What Is Catfishing?
We have probably all heard about catfishing. Whether it was a local celebrity being scammed, or one of our close friends or even ourselves, it is not a comfortable situation to be in. And we can assure you, no one wants to find themselves in such a case. It is degrading and not to mention embarrassing. Contrary to popular belief, the term “catfishing” has been around for many decades but has gained popularity since 2010.
Have You Ever Been a Victim In a Catfish Scenario?
Catfishing is a practice and bizarre phenomenon where someone creates a fake identity online, builds a relationship with one or multiple other users to exploit them either financially or physically. This is mostly done on dating sites or social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. People who catfish others use fake pictures to disguise who they are.
Dating apps are so deeply integrated into our lives that most people now depend on dating apps to sustain their love lives. This has come with both negative and positive consequences. While you might meet a good guy or girl, the risk of encountering a catfish has exponentially gone from 0 to 100 very quickly.
Have you ever been a victim of a catfish scenario? If yes, what was the specific reason you were catfished? Was the catfish motivated by money, or they just did it for the sake of doing it? After being catfished, most people usually undergo a sense and feeling of betrayal. Being robbed of countless personal time and effort in a false relationship is probably not what you have in mind when you talk with someone online.
Remember, It Is Always Catfish Season
Catfish scenarios are becoming alarmingly common. Why can’t it be like the times our grandparents met? Do not let your guard down when it comes to online relationships. We cannot even count the stories of catfishing we see on the internet. Hundreds of people have at some point or another, been a victim of catfishing. The stories may vary, but the punch line is strikingly similar.
Catfish victims usually end up falling in love with their online partners. A woman may think she is in love with a hot CEO from Texas when in actuality, it is a teenage girl behind that screen.
You are probably wondering why catfish do what they do. Well, some of the reasons a catfish will trap you are:
For financial gain.To defraud a victim. To steal your identity. Seek revenge.Troll you. Loneliness (yes, some catfish are just lonely.)Struggles with real-world connections to people.
Dissatisfaction with their physical appearance. To explore their sexuality (some people prefer the same gender, and are afraid to come out. This can lead to catfishing.)Catfishing out of practicality.
For example, they had to be a certain age to access certain websites. This led them to create entire personas that they later used online to catfish other unsuspecting victims.
In our generation, catfishing has become so popular and so frequent. The sad bit is, it is not yet considered a crime. Growing up in the age of social media and being able to access the internet with a simple swipe or tap, has made catfishing easy and dangerous for the gullible.
How do you know if you are being catfished?
It is very tricky if feelings are involved, to realize that you are being catfished. Most of these con artists rely on your emotions to scam you. Typically, all the warning signs are there, and you just have to go with your gut feeling. However, here are some tips on how to recognize if you have found yourself in a catfishing scenario.
The excuses. When dating someone online, you expect that someday you will meet and get to know each other better. However, if this person refuses to comply, and gives you excuses on the day you are supposed to meet, it is most probably a hoax.
No photos or webcam. In this age and time, let no one tell you they don’t have access to a webcam, in case you want to video chat. Skype video chat is a great way to get to know someone even better. It should be very suspicious if the person you are dating online doesn’t want to video chat with you, or gives you excuses when they don’t pick up your video call. Their photos look too good to be true. Do they look perfect?
Do they look like they just walked straight out of Vogue magazine? Think twice about such photos. They may probably be on google. The same applies to someone whose profile oversells what they do. For example, a pilot, fought cancer and won-twice, building a church in Africa, and climbed the Kilimanjaro. Be wary of such achievements.
Is Your Catfish Asking You For Money?
Asking for money. This is usually the first step after seducing you. Once a catfish is sure they have a grip on you, and you have feelings for them, they usually ask for money. While there is nothing wrong with giving money to the person you love, at least make sure you have met them.
Playing on your emotions. Most people who catfish have noticed that playing on others’ emotions is beneficial in the end. So beware of profiles with ill and sick people. Some of them are scams just waiting for the right sympathetic victim. Low social media count.
