How To Know If You Re Getting Catfished – Catfishing is a dangerous form of online fraud where someone pretends to be someone other than who they really are. The goal is to make the victim fall in love with the catfish.
Once the catfish gains the victim’s trust, it may ask the victim for money. Catfish are very good at making excuses to ask for “financial help”, so be warned. Fortunately, if you’re dealing with a catfish, there are often a few telltale signs. The list below contains common signs of catfish fishing.
How To Know If You Re Getting Catfished
Do you want to know more about catfish, the signs, how to prevent it and what to do if you become a victim? Read the comprehensive article below.
Catfishing: How To Protect Your Teens Online
With the explosion of social media and online dating in the last decade, catfishing has become more common than ever. In 2020 alone, over 23,000 US it. Citizens reported that they were victims of catfishing. In addition, the financial damage caused by catfish is devastating. 23,000 victims reported more than $605,000,000 in combined damages.
But what is this dangerous catfishing practice you’ve heard so much about? Where do you get catfish? What are the signs that you are a catfish? What should you do to prevent this if you have already been a victim? We will answer all these questions in this extensive article.
Catfish means pretending to be someone else in order to get someone to want a romantic relationship with a suitor. To do this, the catfish generally uses made-up stories and fake photos to support its fake identity.
Some people fish for catfish just because they feel they get very limited romantic attention. However, catfish often have far more sinister motives. Many of them ask for money once they gain the victim’s trust, for example. Alternatively, they may try to force people to “pay”, for example by combining the catfisherman with other scams, such as sex extortion, which often happens.
Is ‘catfish’ Scripted
Now you can rightly ask yourself: what is a catfish called? Some people think it’s from a popular 2010 documentary
, which is about a young man who is seduced by a woman with a fake Facebook profile. But the documentary simply popularized the term—it didn’t invent it.
The term originally comes from the beginning of the 20th century, when fishermen loaded catfish with cod. Since the catfish is the natural enemy of the cod, it will constantly chase the fish and keep it fresh, active and tastier. Since digital catfish also stalk their prey, the term has been adopted to describe them as well.
There are many different reasons why people fish for catfish. Some are more “innocent”. For example, some people are because they feel lonely or unappreciated in a society that does not find them attractive. Often their goal is just to create an online persona to attract people they don’t think would be interested in real life.
A Catfishing With A Happy Ending
Things get worse when the ultimate goal of catfishing is to harm or persecute the victims. In some cases, catfish can even lead to or be part of even more serious forms of abuse.
Then there’s the usual financial incentive: many catfish end up scamming their victims out of money. They often come up with excuses to ask for financial help. They may tell victims that they need money to visit them. Or maybe a family member is sick and needs some money to cover medical expenses. You may feel like you’re helping them by transferring (some) money, but they’ll probably keep coming up with more excuses to ask for financial help.
Catfishing mainly takes place on social media platforms and online dating sites or apps. Below we discuss some of the most common “summary platforms” and what this scam looks like on these platforms.
Tinder is one of the largest online dating platforms and by far the largest in the US. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that the “Tinder catfish” is one of the most common types of catfish. It’s best to learn how to manage your privacy on Tinder to avoid opportunistic catfish.
How Frequently Do Yall Get Catfished On This App? Am I Being A Stickler?
Once the catfish has “matched its victim”, it will send them a message and try to gain their trust. That’s when the catfishing cycle begins. Fortunately, Tinder recently announced that it will soon require ID verification for all users. This should make it much more difficult for the catfish to find their “catch”.
With about 86,000,000 fake Facebook accounts and Facebook being the biggest social network in the world, it’s no wonder there are so many catfish on Facebook.
Many of us have probably received a suspicious-looking friend request at one point or another. It is better to ignore and delete them. After all, according to the Better Business Bureau, 85% of catfish scams start on Facebook. The launch of Facebook dating (in 2019) is likely to increase this percentage.
A Facebook catfish generally starts by sending a friend request to the victim. Sometimes a catfish will send a direct message in the hope that the victim will respond. Once the victim responds, the perpetrator reels them in with sweet talk and false stories. There are plenty of other Facebook scams out there, so it’s best to stay informed and armed.
How Can You Check If You Are Being Catfished?
With a platform as visually oriented as Instagram and over a billion users, it’s hard to completely avoid the Instagram catfish. Catfish can send their victim either a follow request or a direct message using Instagram Direct. This will appear as a notification request and must be approved by the victim.
Instagram is no stranger to profiles that (seemingly) belong to the rich, successful and beautiful. Therefore, anyone can come into contact with someone who seems too good to be true and end up being a catfish. This is just one of the many Instagram scams you should know about.
Catfish are generally excellent at fooling their victims. They rely on emotions of affection and infatuation to cloud their victim’s judgment. Still, there are usually a few clear warning signs that you’re on a catfish. We’ll go over the red flags below and discuss each one in more detail.
Catfish want to avoid situations where their true identity is revealed. Therefore, they will never agree to a video chat or face-to-face meeting. They often won’t even take a normal call (no video). Even their voice can reveal information they don’t want to know, for example whether a man is a woman or vice versa. Therefore, if someone you met online keeps making excuses not to meet up or (video) chat with them, that should be a definite red flag for catfishing.
How Common Is Catfishing?
Much of our presence is online these days. So you can expect that someone active on one social platform is also active on others. This is even more true when focusing on the younger demographic where catfishing is the order of the day.
Ask yourself: Why didn’t the successful entrepreneur you just met on Facebook have a LinkedIn page to promote his company or even look for new partnerships and recruits? Why doesn’t the beautiful fitness model you chat with on Tinder have samples of her work on Instagram or her Facebook page?
If the person you just met doesn’t have an online presence, ask yourself why. Especially when combined with other signs, this could just be a red flag.
When someone approaching you online has very few Facebook friends or Instagram followers, it can be a red flag for catfishing. Most people use social media to connect and keep in touch with people online. Supposedly part of the process is a decent online circle to communicate with or keep in touch with.
Why Do People Catfish, Or Use Fake Personas For Online Dating
Of course, this doesn’t always mean you’re dealing with catfish. If a profile doesn’t have this social circle, it could be because they are new to the platform or simply don’t want to have too many contacts. It may also be a sign that keeping in touch with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances is not the primary purpose of their social media use. Even so, be very careful when a profile has very few friends or followers.
If the social media profile was created very recently, this could be a warning sign. This is especially to look for if the profile has a decent number of friends or followers, but something still seems “off”.
A recently created profile can only mean that someone is really new to the social media. But this can also mean that they often create fake profiles to find new victims of catfishing. After all, once a profile is flagged or reported on a social media site, it is often deleted. As such, catfish often create many fake profiles, one after the other or simultaneously.
Another huge tell-tale sign that something is up is if your romantic interest only has professional-looking pictures on their profile. Most people on social media – celebrities and influencers excepted – mainly upload photos taken by family and friends and some selfies.
Tips To Avoid Being Catfished In Online Dating Sites
If you come across a profile full of professional looking pictures, it could be a sign that they are using one
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