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Shutterstock By Carolyn Steber Dec. They look a lot like real profiles with real, bonafide people behind the screen.

But because they're created by catfishers and scammers, they often have a few qualities that scream "fake," once you know what to look for. Fake profiles are created for a variety of reasons, he says, including catfishing for attention, marketing products, or even scamming people out of money. The whole soosk they work is because they look legit.

But according to DatingScoutyou can often tell what's real from what isn't by looking at the photos. If the profile only has one or two pictures, consider it a red flag. And the same is true if the photo is one with a white background, as that could indicate it's zzoosk stock image yanked from the internet, and not actually them.

Shutterstock Should you spot one of these telltale s, take a beat and examine the rest of the profile. This might mean they have extremely professional looking photos, he says, versus ones where they're just casually hanging out with friends or family.

Or that they're bragging a bit about things like wealth and status, which could be a ploy to lure unsuspecting daters in. Of course, it's not just people making these profiles, but computer programs. These profiles are created with the goal of scamming you into sharing private information, as mentioned above, or tricking you into clicking on malware links.

If someone's profile answers seem all weird, disted, and robotic, don't bother engaging. And the same goes for profiles that seem like they're Iz to sell you something, which is more common than you might think.

The ultimate test, though, is seeing if they'd be willing to hop on FaceTime or meet up with you in person, Emily Pfannenstiel, LPCa d professional counselor who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. Another way to ensure you're chatting with a real human, and one who wants to go on a genuine date just like you, is by checking to see if they've included their social media s.

Shutterstock Even though you should be focused on meeting new people and having fun conversations, online dating is all about keeping an eye out for these red flags, too. You obviously won't want to click on random links or wire money to strangers, and you won't want to chat with folks who have stock images for profile photos, either.

Look for social media links along with real photos and human-sounding info in profiles. And if something seems offtrust your gut.

Once you feel the conversation is rolling, and you'd like to see who is on the other end, it can also help to plan a date.