If you receive a photo from someone on a dating website or a Facebook friend request or a scam email etc. you might want to know whether the photo is of the sender or has just been copied off the Internet.
Fake photos are a common problem on dating websites, where, for male scammers photos of uniformed soldiers are often used. For female scammers, the use of photos of random hot women stolen from social media sites is very common.
Google has a reverse image lookup facility and it’s easy to use.
- Download a copy of the photo of the person on to your device if possible (or you can a URL pointing to the image)
- Go to Google Image search and select the camera icon
- Upload the photo or type in the URL for the image
- The result will be a list showing where the picture is on the Internet.
This cannot be guaranteed to give 100% accurate results, but it makes a good effort to match the image you supply.
If the scammer has chosen a popular photo from a popular website then Google is likely to find it but if someone is just using a picture of their neighbour for example then there’s little chance of finding it.
Just because Google cannot find the photo on the Internet does not prove it is a genuine photo of the sender.
The scammers that use fake pictures may well work for professional criminal organisations and treat it like an everyday job. So, confronting them is pointless, trying to talk out of such deceitful behaviour is a waste of time.
If you catch people cheating with photos then report them to the social media site concerned or the relevant dating site.
You may also choose to report them to the Police and tell the scammer you know they are fake.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.