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Bumble Fake Profiles Guide (2023)

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Have you ever made a match on a dating app, started chatting, and then seen some red flags? Maybe the person you’re talking to is just a bit too good to be true, or their username is CatFish123456, or the details they’re giving you just don’t quite add up.

Well, hate to break it to you, but you may have been fooled by a fake dating profile.

So, how do you spot this deceptiveness and make sure you don’t fall under the spell of someone out to steal your money or identity?

In this article we’re going to cover:

  • Why people make fake Bumble profiles, anyway

  • How many profiles on Bumble are fake

  • What a catfish is

  • Our top four tips for spotting a fake profile

  • Justifiable reasons for reporting a user on Bumble

  • A step-by-step approach to reporting a profile on Bumble that you haven’t chatted with

  • A step-by-step approach to reporting a profile on Bumble that you have chatted with.

Let’s get started so that you can stay safe in the world of online dating!

Why Do People Make Fake Bumble Profiles?

The first thing to understand about those who create fake profiles is that it’s attention-seeking behavior and that it has nothing to do with you. When you’re just a computer-generated image on a screen, it’s easy to hide, or live in a fantasy, rather than bother making real connections.

Some psychologists have suggested that this sort of behavior can be related to mental illness or an inability to live in the real world. They suggest that those who create fake profiles may be lacking in their lives, or have low self-esteem.

However, they may also be bored or curious, or perhaps unable to pursue same sex relationships in their real lives, which may lead to catfishing or impersonation.

Unfortunately, when it comes to fake profiles, those are the less serious reasons why someone may want to create a fake profile. For others, their reasons could be a little more nefarious.

Perhaps they already know you in real life, and have created this profile in order to harass or cyber stalk you. Or, perhaps, they’re simply a scammer, looking to use you for their own financial gain.

The truth is that on sites like Bumble, Tinder, or otherwise, anyone can create an account as long as they have a phone number and a Facebook account. And that means that the person you’ve been chatting to for the last couple of weeks and who’s been asking an awful lot of questions about how much you earn, could well be a catfish.

Remember, this is the Wild West of the internet, where Fake News reigns, and anything goes!

How Many Bumble User Profiles Are Actually Fake?

While it’s difficult to put an exact number on it, some statistics show that roughly 10% of online dating profiles could be completely fake, and the data says that around 53% contain false information.

What kind of false information? Well, while it may be as harmless as their exact height or weight, it could also be what they do for work, what city they live in, or any number of other problematic statements.

While not everyone may want to give out personal information in their bio — such as the name of the business they own, or their exact location or address (and you should never do this on any form of social media!) — some things may be white lies in order to appeal more to the men or women they’d like to attract.

Frankly, when it comes to trying to find true love (or even making new friends) on the internet, any outright lies should be treated as something to be wary of!

Bumble has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to fake profiles or bots, and Reddit sleuths claim that very few of the profiles you see on Bumble are likely to be fake.

When it comes to reducing fake profiles on Bumble, the Support Team encourages users to report suspicious profiles to keep catfish out of “the Hive”. You can do this from within the app, directly on the suspected person’s profile, within a conversation (if you’ve already matched), or you can contact the support team directly.

Another tactic is Bumble’s Photo Verification feature, which was rolled out specifically to keep members safe and know that the person they’re chatting to is who they appear to be in their profile images, and not just a fraud.

Not only can you verify your own identity with this feature, by providing selfie face shots (you’ll need to mimic a photo pose that Bumble will provide), you can also request that the man or woman you’re talking to goes through photo verification, too.

Thanks to these safety features, Bumble has a significantly lower number of fake users when compared to other dating apps. 

Tinder, for example, allegedly has roughly 30–50% of fake profiles on the service. According to this user’s experience, she encountered numerous bots and fake profiles on Hinge. With a suspected 4 in 15 profiles fake, that’s roughly 26% of the app’s users.

What Is a Catfish on Bumble?

