Meet/Eat/Love (MEL) #16
If you are not familiar with the term “Catfish” in the online dating world, it is someone who pretends to be someone they are not. They do this by creating a fake profile with fake names, pics, etc.
Some people do this because they feel like their own identity isn’t good enough and just want superficial companionship. Others do it in order to trap people into giving them money.
Unfortunately you may run into a Catfish and not even know it. The only way to spot these cons is to know the signs of a Catfish.
Here are eight ways on how to spot a Catfish:
1. The photos look too good to be true
The photos look like a model’s portfolio. Perfect hair, cool lighting, and exotic backdrops. Unless this person is REALLY a model or social media influencer, these photos are probably fake and pulled off the Internet. In this situation, you can try reverse image search on Google. Take a screenshot of the pic and drag and drop it into the search box on images.google.com. If the profile is fake, the reverse image search will show you the real owner of the pic.
2. Their location Is km’s away
Online dating apps are location based and typically cover up to 160 km in the settings. Yes, you can pay for a power user subscription that gives you access to different cities around the world. But, let’s take into account most regular users. Unless they will be traveling to your city, why search for love so far away?
3. They move super fast
Your new online crush is sending you undying declarations of love… after a few weeks? Slow your roll. The attention might feel nice, but people who declare their undying love in a short amount of time should not be trusted.
4. They DON’T have social media
This COULD be possible…. if they are some ultra hipster and shun anything ‘commercial.’ Or they are a super private person… but that’s what private account settings are for? If your new online crush doesn’t have any social media presence, be weary.
5. They DO have social media.
You found their profile on social media, but noticed that their followers/friends are in the single digits (aka less than 10!)? This is a warning sign that it could be a fake account they’ve set-up. You can also check when they set up their account. If it’s only recently, you should probably be suspicious. In this day and age, most real people have established social media accounts with more than a few followers or friends.
6. Their stories are bizarre
They used to work for Google but left their amazing job and somehow found themselves losing their apartment so they have to live in a hotel. Umm, huh? How? Why? Huh?? Watch for stories that don’t add up. You should ask them to clarify a bit and see whether they switch their answers or get even more outlandish!
7. They ask for monetary help
Be careful when your new online crush asks for monetary money. It’s one thing to lend money to a trusted friend, but it’s entirely another to send it to someone you have just met. They might manipulate you into sending them money – “My wallet got stolen” or “I just need a favor this month to pay my phone bill so we can still chat!”
8. They don’t want to meet in person or video chat
It’s natural that after chatting for a bit, you will want to meet up for a date. Or if they don’t live close to you (see #2 above) at least a video chat. A Catfish will do everything they can to avoid a face-to-face encounter, because it might expose their lies. A classic move is to agree to a video call or to meet in person, and then bail out at the last minute, claiming a work emergency or an Internet connection issue. Sure things come up, but every single time?
These are the typical signs of a Catfish. Once you’ve determined you’ve got a Catfish on your hands, you should definitely report them and then cut off ALL communication. If they are true cons, they might try to convince you otherwise. Don’t fall into that trap.
May you never meet a Catfish but if you do, now you know how to spot one.