If you’re suspicious about a new contact there is an easy way to see if their profile photo is being widely used across the internet – a reverse image search using Google Images.

Romance scammers often steal photos published online and use these identities to approach people. Photos can be taken from anyone who publishes them publicly online – for example, from Facebook profiles.

How to reverse image search on Google

  1. Download a copy of the photo of the person on to your device
  2. Go to Google Image search, select the camera icon 📷  and upload the photo
  3. Google will return a list of results showing where the picture is being used on the internet

You may want to reverse image search using more than one image of the person. Remember this is not a fail-safe way to detect romance scams, but it is a useful tool as many scammers will take these photos offline. They’ll also often use the same image in more than one scam they are running.

We have more information about romance scams on our website including how they work and what to look out for.


Need help or advice? Contact us.

  • Email queries@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5am on weekends.