All social media profiles had a date when the account was created. Make sure to look for the period the social media account was created. If the account has less than 100 followers, then it might be a trap. Many fraudsters create multiple accounts to set up proof that they exist. You will find a Facebook account with subsequent Instagram, Twitter, and Tinder accounts; all created at the same time.
They profess their love for you very quickly. In the real world, we always tend to take new relationships slowly. Why should it be any different with online dating? If your new online relation professes their love early, they might be trying to play on your emotions. Most of the information they give you doesn’t add up. For example, where they live.
If they say they live in the United Kingdom, and you live in the United States, you will notice some discrepancy when they can’t keep up with the time zones. They have bad grammar and spelling in your communication, despite saying they are from your country. They are most probably from another continent and do not know how to speak or write English. They are merely using basic knowledge of English.
They never have time to meet up, or they have demanding jobs that require them to travel overseas. This justifies the funny times they want to talk and when they are logged on to the dating app. They also never have a permanent address. This is because they travel a lot and work overseas. Trust your gut always.
Do You Sense Something Is Wrong?
Many people who reported being catfished said they always had a feeling that something was wrong. But they ignored it until it was too late. Don’t ignore your gut instinct if it tells you there is something wrong. If something smells fishy, it most probably is.
There are ways to protect yourself from being catfished. If it has already happened, here are things you need to know:
Obviously, you will start to suspect something is wrong after they bring up many excuses and cancel plans last minute. Here is what you can do:
Utilize Google. Google the person’s name. If their name doesn’t show up or brings some irrelevant search results, then it’s time to do deeper digging. You should also do a reverse google image search using the persons’ profile picture.
Does Your Catfish Post Pictures From Other Websites?
The search will tell you where the image is from. Ask a ton of questions. We end up not knowing anything at all about the catfish, and they end up knowing everything about us. Ask where they like to go on weekends. Ask where they grew up and how many siblings they have.
Search around the web to find out stuff. Like the town and street, they said they lived in. You can use google maps too. Take any safety measures to protect yourself. Avoid sending private photos or videos of yourself. We may trust people comfortably, and sadly they never have your best interests at heart.
If you meet your online date for the first time, meet in a public place during the day. You can also bring a friend. Never give them huge sums of money. No matter how sick or “in a bad place” your online interest seems to be in, when they borrow money, and you have never met them, make sure you are not giving large amounts of money.
Do not send them money, no matter the emergency they say they are in. Never give out personal information such as your actual date of birth, bank account details, or social security number. These can be used to steal your identity and rob you of hard-earned money.
How to Prove You’re Not a Catfish
If you’re unsure of your new online friend, you should check their pictures. Typically, a catfish will never post photos of themselves with other people, but you can check to see if they have any. In this case, you can try asking them if they have a picture of themselves with other people. If they refuse to do so, you may have just met a catfish.
Before meeting with an online mate, you should make sure that they’re not a catfish. First, don’t believe everything they say. Look for conflicting information, which could be a sign that they’re not who they say they are. Also, don’t meet up without video chat. Many people are camera shy and don’t know the warning signs of a catfish, so it’s a good idea to Skype and see if you can get along.
Second, try to check the photo quality. A catfish might post photos with low resolution and little detail, but the photos can be a great proof of their activity. Third, check out their profile. If they have multiple photos of themselves with a similar profile picture, it’s likely a catfish. Lastly, if they don’t pick up the phone, it’s a good idea to be suspicious.
If you have been a victim of a catfish in the past, you can also try chatting with them in person. You can also check their pictures and messages to make sure they’re authentic. If the photos and images don’t match, you should do a reverse image search. If you have a feeling that the person is a catfish, you should take their pictures and send them to the police.
If you’ve been catfished in the past, it’s not hard to spot a scammer. You should never meet a person online without video chat and always check their profile to make sure they’re who they say they are. If you’re not sure about someone’s identity, it’s best to avoid the person’s photo. Moreover, a picture may be a clue that they’re a catfish.
It’s important to check out the person’s images and messages before sending money. If the picture is too good to be true, it’s likely a catfish. If you’re not sure, try to find the person’s other social media profiles. If the person’s pictures are similar to yours, it’s a sign of a potential scammer. In addition, a catfish’s picture can be used on multiple social media accounts.
