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How-to: Spot a Catfish

Updated on December 28, 2015

What is a Catfish?

A Catfish is someone, or a group of people, that pretend to be someone else. A Catfish will use pictures of someone else, usually someone that they know and create a whole mixture of social media accounts for this new person.

Jobs they often seem to have: Singers, actors, models or other very busy jobs where looks are often involved.

The phrases they use the most: "My job makes me way to busy so I can't hang out", "I don't have a camera/webcam/phone" or "I don't have the money to get to you'

Nev and Max have given these tips throughout their show!
Nev and Max have given these tips throughout their show!

Talk to them

Make sure to have conversations with them. Talk to them about things that are on their profiles to learn more details but you can also learn more about who the person is.

Talking to them about what is on their profiles is really important because what they write is not always the truth from who they are behind the screen so they will forget about who they are on screen and let the real them slide by accident.

Ask for pictures & search those pictures online!

Ask them for pictures.. This step is incredibly important because they will pick pictures from various time frames and from different events, of which they did not attend.

Some pictures will seem to not cohere with what they are saying. From a personal experience, I have received pictures from someone that there was a specific tattoo under the left eye. A few days later, i received one where the tattoo had magically disappeared. After confronting the person that this made no sense, he had revealed himself to not be the real person.

At that same time, I was reverse searching the pictures on google to be able to see who it really was and to warn the person that someone was stealing their pictures to find people online.

Here is how you reverse search pictures:

  1. Go into
  2. Click on the camera icon that is present in the search bar
  3. You will either enter the image URL or the image folder (you must save the picture onto your computer to be able to do the image folder)
  4. If there is a result, it will give it to you in website form or maybe in image form.
  5. You can then click the website to see what it is

Ask to video chat or to snapchat!

Video chatting or Snapchatting is 2 ways to see the person by it being the real person. When sending a snapchat, it cannot be uploaded. It is a picture of the person and it is live. You will see exactly what the person looks like at the moment that they are sending you pictures.

For Snapchat, the picture deletes itself after 10 seconds, at most, and you will see if someone replays you picture/video and if someone screenshots your picture.

Many different platforms exist when it comes to video chatting, Skype, MSN and FaceTime are the most popular ones at this moment.

Try to meet in person & set limits

Ask if the person is able to meet in their earliest conveniences. This also means to ignore those who live far from you because then it is harder to be able to meet in person certainly if they or you have to take a plane. A few hours away is okay if both are okay with the travelling.

Set limits of when each can cancel on each other.. I've heard of situations where people get cancelled on within 15-20 minutes before the meet up/date is suppose to happen. Make it so that it is a few hours before hand or even the day prior unless it is for big emergencies. Someone knows when they are to work and generally work doesn't just pop up.

Have you ever tried online dating?

See results

Have you ever been catfished?

See results

Where can you reach me?



Snapchat: justbeingme9

Instagram: ashleycathcartm


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    • Ashley CathcartM profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashley Cathcart-McKinnon 

      2 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      I was talking to someone for an entire summer and I had asked many times to facetime but he kept saying he was with his son so he couldnt.. he said he had main custody (which the real him does).. I was suppose to meet the person for a date (reserved it at our restaurant for us because i had picked it) and 30 minutes before the date, I had to call the restaurant to cancel my reservation because he had to cancel.. "An emergency came up where his son had to go to the hospital" (which was 100% a lie).. times goes on and then he sent the picture with no more tattoo.. thats when i called him out on it

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago

      Great advice! I'm amazed people still get catfish these days.

      We have "Face Time, Skype, Google Hangouts, and various other free video chats that allow us to view one another in real time.

      Having said that not everyone deserves the full on background investigation treatment. Most people will say or do something that "disqualifies" them.

      Only when you go beyond flirting and find yourself having a sincere interest in them is it worth investing time and effort to verify.

      The same is true the other way around. You don't want to reveal too much information about yourself to every (stranger) you meet online!

      The worst/scariest thing could be to have someone showing up at your job or front door!

      Therefore for safety reasons get to know people over time.

      Create folders with their name and copy and paste all email or text exchanges and place them in their folder. This helps you to keep track of what was and was (not) said. If they are a liar they will slip up.

      Act as if you're a company: "Me, Inc."

      Everyone who sends in a resume does not get a call from HR!

      Everyone who gets a call from HR doesn't get passed on to the hiring manager, everyone who has a phone interview with the hiring manager does not get invited for a face to face interview, and everyone who has a face to face interview doesn't get a second interview or receive a job offer.

      Becoming emotionally invested in someone you have never met in person is a big mistake!

      The key to online dating is having a set of "milestones" and as prospects successfully meet your requirements you push them onto the next step. In the mean time you should be corresponding with multiple people until you narrow down a select number of "qualified candidates".

      When you're ready to have face to face meetings meet them for a lunch at very public place and both of you drive your own cars there.

      You don't want to assume that everyone who uses safety precautions online is a "catfish". However you don't want to ignore "red flags" either.

      If something doesn't "feel right" to you it's probably not right for you.

      Never separate your mind from your heart when making relationship decisions. The purpose of the mind is to protect the heart.

      One man's opinion!:)


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