Bumble determines catfishing as “a person on the app [who] pretends to be someone they’re not.” 

In fact, the term stems from a documentary made by Ariel Schulman, looking at how his brother Nev Schulman (host of the popular MTV reality show of the same name) was catfished by a woman in Michigan (interestingly, the top 10 states with the most catfish victims are Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, and North Carolina).

The analogy brought up in the documentary was that catfish were shipped along with live cod in order to keep them active, and the woman who had scammed Nev was a catfish — someone who kept the people around her active, alert, and on their toes.

Following the documentary and MTV show, a catfish has become a well-known term to describe someone using a fake persona on the internet.

While we’ve already discussed some of the reasons why someone may catfish, let’s look at these in a little more detail.

According to social scientists and psychologists, some of the answers to why people may catfish include:


They’re simply looking for a way to entertain themselves.

Loneliness, depression, or anxiety

They want someone to talk to, without taking into account how that could affect the other person, or are unable to talk to people in real life.

Self-esteem boosting

They may feel that they’re too shy or too unattractive to meet people otherwise, and so turn to catfishing in order to make themselves feel better.

Control issues

They may feel that the only way they can have power over others is to catfish and bully others, or may want to take revenge or harass someone.

Sexual identity exploration

Some people may be using catfish identities in order to act out their sexual identity fantasies, or using it as a way to explore their gender.

Online theft

They may be looking for an easy way to make money by scamming others.

Those who catfish usually use attractive photos they’ve stolen from others online, they “love bomb” (ie, bombard you with replies and compliments meant to make you feel good in order to form an attachment), and they ask you lots of questions about yourself and rarely talk about themselves.

Crucially, catfishers are usually very rarely able to — or never — voice or video chat, or meet up in person. In some cases, they’ll even go so far as to set up a date with you, and then ghost you with a poor excuse.

One Bumble user based in Canada was able to determine that she was being catfished because the man she had been chatting to was messaging her from an Android device, not an iPhone, but the photos of him featured him wearing an Apple watch.

After some investigation, she found out that the person she’d been talking to had stolen their photos from a model in New York.

Another Bumble user based in the U.S. met a normal-seeming woman on Bumble and only found out she was a catfish when she stood him up and messaged him, asking him to send her $80 for gas.

Head to Google and type in “why do people catfish”, and you’ll find all sorts of reasons from every corner of the internet. But, knowing that it’s a problem, why do so many people across the United States fall for it?

For some folks, they may have mental health issues that make it difficult to connect with people in real life, so they subconsciously try to keep any potential matches from getting too close. 

One study published in 2020 in Sexual and Relationship Theory makes for interesting reading. Of those surveyed who admitted to being catfished, a tendency towards an anxious attachment style was common, as well as both high anxiety and high avoidance traits.

Is it Possible to Make a Fake Bumble Profile?

While Bumble does its best to prevent fake accounts from popping up on the app, it isn’t entirely impossible to create a fake profile. After all, if it was, there wouldn’t be stories and revealing posts from those who’ve been catfished on it!

However, it’s not necessarily easy, either, and the Bumble rules and policy around fake accounts means that if you get caught, you will have your account removed.

Some techniques potential scammers may use to bypass the Bumble security checks include:

  • Using a burner phone or fake number to create an account

  • Setting up a fake Facebook profile, or other fake social media accounts.

However, thanks to the Bumble verification process (which can’t be faked), if you do suspect that someone may be a catfish, this will allow you to put your mind at ease, and make sure that the owner of the account really is who they say they are.

The Bumble verification process looks like this:

  • You can either verify your own profile, or request another user to verify theirs, by clicking on the profile verify button

  • A pop up will appear on your screen, asking you to mimic the shown pose in a selfie

  • This is sent to a member of the verification team (who are all real people!)

  • If the image matches, you’ll receive a confirmation in a few minutes; if not, you’ll receive a rejection

  • If you’ve been approved, you can continue on as usual

  • If you’ve been rejected and your profile has been reported, your profile will be turned off.

