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Single guy with beard holding up camera to take a selfie of himself

Why a selfie lover should be the one to avoid.

Selfies are all the rage but why should you avoid the person that puts one on their online dating profile? It's not that they are vain or love to stand arms outstretched taking pics of themselves it's down to some new research.

Scamalytics is one of the top companies that protect dating websites such as Singles 4 Love from scammers and has just revealed that there has been a dramatic rise in fake profiles using selfie pictures.

Every month the company works in the background checking and identifying over a quarter of a million fake profiles and blocks these scammers from accessing dating networks. The company can identify scammers from various information such as their internet IP address, email or from the content they post on their profile page. This information is shared between many dating sites in the Scamalytics network and the sophisticated software blocks these fake profiles from being displayed on the dating sites.

To stop scammers from contacting daters the company has created a massive library of fake profiles. This library is constantly being updated and used to cross reference other fake profiles that have been created using the same details. As part of this checking process the company has discovered that there is a growing number of selfies appearing in the scammers profiles. In the past year the number of fake profiles using selfies has risen to 65%.

The UK Dating Awards founder and industry expert Charly Lester believes that people see a selfie on a profile and assume a selfie is genuine. Charly said "While it is obviously hard to 'fake' a selfie, it is increasingly easy to steal selfies from social media. Twitter and Instagram are full of selfies of celebrities and normal people, which can be very easily copied, and then added to fake profiles."

"It's really important, if you are online dating, that you are aware that people might not be who they say they are. Even if someone has multiple selfies on their profile, all of the same person, the photos could have been stolen from someone else's Twitter or Instagram. And if you are someone who uses social media a lot, be careful what you post online, and who has access to it."

Scamalytics have provided the following advice for individuals worried that someone online may not be who they say they are.

1) Use Google images to check if their photo has been taken from someone else's social media.

2) Carefully check their online dating profile to make sure any physical descriptions on the profile match the photos.

3) Ask conversational questions which require local knowledge. If someone has a story to explain why they can't answer facts about local bars, restaurants or sports teams, be careful.

4) Put sections of the dating profile into quotes and search for it on Google. Scammers often use the same sentences in fake profiles.

5) Apply caution if someone tries to get you onto a different messaging service quickly. Scammers will try to move the chat away from the dating site, where the conversation can be monitored.

6) Be wary if someone says they're an engineer, oil worker or in the military, and uses this as excuse why they can't meet up in person.

7) Never give money to anyone you meet online, no matter how convincing they seem.

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