Are You Being Catfished? Here’s How to Tell

The times, they are a-changing: New studies have shown that almost 40% of all American couples meet online as opposed to meeting through mutual friends or getting to know each other at work. 

Technology has truly infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives, for better or worse. While many people start successful relationships online, there are always a few bad eggs in the bunch. If you suspect you’re being catfished, the threat of meeting someone new becomes even more treacherous. 

A “catfish” is a person who pretends to be someone else online. This is done for a variety of reasons–sometimes, it could be because they want to engage in a romantic relationship without revealing their identity. Others will create fake profiles to steal money or other services from the people they meet online. Regardless of the reason, there’s always the threat of meeting a potential catfish online, especially if you’re using online dating. 

That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay safe when you begin talking to people online. Here are ways you can tell if you’re being catfished: 

He/she Refuses Face-to-Face Communication

Meeting someone face-to-face is the ultimate goal of starting an online relationship. After all, most dating apps encourage you to meet the person with whom you’re speaking sooner than later. But if your new friend refuses to meet you in person, this is a huge red flag. 

If the two of you live in a different state, video chatting is one of the easiest ways to connect. A catfish might also refuse to chat with you over video. Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and laptops, it’s easier than ever to video chat with people. Even borrowing a friend’s laptop or going to the local library offers a slew of opportunities to connect with people online. If someone continues to hide their face or make excuses, this is a big indicator that they aren’t being truthful about their identity. 

Their Information Doesn’t Match Their Claims 

When you suspect you’re being catfished, you should always check out their information. This includes social media pages, phone numbers, and photos. Performing a simple reverse image search on Google can reveal if the photo is real or a simple stock image that is easily used by others online. It’s actually a good sign if the photo doesn’t dig up any hits. 

You should also check out their phone number and any other information that they have given you. Relying on a free people search site like GoLookUp is a great way to verify the information and see if the person you’re talking to is telling the truth. In some cases, it can even tell you their criminal history, where they live, or their occupation. 

You can also look up their place of work for more information. When a person lies about their name, they may be telling the truth about what they do for a living. For example, if the person you’re talking to claims that they work with audiologists, looking up their place of business can reveal if they’re telling the truth. 

They Have Almost No Followers Online 

When a person starts being a catfish, they will often make a social media page to seem more legitimate. This is primarily because people only want to be friends with people they actually know. When a profile has very few followers, this is a big sign that the profile is new, underused, or illegitimate. Try to verify this information across social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get a more complete picture. 

There’s no sure-fire way of catching a catfish but these simple tips can help you find out if you’re being lied to. Remember that your safety online is the most important thing. As such, you should never send people money or personal information. Rely on these tips to help keep you safer on the world wide web.  

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