Honestly, the likelihood of encountering a fake profile on Bumble is relatively low, especially when compared to other dating apps. 

Partially this is because of the verification process and security checks Bumble utilizes, but partially it’s also because Bumble has a somewhat lower user base than, for example, Tinder.

Tips for Spotting a Fake Bumble Profile

While it can be a little tricky to spot a fake Bumble profile, it isn’t impossible. And, in some cases, it’s a little too obvious.

Look out for either incomplete or inconsistent information in their profile, as well as photos that look like they’ve been stolen from stock images, or are just far too attractive. 

Do your due diligence, too — if you suspect that the person you’re about to talk to has stolen photos, try a reverse image search on Google and see if it comes back with any other results.

If they’re desperately trying to get you off the app and onto another unregulated messaging service, such as WhatsApp, that should also raise some red flags; similarly if they refuse to exchange phone numbers. 

If you do match and start chatting and notice that their English seems a little patchy, or they repeatedly use your name, or the conversation seems to escalate really quickly — either in content or the emotions of the other person (love bombing, for example) — stop and take stock! It might be a good idea to ask them to verify their account, and if they refuse (or have some other excuse), then it’s pretty likely you’ve caught yourself a big ol’ catfish.

Here are another four of our best tell-tale signs.

1. Your Match’s Profile Pictures Look Staged or Too Good to Be Real

While you can have awesome professional profile pictures (just check out what some of our past clients at The Match Artist had to say!), if the pictures you’re looking at look a little too unnaturally posed and model-like, then there’s a strong possibility that the person on the other end could not be who they claim.

Additionally, if there’s only one photo and it’s especially attractive, err on the side of caution!

2. Your Match Always Makes Excuses to Never Meet Up

So, you’ve met your dream girl or guy, you’re chatting away and getting on like a house on fire, but every time you bring up the subject of an IRL date, they have some reason why they can’t meet up.

Red flag!

Once is fair, even twice could just be bad luck, but more than that? Ooh, boy.

If they are real then the very least they could do is offer another date in return, and if they don’t, at worst they’re a catfish, and at best they’re just not that interested.

3. They Don’t Want to Video Chat

Sometimes meeting up IRL can be tricky, we admit. But video chatting shouldn’t be, unless you’ve got something to hide.

If you’ve repeatedly asked your match to video chat and they won’t or “can’t”, then assume that it’s because there’s some piece of information they’re not telling you, that would be revealed in a video call.

4. They Focus Too Much Attention on You

If your match is being a little too attentive, ie, their behavior borders on being obsessive, or they’re overly complimentary and love bombing you, this could be a tell-tale sign that they’re a catfish.

Ignoring personal boundaries or asking you to reveal information about yourself that makes you uncomfortable are potential red flags. It’s known as “self-disclosure”, and is a natural way to strengthen a relationship, or create trust between people.

Unfortunately, it’s also a common tactic used by catfishers in order to get you to a point where they can more easily manipulate or deceive you.

If all of this is paired with the fact that they won’t reveal any personal information about themselves, or the information they have revealed doesn’t seem to add up: beware!

Justifiable Reasons to Report a User

While it can be tempting to report anybody who crosses you, you should be aware that there are certain justifiable reasons.

These include:

  • When users have violated Bumble’s community guidelines

  • If the profile in question is found to be fake or otherwise deceptive

  • If a user is harassing you, or exhibiting abusive behavior.

It’s good to know that in addition to reporting someone for abusive behavior on the app, you can also report them for abusive behavior if you’ve gone on an IRL date with them. Additionally, Bumble partnered with Bloom to offer complimentary trauma support to their members.

Here are five more reasons to report someone.

Your Match is Making Threats to Your Personal Safety

If your match is making threats to your personal safety, eg, they’re threatening violence if you don’t reply to them, or to find you at your home or workplace, or similar, then it’s extremely important that you both block and report them. It may also be helpful to take screenshots that you can send to the Bumble team (users aren’t notified when you take screenshots).

