Scam-Detector: Dating Traps: A Spread Between 'Matebaiting' and Fake Identities

Dating is fun, but sometimes it comes with the most unpleasant surprises. That includes cases when the person you thought you know is in fact someone else. We thought we'd try to get deeper into the intricate world of dating scams.

We're not talking about the classic - by now - online dating fake profiles asking for money after the relationship takes off. We connected with two of the most reputable elite professional matchmakers in North America to share their thoughts: Bonnie Winston and Susan Trombetti.

Both of them work with celebrities and have experienced enough to know what could raise a red flag.

Winston has coined a term called matebaiting. What is it? “Crooks are dating and baiting the other person with exactly what they say they want. Let me explain”, says our expert, the founder of

“Let's say you go on a first date and outline all your must-haves during dinner. There may be some chemistry and on the second date the other person suddenly mentions, You know what, I want to get married and have kids soon, as well. Or something like: Hey, I love Indian food and camping. I’m looking for a committed relationship, as well.”

“In other words, they are matebaiting. Finding out what you want and then telling you exactly what you want to hear about a long-term relationship. These people, it can be a man or woman, are not really interested in long-term, they’re just manipulating the situation.”

“Often, especially for women, marriage and children is the ultimate goal, and guys know that. So be careful about revealing too much in your online profile, or in social media, or on a first or second date.“, advises Winston.

“Sometimes the person using these practices hides a very dark past. I was introduced once to a very attractive man, full of charisma, smarts and spirit. I was surprised to find out he was never married or in a long serious relationship, but I decided to consider representing him, not before doing some research.”

“It took me a while, but I discovered that this guy had spent seven years in jail for a $750,000 money laundering scheme... Would you trust him?”, says Winston.

“Make sure you go on the Internet and spend quite a bit of time looking for your prospect. You'd be surprised how much stuff you can find, especially nowadays. Sure, not everything online might be true, but when you find a mugshot as I did in the case I just told you about, you know that's a big issue. Also, don't be afraid to run a background check if you really like the person and consider a future with him or her”.

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