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10 Ways to Know If You Are Being Catfished

Updated on February 1, 2020
Santi Salinas profile image

Santiago Salinas is a student at The College of New Jersey pursing a degree in Public Health and Psychology.

Online Dating

Finding someone you'd be willing to date is not easy. There is always that one aspect to everyone you meet that just shouts, "NOT FOR ME!" In the past, everyone has wished that dating would become a lot easier. Lucky for them, it has. Ever since smart phones and computers have become the central hubs of our daily lives applications and virtual services have been readily available at our finger tips. One of these services is online dating. In 2020, online dating is at an all time high with many singles signing up on sites such as eHarmony, Match, Tinder, Grindr and Farmers Only. However, it is important to remember that this is the Internet and some people you may be talking to can put some things on there that might not be true. If you are a single who is on a dating app, you need to be careful with who you talk to and make sure that you are not being cat fished.

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10 Tips You Should Know to Protect Yourself Online

If you are unfamiliar with the term, cat fishing is a method often used on dating apps to lure someone into a relationship with a fake persona created. Every day, at least seventeen people are being cat fished and some don't even know it yet. As a person who uses online dating apps, I have been cat fished on a few occasions and I was lucky enough to tell that the person I was talking to was not the same person in their profile. In order to protect yourself from being cat fished, here are some methods you should learn to protect yourself when it comes to online dating and how you can prove that you are being cat fished.

No Pictures- Usually this a big indicator of a catfish. When scrolling through profiles, we are usually more attentive to those who have a profile picture with a clear face on it. However, we will occasionally get a message from a profile with no picture on it and a very little description of the person we are talking to. This is usually a major red flag when trying to meet someone online. There is a very good chance that the person you are talking to is not who they say they and are avoiding sending pictures of themselves to avoid being caught. When being messaged by a person with no picture to their profile it is usually a good idea not to entertain the idea of talking to that person, whoever they may be.

Avoids Talking About Themself- When you meet someone online, it is a good idea to get to know a little bit about them. Normal conversations usually consist of where someone works, their hobbies, some of their interests. However, there are people there who will occasionally avoid making themself the center of the conversation and only focus on what you have to say about yourself. This is usually an indicator that a person is gaining information about you that is probably gonna be used in a negative way. Usually when you talk to someone, you would want them to share a little bit about themselves but if they are reluctant to do so, then it is probably a good idea to move on to someone who isn't drafting an identity.

They are Asking for Very Personal Information- Getting to know someone is essential if you are thinking of going out with them. However, needing to know your address and credit card information are not part of the essential information that someone needs. It is never a good idea to send someone your personal information via dating apps because you do not know who you are talking to most of the time. I recently was reading in the news that a woman was being stalked by a man she met on Tinder because she gave him her address when he asked her to meet up. When he didn't show up the night they planned to meet, she started experiencing unexplained mishaps such as certain clothes going missing, her front door being unlocked whenever she got home from work, and her neighbors asking if she was seeing anyone new. She then had the misfortune of running into her stalker one night when she noticed a man standing outside her window taking pictures of her. She filed a police report and was shocked to discover that it was the same man she met on Tinder and he had been breaking into her house whenever she wasn't home and had been taking her belongings such as her clothes. If you meet someone online, never share anything that can possibly be used against you. If you are interested in meeting the person, ask them to meet in a public area during the day such as a coffee shop or a park.

Asking for Nudes- Nudes are never a good idea to send, no matter who's asking for them, especially if it's a stranger online. Unsolicited naked pictures of yourself can destroy your life and they can also send the wrong message about who you are as a person. Women on dating apps should take extra precaution to who they are talking to because women are more likely to be targeted for heinous crimes like this. I am on the dating app Grindr, an app specifically for gay and bisexual men, and if I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me for nude pictures, I would be able to pay for two years of college. I know not to send the revealing pictures of myself because it will send the wrong message about who I am as a person and I have no idea who is on the other line. Regardless of what the person may say to you and no matter how many promises they make about not sending those pictures to anyone else, you can never tell a person's true intentions just by merely texting them.

