Let’s Talk About… Tantan

For those who don’t know, Tantan is a dating app, known in some circles as a Chinese Tinder. You install it on your phone, input your location, peruse the pictures and then swipe right if you like, or left if you don’t. It’s a huge platform, and in mid-2018 boasted a user base in excess of 100 million. I’ve been using it for a couple of years, and I’ve had a fair bit of success. I’ve talked to hundreds of women, made a few friends and slept with a few women. However, like most internet dating apps, or like the internet in general, not everybody is who they say they are.

Obviously, we all use our best, probably filtered pictures. We might also say we are a few inches taller, or a few years younger than we really are. This is the dating game. However, some people present a whole fake persona in a bid to lure you into some potentially damaging situation.

In my experience, there are two kinds of fake Tantan user; the scammer and the gay, and I’m going to tell you how to spot them.

The Scammer

The pictures are usually of ‘model’ quality, making you think you’ve struck gold when you match. They are unusually chatty and friendly, asking questions about your job and where you’re from. A red flag is if they claim to own their own company or be self-employed. They are especially keen to migrate to other apps, usually WeChat or Whatsapp. I assume this is a way to harvest your contact details. They see talking to you as ‘work,’ so they rarely respond to your messages on the weekends, when you would expect ‘normal’ people to have more free time. Most of them also have VIP membership, which you have to pay for. One of the perks is that you automatically match with anyone who swipes right on your profile, meaning you save time by never having to do any swiping of your own.

Sooner or later, usually sooner, they steer the conversation towards Bitcoin or other vague ‘investments’ and when they feel they have built enough confidence, they’ll hit you with their spiel:

“Do u know Bitcoin?”

“Have u ever invested in gold?”

“I’m looking at the currency exchange. What about u?”

It’s a scammer. Run.

The gay men pretending to be girls

These people also use fake pictures, but tend to steal them from real profiles so as to appear more realistic. The big giveaway here is they will turn the conversation toward sex at the earliest available opportunity. Most women, especially Chinese women, are rarely so open. They will also want you to send them a photo of your junk.

This approach mystifies me, because surely gay guys would have more luck propositioning other gay guys rather than going to the effort of pretending to be someone else and trying to hoodwink people. Unless, of course that’s that part they like.

The easiest way to identify the secret gays, or have a legit woman go some way to proving she is legit, is simply to ask them to send you a voice message. A man’s voice is usually easily recognizable. If they protest, it’s probably because they have something to hide.

Like I said, there are some genuine people on Tantan, and I hope this advice helps you find them.

Be smart, and be safe.

Check out my books for more tips, advice, and adventures!

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