Profile Fake-Out #1: I'm Young & Hot
According to a Cornell University study, the most common online dating lies are about age and weight. Check for backgrounds or fashions that appear dated; that Flock of Seagulls haircut is a dead giveaway that it's an older photo of someone who wants to seem younger. Be even more cautious of the date with a fuzzy, unrecognizable photo or none at all, who tells you how attractive other people find him/her.
Profile Fake-Out #2: I'm Single
This photo reveals very little - either by being out of focus, taken at a great distance or using an artistic "open to interpretation" approach, leaving its subject unidentifiable. Don't expect his profile information to mention the spouse and kids, but he will be equally vague about actually being single. Look for the key words "casual" and "discreet."
Profile Fake-Out #3: I'm Sophisticated
Often online daters will exaggerate their sophistication or intelligence. They throw out the titles of the classics as the last great books they've read; probably mention a love of sushi or some kind of unheard-of fusion cuisine; drop the names of movies and bands you've never heard of; have a favorite cognac, merlot or obscure microbrew. To suss out the true aficionados from the fakers, engage in an email conversation about one of those subjects.
Profile Fake-Out #4: I'm Fascinating
A good profile will capture the user's personality and make him or her look interesting enough to warrant a response. Beware the online dater who spends paragraphs telling you about their hilarious personality or knack for sparkling conversation, but without actually demonstrating the promised wit.
Profile Fake-Out #5: I'm Rich & Important
Some (shallow) folks will fake a great impression by embellishing what they do for a living. Keep tabs on vague references that inflate importance, but that reveal very few details beyond that flashy sounding job. The guy who "took a meeting with Jay-Z" as part of his "music industry" career may have just run into him in the elevator on the way to his job in the mailroom.