Since the movie and the subsequent TV show came out, you might be familiar with the term “Catfish.” If you aren’t, it essentially refers to being duped by someone online who claims to be someone they are not. Approximately 20,000 people per year are victims of Catfishing. Sometimes there are psychological reasons why people do this, but others try it for personal gain by manipulating you. The threat is genuine, but you can spit a Catfish if you know some of the standard methods by which they operate.
A Quickly Progressing Relationship
When using the internet or social media to speak to people, you are likely looking for a relationship. Social media is excellent for finding people with commonalities and shared interests, as is your local professional phone chat line. However, the relative safety of the phone services doesn’t extend to social media. There are many ways you can be tricked. Some Catfish prey on your need to connect and progress a relationship quickly to satisfy your need. For instance, they may say they love you after only speaking a few times.
Hesitant to Speak or Video Call
Straight away, you can spot a Catfish if they never answer their phone or won’t video call you with Facetime, Zoom, or Skype. Clearly, this is because they aren’t who they purport to be. A common technique is for a Catfish to use someone else’s identity, such as images and a false profile. Therefore, it becomes impossible to show their real identity as it conflicts with their online profiles. So, hesitation in speaking or video calling is a dead giveaway. However, you should remember some people are genuinely shy.
Photos are Too Good to be True
While your internal confidence monolog might tease you about someone being out of your league, you should never really think like that. However, a common Catfish clue is social media or blog images that look a little more professional. Unless the person you are speaking to states they are a model for a living, professionally taken photos filling up a Facebook page typically indicate deception. Catfish are known for targeting a specific model and then using their image as their own. Usually, they will use your desired type to lure you in.
Requests for Money
A golden rule of the internet is to never give your personal details to anybody you cannot verify. Another is to never send money to anyone. Ever. A Catfish will lure you into a false sense of security by appealing to you in various ways, such as striking up a relationship. Then, eventually, the time may come when they ask for money. This is an indication that their intentions aren’t genuine. Think about it for a second. Your family members probably wouldn’t even ask for money. So, why would a relatively complete stranger?
Little Knowledge of Stated Residence
If you suspect you are being Catfished but aren’t sure, you can ask questions. Some individuals are pretty good at pretending to be someone else, but they cannot guess facts. For example, suppose a suspected Catfish states they live in Liverpool in the UK. In that case, ask how close they live to Marriot Stadium. Well, there is no such place in Liverpool. If they answer, they definitely aren’t from the city. You could also ask about local restaurants or attractions that you know for a fact either exist or do not. A Catfish will have trouble answering all your questions adequately.