The term “catfishing” has been slang for getting caught in certain types of Internet scams since around the year 2010. Specifically, getting catfished is when you get taken in by a scammer who is pretending to be someone else online (typically someone trying to get into a romantic relationship with the target). So if you think you’ve finally found love in the Age of the Internet, it’s a good idea to look for a few signs to make sure everything adds up.
Ways To Spot A Catfishing Scam
#1: How Did They Find You?
If you start chatting with someone online, it’s important to know where they came from, and what connection they have to you. Do you have mutual friends? Can those friends confirm they are a real person, or that they talked about you? Even if you’re on a dating site (where randomly finding people you’re interested in is the order of the day), check to see where the person is supposedly from. If they’re too far away for anything short of a plane trip, that should be suspicious.
#2: Who Knows Them?
If you’re glancing at someone’s profile, you should have some friends, interests, etc. in common. However, if their profile seems bare bones, don’t ignore that warning sign. Alternatively, if it’s jam-packed with hundreds of friends, but there’s little activity, that’s also suspicious.
#3: Are Their Pictures Real?
This is a big one, since catfishers will often take stock photos, or steal shots from modeling portfolios in order to take on the visage of someone attractive and desirable. Simply take the pictures from the potential catfisher, and run a reverse image search on Google. If the image comes up as belonging to people who aren’t the person you’re talking to, then you know it isn’t their original picture.
#4: Check Inconsistencies
They say the best thing about telling the truth is that you don’t have to keep your lies straight. This often trips up catfishers, who will give conflicting details between their profile and the conversations they have with you. Sometimes people mis-remember things, but when the details don’t add up, you should be suspicious.
#5: Ask What They Want
Catfishers tend to move slowly in order to get into someone’s emotions. However, whenever someone you’ve never met in-person starts asking you for things, that should be a warning sign. Whether it’s money to come visit, or just a little loan to help them pay rent, that should send up a red flag. This doesn’t guarantee that someone is catfishing you, but it is a little fishy.
If you have doubt towards an individual and think they may be a potential catfish, then contact IQ today for an obligation free quote to conduct a discreet background check.