By blocking them, you prevent them from having further access to you, and they won’t be able to view your messages any longer. Reporting them to Bumble is especially important, as the team takes these reports incredibly seriously.

When you report a user, the human moderators at Bumble will investigate and handle it, without you needing to be involved. If they do require any more information, they’ll contact you by email.

In most cases, those who break the rules will have their profiles removed from the app.

Using Too Much Derogatory Language or Hate Speech

Merriam-Webster defines hate speech as, “speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability)”.

What this may look like is someone using derogatory language about another person’s weight, height, or other physical appearance, beliefs or otherwise.

Bumble has a zero-tolerance policy against abusive, inappropriate, or misogynistic behavior, and joined up with the Anti-Defamation League and the Center on Technology and Society in order to identify hate symbols across the app. As a result, white supremacists are banned from the platform.

Anyone who is the victim of hate speech is encouraged to block and report offenders, who may then face the same consequences as other users who are reported on the app.

Sending Excessive and or Harassing Messages

Harassing messages are simply messages that another user doesn’t want to receive, no matter the content. Whether that’s excessive messaging from one party, or messages that have turned abusive or overtly sexual without consent, it’s all the same.

In fact, according to this report, six out of ten women say that they continue to receive messages from potential matches, even after telling them they’re not interested.

The psychological and emotional impact can be huge — the same study found that 36% of women had found their online dating experiences to be “either extremely or very upsetting”. It can affect self-esteem and confidence, and turn users away from dating apps.

However, as with any other form of harassment, you can block and report individuals (and in this case, we would recommend that you take screenshots, too). Reporting will go through the same process as detailed above, and Bumble’s response may be to ban the individual from the app.

Sending Unsolicited or Non-Consensual Sexual Images 

Bumble has a lot of guidelines around sexual harassment on the app. This includes a strong stance against sending unsolicited or non-consensual sexual images.

According to Netsafe, unsolicited images are “nude images of videos that someone has taken of themselves and sent to someone who didn’t ask for them or say it was okay to send them”. This is also known as “cyberflashing”.

This could include images or videos of another user’s genitals, or of them performing sex acts. It could also include overly-sexual speech, comments, suggestions, jokes, or audio notes of a sexual nature.

Bumble’s policy doesn’t allow any conversations to begin with sexual content, as it’s a non-consensual act, and when it comes to unsolicited nude images or videos, there’s an absolutely zero-tolerance policy. 

If someone does send you an inappropriate image, Bumble has a Private Detector feature which blurs the image and warns you, before giving you the option to view it.

It’s important to note that not only is this sort of behavior strongly recommended against on the app and could get you blocked and reported, or your account deleted, in certain states cyberflashing could even be illegal.

If you’ve been the victim of cyberflashing, be sure to block and report the offender. Not only does it mean that you don’t have to deal with their inappropriate behavior any longer, it also helps keep the general community safe!

Spam or External Links That Make You Uncomfortable

One of the community guidelines on Bumble is that you’re not permitted to solicit others. That means no trying to sell anything, or you’ll face being banned from the app.

Unfortunately, sometimes bots or fake profiles will attempt to send you spam or external links, with the intention of either getting you to sign up to another website (eg, OnlyFans), or as a phishing attempt.

Not only can clicking on unknown and unverified links put your device at risk with malware, at worst you could open yourself up to hackers and those who want to steal your personal information.

If you receive messages from a match that seem a bit spammy, be sure to block and report them.

How to Report a Fake Bumble Profile That You Haven’t Chatted With

Even if you haven’t chatted with someone but you suspect that they may be a fake (ie, they exhibit any of the behaviors we’ve discussed in this article, or have any other red flags), you can still report them.

But why report someone you’ve had no contact with? Well, Bumble is designed as a space for a community, whether that’s for Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, or Bumble Bizz. And in order to keep the community safe, it’s important that all users are actively involved in taking action against those who may seek to harm the rest.

