Meeting new people can be fun and exciting, and keeping an open mind when using Bumble is important—you never know who you’ll feel a connection with. But it’s just as important to keep an eye out for any red flags. While Bumble is a place to make kind and meaningful connections, unfortunately it’s still possible you may come into contact with someone whose behavior causes you concern.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t respect you or your boundaries, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So here are some red flags to keep an eye out for when you’re dating online.
Their profile is missing basic info
If you come across a profile that has a name and very little else, proceed with care. A dater might only share minimal information to keep themselves safe, especially if you’re swiping somewhere where online dating is stigmatized. If you think that a dater hasn’t shared many details in order to protect themselves, it’s still wise to move slowly. This is not only to make them comfortable, but also to give you time to make sure they’re a real person before exchanging information or meeting in person.
On the other hand, it’s possible that a person is withholding information on their profile because they’re a catfish, scammer, spammer, or not looking for a genuine connection. There are a number of reasons why someone might be withholding this information: it gives them anonymity, it allows them to craft a story they think you’ll find compelling, and it makes it harder for you to find anything about them via a simple internet search. If you get the sense that there’s something fishy about the mostly-empty profile, swipe left.
It’s also a red flag if someone’s profile text is only their social media handle. They might say something like, “I’m never on here, reach out on [handle]” or “Find me on [social media] for what you need to know.” It may be that this person is only looking for followers rather than a real connection. Don’t waste your time!
Their photo looks staged
If a photo looks photoshopped or too staged, it could be a red flag signaling that the person behind the profile isn’t real or isn’t being authentic. Scammers use photos of attractive people as bait, to get you to match with them. Do a reverse image search to see if the photo comes up anywhere else. If it seems legit and you decide you want to reach out, proceed with caution.
They take the conversation into R-rated territory without your consent
Sexting can be hot. But unless you and your match have both consented to veering into hookup territory, sending R-rated messages after matching with someone is presumptuous and a red flag. The same goes for sending lewd photos or nudes—Bumble’s Private Detector feature will blur these types of images, so you’ll be able to choose if you want to see them or not.
If that’s not your vibe, you can Block & Report the person or Unmatch them. If you’re still interested in them, you may want to set a clear boundary by saying something like, “I actually have a personal rule that I don’t go there with someone I just met.” Hopefully they’ll take the hint and the conversation can move on. But if they don’t respect the line you’ve drawn? Next.
They ask you for money or personal information
This one may feel obvious, but scammers are great at manipulating emotions to get what they want without their victims ever realizing it. Maybe they share a heartbreaking story about their dog needing emergency surgery and ask you for an urgent loan, otherwise they’ll have to put poor Buster down. Or they suggest you’re uptight or frigid after you decline to send them sexy selfies in the hopes that shaming you will get you to give in to their request.
If someone is trying to build an honest connection with you, they aren’t going to pressure you to “do something” for them or try to move the relationship along at an uncomfortable pace. To protect yourself, never ever share your personal data—including banking information, your home or work address, or even the specific names of establishments you frequent—with anyone you just met online.
They’re overly negative
Apart from just being a downer to be around, someone being overly negative could be a red flag that they are not in a place to meet someone, they’re unkind, or that they have personality traits—like being controlling or narcissistic—that make them an unfit partner. If someone is very negative in their profile (maybe it’s something like, “Don’t swipe right if…” or “Not into…..”), you might want to swipe left. Or, if they’re really negative in your chat, you can tell them, “It was nice to meet you, but I don’t think we’re a good match. Good luck with everything!” Then move on.
They want to move off Bumble right away
Bumble has measures in place, like Photo Verification and Video Chat and Voice Call features, to help ensure you have a safe and good experience on the app. So be wary if someone is trying to get you to move your conversation off the platform very quickly after you match; it may be that they’re trying to limit your access to their information, gain more of your information, or assume control over your means of communication. Only take the conversation off Bumble when you feel comfortable doing so.
They resist talking on the phone, video calling, or meeting in person
If you’ve been chatting with a new match for a while, but they keep making excuses for why they can’t talk on the phone, video call, or meet in person, it may be a sign they aren’t who they say they are. Even if the reason they give seems legitimate—they’re working out of town, or away caring for a sick relative—you should still proceed with caution. Take things slowly, ask lots of questions, and walk away if you become uncomfortable.
If you spot any of these red flags after matching with someone, you can always use our Unmatch feature. Just go to the conversation screen, left swipe on the chat, and hit Unmatch, or click on the chat, tap the three dots in the top right corner of the screen, and select Unmatch. After unmatching with someone, your conversation will disappear and they won’t be able to message you or see your profile.
You can also use Bumble’s Block & Report feature by clicking on the three gray dots in the top right corner of the chat screen with a match. A pop-up will appear and you can select among options like “fake profile,” “rude or abusive behavior,” “hate speech,” and others as your reason for reporting them. You can also use this feature to report suspicious profiles you haven’t matched with. Simply scroll to the bottom of their profile and click Hide & Report to have a member of Bumble’s support team review your request and take action based on Bumble’s community guidelines. You can rest easy knowing Bumble won’t tell the person you reported that you are the one who reported them, and you won’t see them again in any other Bumble mode.
Knowing about these red flags means you can continue having a fun and safe dating experience.