I have tons of personal experience in dealing with catfish in the past so I will talk about how to avoid dating scams online.
Maybe you have seen the MTV show called Catfish? It’s about people who need help in figuring out who they’re actually dating online, and finding out if they are dating real people or fakes (liars, even scammers). This applies to any online profiles, not only dating, so please read on. 🙂
The internet allows us to remain hidden, private, hide our face and identity. This has made it easy for certain people to use it for their advantage. Mostly people who don’t feel good about showing their true appearance to others. People who are too shy or hate themselves. They too want to socialize and even find love, but they sometimes lose the reality check. Those people are now called catfish, and catfishing has become an activity where someone is pretending to be someone else in order to find love or have some mentally sick fun.
The most common lie is fake pictures. Their name and everything else they reveal may be correct. They find it easier to use someone else’s photos instead of their own, because they’re unhappy with themselves. Many of those people can be really sweet and kind, they don’t want to hurt anyone.
Well, this activity does hurt someone for sure.
Common ways to spot a catfish
Let’s begin with female catfish on social media sites and also online dating sites. I’m going to list the most obvious red flags below. Please keep in mind that there can be exceptions to the rule so not everyone having some of those red flags is automatically a catfish.
- You find a beautiful girl, and she’s single.
- A beautiful girl has many flirtatious comments by guys, and she responds back with flirting, or she also flirts with guys.
- Beautiful girls almost always have a boyfriend or husband so they don’t need to flirt around online.
- Beautiful girls don’t need to date online, they get plenty of attention in real life.
- They often post photos that look too professional, they don’t really have “normal” photos.
- Their photos seem old, recycling the same ones, and nothing fresh.
- If they find excuses why they can’t take any new photos, or they don’t have a webcam or their phone is broken, that’s a MAJOR RED FLAG.
- They flirt with you online, or even fall in love with you, but they refuse to meet up in real world (with some vague excuses again).
- Their Facebook or Instagram account seems to have very few friends/followers. Beautiful model-like girls are usually very popular and have tons of friends and followers.
Remember, these are typical catfish traits, not something that’s always 100% true. There can be exceptions so please use some common sense and your intuition.
When you’re in doubt, then always use Google Image Search for example to find out if the pictures were posted somewhere else as well.
See if their friends seem to be randomly added or are they mostly from the same country? Is the friends/followers amount and likes/votes in a reasonable balance or off balance? If someone with 1500 friends only has 10…20 likes on their pictures, then that can be a red flag. If their pictures have random comments that don’t seem to be from their friends, then that’s another potential red flag.
Things you should never do
You don’t know who might be on the other end of the internet so please be very careful with the information and pictures you intend to share.
- Never send money to someone you have only met online.
- Never send nude photos of yourself. It could end up being even worse than sending money!
- Be careful about the photos you want to send, make sure there’s no home address or anything personal visible.
You do know that old saying: when something seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.
Be careful if you really wish to find a girlfriend or boyfriend online. Don’t look for one if you’re desperate. Catfish love desperate people, they are easy to manipulate.