You can use the Internet to do a reverse image search of the person’s profile. This is a great way to find out if your online match is a catfish. If they don’t have a phone number, they’re probably a catfish, so make sure you ask them for it. Then, you can try to Skype them to verify the authenticity of the photos and messages.
It’s essential to avoid people who claim to be models or other similar-looking people. You’ll be able to detect a catfish by their fake images or by using a reverse image search. You’ll also want to avoid video chats and phone calls with people who claim to be models. A good catfish should be a good role model, so be careful to find a good match.
Another way to check if you’re dating a catfish is by verifying the photos and messages. Often, a catfish uses a photograph of someone else and posts it online as their own. Then, you can use a reverse image search to find out if your new friend is a real person. If you’re unsure of whether a person is a fake, do a reverse image search.
It’s vital to follow up and contact the police. The police can help you recover your money if you’ve been cheated. A catfish is likely to target many other people, so it’s important to be cautious. The police can help you. This way, you can prove that you’re not a catfish and that you’re not a fake. In the future, you can also be extra careful.
Avoiding Catfishing Scams
When a person meets someone they like online, it’s very common for them to fall for a catfishing scam. They may pretend to be someone better looking than they actually are, or they may even have several false profiles created by combining photos from other sites. Some catfishers also use fake profiles to trick people into believing they’re more attractive than they are. Another example is when a catfisher asks for money from a person they thought was an actual person.
The first step to avoid becoming a victim of catfishing is to prioritize safety. Don’t give money to anyone you don’t know, and don’t pay for plane tickets or other services. If someone seems too good to be true, it’s probably a fake. You should also be wary of anyone who asks you for personal information or money. Don’t let this happen to you.
In addition to scammers asking for money, you should look out for the following behaviors. In early stages of the relationship, a catfisher may ask you to send them money. This amount may include money for plane fares, or it might include a small amount for a flight. If you’re unsure, don’t give them any money. They could be using it for their own benefit. If you don’t know the person well, you’ll likely end up receiving a lot of threatening messages and emails.
People who engage in catfishing usually have mental health issues. They want to feel confident by assuming another person’s identity and engaging with others online. This way, they gain confidence and a higher self-esteem. However, it’s vital to remember that catfishers typically have grand explanations for their financial problems and have a tendency to deceive people. When you’re dealing with people with this mentality, the chances are very high that they’re infected with a mental illness.
Fortunately, catfishing isn’t always illegal. Whether you’re a victim of a catfishing scam or not, it’s important to remember that catfishers use various techniques to scam people and steal their money. They may also ask for money in return for a prank, so be very careful in your responses. A person’s motives may be completely different than yours.
Catfishers may be infected with a mental illness. If a person engages in catfishing, it’s important to keep in mind that their identity isn’t real. They’re just pretending to be someone else. And you’re not the only one who should be wary of cats. Just be cautious when interacting with people online. And don’t forget to take precautions.
Catfishing is a common cyberbullying scam and can lead to criminal charges. Often, the victim is a teenager, and the catfish’s identity is a fake. They use photos of themselves with photos of their victims to make themselves seem more appealing to potential partners. These scammers use the personal details of innocent people to lure them into scams. They use their identities to lure other people into sending them money.
Catfishers are online fraudsters who pretend to be someone they are not. They use a person’s photo and pretend to be them. It can be for monetary gain or just for fun. If you feel uncomfortable with a particular person, be suspicious. Often, catfishers use the victim’s information to gain more money. You should never trust a catfishing a stranger, so be cautious with their information.
A catfisher will try to steal your identity so that they can scam you. The best way to protect yourself from this is to avoid any situation where the person’s true identity can be revealed. You should never give a catfisher money in order to continue the scam. If you’re unsure of a person, consider asking a friend. Your friend will be able to help you spot red flags.
A catfisher will try to fool you into thinking they are someone you know. But the fact is, they can be a fake because they have other intentions in mind. A catfish will usually hide their true identity and ask for money once they’ve gained your trust. This is a scam, but it’s not impossible to avoid it. You can also avoid being a victim of catfishing. It is a common practice in dating.