Am I Being Catfished? How To Tell if Your Online Date is Fake

In the past, you could only interact with those close to their physical location. However, the internet has changed human interaction significantly.

Am I being catfished?

Girls can be anyone they want online… be VERY cautious.

With social networks and online dating platforms, you can connect with strangers from miles away. Unfortunately, the convenient outlets also come with scams. Cat fishing is one of the most common ones.

What Is Catfishing?

It is the act of assuming another person’s identity. A catfish may steal another person’s image, name, personal information, or videos. They use the information to create a fake profile or website.

Most times, their goal is to get money or personal information from their victim. Even though a catfish can present themselves in many ways, they often come as romantic scams in your favorite dating app.

10 Signs You’re Being Catfished

10 Signs You’re Being Catfished

Never completely trust everyone you meet online.

Sometimes, it can be harmless. It could be from a lonely, unconfident person just trying to make a friend. However, it can also be sinister. If you don’t notice that you’re being catfished, you may end up losing your money or giving your personal details to malicious strangers. Common red flags to look out for include:

1. They Have No Followers or Friends

It is unusual for social media profiles to have no followers or friends. If your new social media love has less than ten friends, they are probably fake. If the person created their profile a few days or hours ago, they probably have malicious intentions.

2. The Pictures

Even though you may be lucky enough to match with a hottie on a dating app, look out for pictures that seem too good to be true. A catfish is likely to use the pictures of an exceptionally handsome or beautiful person to get your attention. Go through

their profile and take note of the pictures they use. If all or most of them are professional glamour shots, they are likely to be fake. Anything that seems too good to be true is probably fake.

3. Claiming to Be Your Neighbors

A common ploy that a catfish may use is pretending to be from your neighborhood, high school, or college. They make you believe you are just catching up with a neighbor or old classmate and you haven’t only met online. However, you will soon realize that they don’t know much about your school or neighborhood.

4. They Won’t Pick Up Phone Calls

If you have been speaking with anyone on a website, you may soon wish to move to phone calls. If, however, they won’t pick up your calls, they probably have something to hide. While it is normal for them to miss one of your calls, you should be concerned if picking up phone calls is always a problem for them.

5. Avoiding Meetings and Video Calls

If your online friend is willing to pick up voice calls but won’t video chat, they may be using a fake profile. If you have been talking for some time, it makes sense that you meet in real life at some point. They are probably a catfish if they seem to be dodging chances to meet. They will go out of their way to avoid face-to-face interactions. It is the most obvious red flag.

6. They Always Need Something

If the goal of a catfish is to extort you, they may seem to always be in need. Beware of monetary requests from strangers. Most of them may manipulate or guilt-trip you into parting with your money. Some of the most common excuses that they may use include needing money for internet bills to continue talking to you and needing money for hospital bills.

7. They Have No Posts with Friends

For most people, social media is the place to make connections with friends and loved ones. It is unusual for social media users to only have solo images. If a social media user is using fake photos, they are unlikely to steal pictures that include other people. If they include photos with other people, confirm that they’re on their friend list. A catfish is unlikely to have any tagged photos

8. Getting Serious Too Fast

Beware of people who appear too eager to get serious. If you have met someone on a dating site, a few days or weeks of flirting or exchanging pleasantries shouldn’t be enough to declare yourself in a relationship. If they are quick to make major declarations of love, they are likely to be fake. They may be trying to manipulate you as soon as they can.

9. Vague or Outrageous Stories

When speaking to someone online, take note of what they say. A catfish is likely to give vague information or go overboard with unbelievable details. If your new match claims to be a wealthy pilot and a part-time supermodel, they are fake. Inability to provide clear information is a big red flag.

10. Poor Grammar

If your match claims to be from an English-speaking language, it would make no sense for them to have trouble communicating in English. Ask a few questions about their grammar and you are likely to catch them on a lie.

What to Do If you think You’re Being Catfished

If you think that someone is faking their identity, the first thing to do is verify. There are lots of ways to catch a catfish. They include seeming to live an outrageous life, needing money often, and being unable to meet in person. Once you have verified it, avoid sending them any of your pictures or personal information.

What to Do If you think You’re Being Catfished

Look for the red flags and DO NOT ignore them.

Do not send them any money!

Block the person on social media platforms and set your account to private. If you have already sent them money, you may need to contact the police. Do not stop contact with them until you have involved law enforcers. The police may help you recover your money.

If you are certain that someone is catfishing you, report to the police as soon as possible even if you haven’t sent them any money. A catfish is likely to target many people.

Even though you may not fall prey to them, they may succeed in conning someone else. There are lots of options to report cybercrimes and fraud. Make an effort to be more cautious in the future.

How Do You Prove You Are Not Being Catfished?

What to Do If you think You’re Being Catfished

Always be skeptical with online dating.

If the question ‘Am I being catfished?’ has come up, there are a few things you can do to check if their profiles are real. Some of them include:

1. Reverse Image Search

If you suspect that your new match may be using someone else’s photos, a reverse image search may be a good way to alleviate your doubt. Crop and reverse search at least three of their most professional-looking photos and the results might surprise you. Reverse searching is the easiest tool for catching a catfish.

2. Google

Use Google and other search engines if you suspect that you may be dealing with a catfish. Even though some names are common, googling your match’s name can help you figure out who they really are. Their name may reveal that they are a model, celebrity, or even porn star.

3. Check Tagged Photos

Stay away from social media profiles that have no tags as they are likely to be fake profiles. People tag their friends. If someone tags people that aren’t in their friend list, they are not a real person.

4. Fact-Checking

If someone is giving you false information, they probably don’t know much about it. If, for example, they claim to be a model from a modeling agency in Miami, go on and search the name of the Modeling agency. If it isn’t in Miami or it does not exist, they are a catfish. If they tell you about their salary, do your research and find out the average salary for their career.

How Common Is Catfishing?

How Common Is Catfishing?

It’s more common than you might think.

If you have been a victim of catfishing, you aren’t alone. Plenty of men lose their money to catfishing every day. In the digital world, it is very common to form virtual relationships. Even though the convenience has lots of benefits, it also poses some challenges.

According to the FBI, in 2018, over 18,000 people were victims of romance fraud and catfishing. Since this only covers the reported cases, the actual number could be a lot higher. Most people fail to report it because it can be embarrassing.

In 2018, catfishing led to the loss of over $362 million. Texas has the highest number of catfishing cases in the United States. Other states with high numbers of reported cases include Washington, Florida, and New York.

How Do Catfish Catch People?

The most common way for a catfish to catch you is through a dating website. They may set up a fake profile with the pictures of a beautiful woman and a fake name. They start a conversation pretending to be interested in you. Once they have made you feel comfortable, they may try to get your money or personal information.

A common way for them to get money from you is by pretending to make plans for your meeting. They may pretend not to have enough money for their ticket. Other common lies include having family emergencies and life-threatening illnesses.

Conclusion

Catfishers may be a lot more common than you think. Some of the most common signs to look out for include always needing money, finding reasons to avoid meeting you in real life, avoiding phone and video calls, and getting serious too fast.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prove you aren’t being catfished. They include reverse searching, searching their name on Google, and fact-checking. If you think that someone may be trying to catfish you, do not send them your name, personal information, or photos. Report them to the police as soon as possible.

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