You Know Scammers Steal Photos Right?
But Did You Know That There Is Hidden Data In Most Photos?
In almost all photos taken with digital cameras, assuming that it is not a screen-grab but the original photo, there is something called “EXIF” data or MetaData embedded in the photo data file.
NOTE: there are a couple of important exceptions to this:
- Where the scammer does a screen capture or grab of a photo from the screen
- Photos processed and published by Facebook and other social media that change/replace the files
- These images may have no embedded data that you can use – but it is worth looking, just in case
You Can Use This Data To Tell Something About The Photo
There are several FREE online tools that can display this data, simply by uploading a photo into a tool. If it is an original photo directly from the camera that data will be there.
Free Exif Data Display Websites:
You can also search on Google for “EXIF Viewer” to find more.
In these cases, you upload the photo/image file and it will tell you what is found.
There Are Also Extensions For Your Web Browser:
An Example Of Exif/MetaData:
EXIF Generated Data
EXIF Data Generated Map – this comes from the GPS Information Stored In The Photo.
With Metadata, you can see what camera took the photo, where it was taken, and when it was taken.
If you receive a photo and if it is not an original photo – meaning that it was edited or resized, ask why they would do that? This can help you quickly spot a scammer or a fake.
TIP: always ask a potential romantic partner to send you a photo from their phone’s camera – which WILL be full of EXIF data – including where the photo was taken!
The EXIF data will even tell you which editor it was done in. If there is no data, that too is a clue, meaning it was probably copied from the screen.
Every bit of information helps you make an informed decision about the person you are connected with.