They Seem to Good to Be True- We all want someone who is generally very attractive. However, we must come to the realization that not everyone we meet is a Victoria's Secret model. If the pictures they send you are of a person that seem to be too good to be true, chances are it probably is. These pictures that can indicate someone is too good to be true when they seem to have a godlike body compared to most. For example, a man sends a picture of himself with a perfectly chiseled chest, a flawless jaw line, healthy hair, and a reasonable height, there is a strong chance that the person sending you the picture is not the actual person in the picture. I received a picture of a man who had the body of the Greek hero Hercules, and was immediately skeptical. I searched on Google, "Male Fitness Models", and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw the same picture of the man from a modeling agency. This act only is scary enough when you really think about how easy it is for someone to take a fake photo and pass it off as themselves when using online dating apps. If a picture is worth a thousand words, don't let those words be lies.

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They Offer You Money- We all would love to have a little financial assistance in our lives to pay off our credit card debt, student loans, and even to buy an expensive pair of pants. However, we should all have some suspicion when a stranger is giving us money out of nowhere and we have no idea who they are. This is usually a trick done by scammers trying to lure people in with their cravings to be able to get themselves out of debt and to pay for expensive luxuries. However, you must always take precaution when someone is offering you money because you don't know where this money is coming from and you have no idea who is giving it to you.

Has All of Your Same Interests- We all want to date someone who has the same interests as us. Maybe having one or two things in common is normal because it is something to talk about on the first few dates. However, if the person has all of your same interests, there is definitely something wrong. When viewing an online profile, it is not hard to read someone's personal bio and completely make up having those same interests by doing research on them on all of the given topics. If you don't believe me, try searching up one of your interests on Google and see how much information can pop up from just from that one word. This is not a common trend in the act of catfishing but it is still possible and done to individuals who have found their match. If the person you are talking to is interested in all of the same things you are, it is likely that they started to take interest in them the moment they saw you were interested in it.

They Talk Like a Robot- The one thing that all websites ask to do is to verify that you are indeed a human and not a machine making an account on the site. However, it is still entirely possible that a machine can make an account on the dating site and be able to message people. Being on Grindr, I have experienced the robots that have found a way to make an account on the app and pass themselves on as a real person. One way you can tell if the person is a robot is what they say in their messages to you. For example, if the message is a paragraph long with a bunch of emojis and proper language, chances are it's a robot.

Lack Social Media- In the modern age of computers and and smartphones, one outlet that basically everyone has is social media. Social media outlets can range from having a small Instagram page to a popular Facebook page. When chatting with someone online, social media is often one of the major indicators of someone's honesty. When I meet someone online, one major social media app I like to as for is Snapchat. Snapchat has many useful features on it such as being able to send live photos and videos of yourself along with being able to video chat and seeing where a person is located. Another useful thing about Snapchat is that you can sometimes share your location with people. This is useful in getting a clear indication of the person when you ask for a live picture. Usually when they are reluctant I get suspicious of the person and I will immediately block the person because they are not being genuine with who they are. Social media outlets must be genuine and they must also have actual pictures of the person. Blog pages and meme pages are not acceptable social media outlets when trying to confirm someone's identity.

They Send Weird Links- If you get an email to a site you never heard of, normally you wouldn't click on it because it will take you to a site that is capable of hacking your personal pages. This same logic should go into online dating. If someone send you a link to something and you have no idea who the person is, do not click on the link out all. This link could be a computer code masked in the form of a url in order to scam people out of their money or to identity theft. This happens mostly on social media outlets because it is very easy to fool someone on there. I have received many links to external site, all of them confirmed scams by people who have told me. If you are receiving weird links from people you don't know, then you should not open them because you don't know who is sending you them or what they are after.

© 2020 Santiago Salinas

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      8 weeks ago from Chicago

      Sound advice!

      Some other things I would add:

      They live far away from you. (Most Catfish are long distance)

      They refuse to ever video chat, Facetime, or Skype with you.

      They profess their love/start calling you pet names (early on).

      A catfish's goal is to get you to emotionally invest as quickly as possible. You're more likely to want to "help out" your girlfriend/boyfriend financially than someone without a label.

      There are two ways catfish drain people of their money.

      1. Directly ask for money to help them in some way.

      2. "Dry begging" going over their hardships to evoke sympathy.

      Someone with a "bleeding heart" will gladly put on a cape and fly to their recuse by "offering" to send them money without being asked. Avoid emotionally investing in people you've never met!

      It's up to you to have your own mate selection/screening process. If something doesn't feel right to you it's probably not right for you!

      Always use good commonsense when dealing with strangers!

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