Only by working together can you actively remove scammers, catfish, and bots!

Here’s the process to report a Bumble user you may stumble across, but may not have chatted with directly.

1. On the Suspected User’s Fake Profile, Navigate to the Bottom and Select the “Hide and Report” Option

This will start the process to report someone’s profile and also prevent you from seeing it again.

2. Choose “Stolen Photo” as Your Main Reason and Include Any Additional Comments for the Bumble Moderation Team

When the pop-up appears, select “Stolen Photo” — this will flag to the Bumble team that they’re dealing with a potentially fake profile. If you know where the photo came from (ie, it’s a celebrity, or someone you know), add this information.

3. Provide Any Additional Context Regarding the Situation

If you have any additional comments for red flags you’ve seen on their profile (or screenshots), you can add this here.

4. Tap “Submit Report” Once You Are Satisfied With Your Claim

Submitting will then send the report to the human moderation team, who will investigate and take action. If they need any further information, they’ll email you.

How to Report a Fake Bumble Profile That You Have Matched & Started a Conversation With

If you have started chatting with a user and then suspect that they may not be who they say they are, it’s just as easy to block and report them.

1. In the Conversation Window, Tap the Three Dots in the Top Right-Hand Corner

This will start the process to block and report a user.

2. Click on “Block and Report”

This will block the person from being able to see or communicate with you, and start the reporting process. The user will disappear from your messages when you block them, and vice versa.

3. Choose “Stolen Photo” as Your Main Reason and Include Any Additional Comments for the Bumble Moderation Team

When the pop-up appears, select “Stolen Photo” — this will flag to the Bumble team that they’re dealing with a potentially fake profile. If you know where the photo came from (ie, it’s a celebrity, or someone you know), add this information.

4. Provide Any Additional Context Regarding the Situation

If you have any additional comments for red flags you’ve seen on their profile (or screenshots), you can add this here.

5. Tap “Submit Report” Once You Are Satisfied With Your Claim

Submitting will then send the report to the human moderation team, who will investigate and take action. If they need any further information, they’ll email you.

While Bumble won’t be able to share report statuses, due to privacy issues, if you have a legitimate concern, you can always try contacting Bumble directly.

If the person you’ve reported is found to be in violation of community guidelines, Bumble policies, or otherwise, they may receive a warning or even a ban from the app entirely.

Key Takeaway

While you can’t stop a catfish from joining Bumble — not entirely, at least — by being aware of their behaviors, tendencies, and red flags, you can protect yourself.

Remember, scammers and catfish are usually nothing to do with you personally, but often to do with the person who made the fake profile. Perhaps they’re lacking something in their real lives, and feel that the only validation they can find is through pretending to be someone they’re not online.

While catfishing a person is a bad thing to do, not all catfish are necessarily bad people.

Be aware of the following red flags when talking to someone:

  • They only have one photo or their photos look “too good to be true”

  • They can never meet up and are reluctant to video chat

  • They only want to focus their attention on you and never talk about themselves

  • Information they’ve told you and information on their profile contradicts or doesn’t quite add up

  • They escalate the conversation or emotions very quickly

  • They ask for money.

Bumble has a zero-tolerance policy for fake profiles, so if you suspect that someone is lying about their identity, don’t be afraid to ask them to use the Photo Verification feature. And, if they refuse, block and report them.

Bumble also has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to harassment on the app, so if you experience sexual, verbal, or physical harassment from another user — on or off the app — report, report, report!

When it comes to your own profile, make sure that you’ve got a good range of high-quality profile images (Bumble allows you to upload up to six) so that nobody could ever accuse you of being a catfish!

If you need a little help in the photo department, that’s where you should get in touch with The Match Artist

Our professional photographers will be all too happy to work with you to take amazing photos that will get you more likes and matches — guaranteed! And, fingers crossed, no catfish in sight!

You can never be too careful, so be sure to online date responsibly!

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