time you look at a photo that doesn't seem quite up to snuff, remember that the person behind it could be exactly the date you're looking for.

Swipe apps don't deserve the stigma. You've heard critics complain that swipe apps like Tinder are too superficial, but Ansari and Klinenberg call that cynical. “When you walk into a bar or party,” they write, “often all you have to go by is faces, and that’s what you use to decide if you are going to gather the courage to talk to them. Isn’t a swipe app just a huge party full of faces?”

For more insight into modern romance, read the original article and, as Tim Gunn says, “Make it work.”

Online Rejection: Understanding What it Means

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When you’re online dating, it’s hard to not take rejection personally. After all, your matches rejected you romantically! It doesn’t get more personal than that, right?

Wrong. Online dating is to some extent, a numbers game. That is, anyone who is online dating is bound to get rejected because of the sheer number of people doing it, whether your match swiped left on Tinder or wrote a heart-felt rejection message over eHarmony. Not every love connection is going to work out. In fact, most of them don’t.

Instead of taking it personally when you get rejected online, following are a few things to understand and help you gain perspective – so take heart:

It’s not personal.

Rejection happens to everyone. If you’ve been online dating long enough, it can get downright discouraging. But this doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It just means that there are a lot of options out there, and some people aren’t willing to take the time to get to know the real you, and that’s okay. Some people will choose to get to know you, too. Like everything in life that’s rewarding, online dating requires a bit of patience and perseverance.

What would you have done differently?

Online dating gives us a unique opportunity to see and evaluate our own behavior apart from our familiar circles of friends and family. Dates are subjective, but they react to how you present yourself. Were you in a bad mood on the date? Are you harboring judgment or anger? These things can come across to your date, so pay attention to what is going on inside of you, as well as your date.

You’ve rejected people, too.

Think back to those people whose messages you ignored, those profiles you swiped left on. Chances are, you have done your share of rejecting, too. Was it personal? I’d bet in most cases, it wasn’t personal at all – just a preference. So don’t take it so personally when an online date rejects you.

Your date might have met someone else.

A lot can happen in one night. If your date was chatting with someone else and decided to pursue her, that’s a choice – it’s not a reflection on you. Or, your date might have gotten back together with an ex. You never know what might have happened to someone else or what they have going on in their lives, so don’t drive yourself crazy with analyzing every text or date. Just let it go, and know that someone else is out there.

There are still more people to meet.

As I just mentioned, online dating presents all kinds of new options, at any time you want. If you want to feel better after a rejection, spice up your profile, reach out to some new people, and see what happens. Online dating can get you down, but it can also be an ego boost.

Hinge CEO On The Benefits Of Online Dating

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Everyone you know is talking about online dating. Most of them have tried it. You've thought about joining a site or downloading the latest app, but you're not quite convinced digital dating is for you.

Justin McLeod, CEO of Hinge, has something to say to you. A few somethings, in fact. He recently wrote a piece for Business Today on the benefits of online dating. If you've considered logging on for love but haven't taken the plunge yet, here's why you should.

  1. It's easy to get started. There's no excuse for not signing up when signing up is so easy. Socially-driven apps, like Hinge and Tinder, don't ask you to fill out a lengthy profile or answer an SAT exam-worthy series of questions. Instead they link directly to your Facebook account, automatically populating your dating profile with info from the social network. “This way,” McLeod writes, “interested people get to check out a bite-sized version of your personality without writing you off as not their type.
  2. Quality trumps quantity. Online dating offers a curated selection of potential dates, designed with your compatibility in mind. “Instead of having to wade through a sea of random profiles until you get lucky and find that elusive perfect someone,” says McLeod, “it can bring what you want to see.” And while a dating service is showing you people you're likely to be interested in, it's also filtering out the bad matches. The algorithms don't get it right every time, but it's still a perk that doesn't come with real-life romance.
  3. Conversation starters come standard. Say you meet someone on the street, or during your commute home from work. Starting a conversation can be difficult, not to mention intimidating, when you know nothing about each other. But online, where you have access to a profile and photos from a person's life, you have built-in subjects to spark a conversation. Find something that intrigues you and inquire about it.
  4. You're in control. No more waiting around for someone to approach you. No worries that a complex schedule will prevent you from meeting new people. No relying on a friend to arrange a blind date they promised to set up, and keep forgetting. Online dating lets you search for and communicate with potential dates any time, anywhere, with no reliance on third parties. “Moreover,” McLeod adds, “responses are generally quicker and easier to follow up on online.”

What are you waiting for? No more excuses.