Catfish are everywhere, and becoming a huge problem on the internet. Catfish??? No, I’m not talking about the ones in the sea or the freshwater; I’m talking about the fake profiles on social media and online apps, particularly the dating ones.
‘Someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.’A catfish, defined by Urban Dictionary
The increase in social media and dating sites combined with little boys that are clearly struggling to overcome their “oedipus complex” has created a surge in these fake profiles.
In most cases, ‘catfishing’ takes of form of financial scamming, where covert predators disguise themselves as attractive singles online. They often use false photographs stolen from other peoples’ social media pages and present ‘too-good-to-be-true’ stories about their lives and achievements. Well, at a glance, they seem like great dates – who wouldn’t love a great date?
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GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH FOR A CATFISH
They seem too perfect to be a normal person? Now for my favorite part, and this is a Big One, the most obvious indicator that someone is a catfish is by running their pictures with Google Reverse Image Search.
The first thing you want to do after you find a sketchy profile is to ‘Right-Click’ or long press(if on the phone) on the image and click or tap ‘Copy Image URL.’
Now, go to Google Images, and click/tap on the camera icon. It will pop open a screen. Now, paste the image URL in the search bar under ‘Paste image URL’ and then click or tap ‘Search by Image.’
If it gives you different names and different profiles, wise up.
MAKE A SIMPLE REQUEST
In case you don’t fully trust Google for whatever reason, you can try this:
Ask them to send you a picture touching their ear with their pinky finger. Simple! Now you’re probably thinking, “Why would I do that?”
Think about it. Catfish can only send you pictures they can find online. How many pictures can you find of someone taking a selfie while touching their ear with their pinky finger? None!
OTHER FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Check out their social media profiles as soon as you can. Most often, when a catfish sets up their false dating profile they set up corresponding Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to demonstrate a ‘social proof’ of their make believe existence.
Another useful thing to do is Facebook search of their phone number, however a lot of the time people do hide their numbers to only be searched by people they are friends with but you might get lucky.
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ASKING FOR MONEY/FAVORS
It should be a huge red flag but, regrettably, there are still many individuals falling for it. When they ask for money, this shows that their intentions are based on something else than love.
TRAUMATIC LIFE EVENTS
Many catfish generate elaborate tales to play with your sympathy, particularly when building up to ask for cash. Be careful of anyone who speaks about significant diseases, traumas or uncommon life occurrences in an effort to make you feel sorry for them.
EXCUSES, EXCUSES AND MORE EXCUSES
One key sign of a catfish is that they won’t meet you in person or a video call. Be aware of anyone who is constantly making excuses as to why they can not meet up.
A CATFISH SAYS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR
Many victims of cat-fishing claim that the person said all the right things. Real people are rarely so perfect and catfishes often work to prepared scripts, so be highly wary of relentless flattery.
Before you expose them, do make sure you block their number, you don’t need that negativity in your life. Report them to the social network provider they are on.
I don’t really know how much use this is but at least there is the hope that the profile is taken down and other people can be safe.
Also if you have managed to identify the person whose photos they are using let them know.
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That is the simple guide to spotting a catfish. May your time on social media be fun, fruitful, and catfish-less!
…And if you have any other interesting techniques on how to catch online catfish, you’d like to share, be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org