Dating has changed a lot in the past few decades, for better and for worse. It’s great that meeting someone new is so easy now, but the rise of online dating has also opened the door for a peculiar new scam called ‘catfishing.’ Catfishing is an online con where someone assumes a new identity in order to seduce a stranger on the internet. Some people do this for companionship, because they feel like their own identity isn’t good enough “Catfishing” is the term used for a particularly cruel kind of online scam. In a catfishing scam, a person on the internet will create a fake identity and try to romance or seduce their target. The term first fell into common usage after a documentary called Catfish, which follows the story of a lovelorn young man trying to find a girl he met online.
Ingenious Internet predators these days cite various reasons for tricking people. No matter out of what they do it – loneliness, boredom or some emotions (hate, curiosity); luring naive Internet users into fake romantic relationships to seek love online has become a trend. A trend that is popularly referred as Internet Catfishing. Internet Catfishing is a type of scam similar to the ones using messages that your computer has a virus, that you’ve won a lottery, or that you can earn money for little or no effort on your part but differs somewhat in nature.
Hence, spotting a catfish scam is not as easy as spotting other scam. That’s because, unlike Catfishing, other scams expose themselves almost immediately by asking for a large cash sum up front A “Catfish” on the other hand, does not do so.
It in fact, it chooses the most failure-prone connection on the Internet – RELATIONSHIP! Read: ? Scammers in catfishing use and post fake pictures, fabricate stories to send encouraging messages to entice inexperienced people into a relationship. The goal of course, remains the same as in other scams: The scammer wants to steal your personal information, your money, or both.
Only the nature differs, as mentioned. The term was coined by a filmmaker named Nev Schulman as the title for his 2010 documentary ‘catfish’ – A story about 28-year old man falling in love with a Facebook hottie who turns out not to be the person she claims to be online. TIP: Read here about the .
Internet Catfishing: How to avoid falling for it Try chatting via a webcam Not every chatter-box is comfortable with Web Cams. If someone disagrees to chat via web cam in first place and then later always finds excuses for avoiding so, it is indicative of the fact that the scammer is hiding his/her true identity. Avoid having long distance relationships with such frauds.
Always remember that people on the other end of online conversations might not be who they say they are. It’s always safe to treat all emails and social networking messages with caution when they come from someone you don’t know. So, Never share your passwords, even with someone you trust.
If you think your accounts have been compromised, change your passwords as soon as possible. If you suspect that someone is catfishing you, report them. Microsoft certainly makes it easy to report such crimes to relevant authorities.
Does your friend have a Facebook account & are his friends tagged in Facebook photos? Facebook has become most suitable platform for catfishing. So, it is better to check if the suspect has photos with groups of friends that have no comments and tags. If they don’t, then they probably stole the images and could not tag the people in it. Unfriend the person immediately. Stay safe! Remember, in the world of social networking, there’s always a free cheese in a mouse trap!
Posted by on July 18, 2013 , in Category with Tags Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.
best internet dating catfishing - How Expensive Are Catfishing Scams? See Where Your State Ranks.
One of my best friends is obsessed with the show “Catfish.” There are times when she’ll spend a whole Sunday watching episodes online, laughing about the harmless misunderstandings and getting teary-eyed about the serious heartbreaks (she’s a big-time crier). For those of us who haven’t experienced catfishing, it’s easy to enjoy the show and walk away without a care in the world when an episode is over. However, for those who have experienced catfishing, it’s a part of their lives that they’ll never forget.
Today, we want to share with everyone 15 catfishing statistics to shine a light on this ever-growing, deceptive activity. We also want to share some advice about how to make sure it doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones. | Before you can protect yourself from a catfisher, you need to know the facts about them. Below are 11 stats (from studies, newspapers, magazines, nonprofit organizations, and dating sites, among other sources) that show just how prevalent these scams are.
1. Over 53% of Americans Fabricate Parts of Their Dating Profile Psychology Today reports that, somewhat shockingly, Sometimes in every section, and other times just in certain details. It could be as innocent as someone adding a few inches to their height, or it could be a scammer from across the world making up a sob story and hoping to get your money.
2. More Than Half of Online Daters Believe They’ve Seen Someone Else Present False Information in Their Profile While more than half of online daters have lied about themselves, it looks like they’re also skeptical of other online daters. An article in Scientific American, a US-based magazine that covers developments in science and technology, says that .
Call me crazy, but perhaps if we stop lying to each other, then we’d be more trusting? 3. Common Motivations for Catfishing Are Revenge, Loneliness & Boredom An infographic created by FreeDating.co.uk shows that some of is because they want revenge, they’re lonely, they’re curious about catfishing, or they’re bored with their lives.
Many catfishers are trying to get back at an ex, are lonely and want to connect with someone in any way possible, or feel bored with their lives. From teenagers with nothing better to do to hackers looking to get into your bank account, catfishers come in all shapes and sizes.
Just keep your eyes peeled and trust your instincts when you feel like something isn’t right. 4. Catfishers Are Commonly Compulsive Liars, Have Low Self-Esteem & Have Been Abused or Did the Abusing That same FreeDating infographic also shows that catfishers tend to compulsively lie, are addicted to false persona and fantasy, feel unloved or unaccepted, may want to hurt other people, lack confidence, and have been abused or have abused someone else.
Mental illness can play a role in some of these behaviors, and (emotionally, psychologically, or physically). 5. Over 28% of Online Daters Have Been Contacted in a Way That Made Them Feel Harassed or Uncomfortable A huge part of online dating is, obviously, the communication, but it’s not all flirty banter and date planning.
Scientific American found that 28% of online daters have received a chat, email, or message that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.
For example, someone getting mad for not getting a response (or not getting the response they wanted), someone asking for money, or someone professing serious feelings very early on.
6. In Terms of Free Dating Sites, 10% of Accounts Are Scammers We like free dating sites because they allow singles to try out the signup, searching, matching, and messaging processes without spending any money. Unfortunately, though, since there aren’t any financial barriers, that means it’s also easier for scammers to join and spoil everyone’s good time.
According to Phactual.com, . Free dating sites are great because you can test everything out before fully committing, but just be aware of possible fakes, scammers, and frauds. The good news is you can spot fake profiles pretty quickly because a lot of them won’t have photos. Also, most dating sites will let you know who’s a paying member and who’s not, so you can tell if your online crush is serious about finding a date or partner. 7. More Than 51% of Online Daters Are Already in a Relationship That’s not all Phactual.com discovered.
Another statistic is that over half of online daters already have a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife — even though their profile and actions say that they’re single. For instance, and 12% are in a relationship. In these cases, the catfisher would be someone who’s leading a double life and looking to cheat. 8. Women Are More Likely to Lie About Their Age We mentioned earlier that a majority of people have admitted to lying on their dating profiles, and we’ve found what they tend to lie about varies based on gender.
That same Psychology Today article says that women are more likely than men to lie about their age and appearance. These lies can come in the form of using a photo that was taken years ago or selecting a different body type than what they actually are (e.g., slender instead of curvy). 9. Men Are More Likely to Lie About Their Finances It’s not just the women who are liars — men seem to have trouble with the truth as well. When it comes to their careers and financial situations, a lot of male online daters are dishonest.
If a man’s life seems too good to be true, especially what kind of job he has and how much money he makes, it probably actually is too good to be true.
In fact, 40% of men (versus 33% of women) have misrepresented their work position and salary. This particular study surveyed more than 1,000 online daters in the United States and the United Kingdom. 10. Facebook is a Common Place to Be Catfished It’s not just dating sites that catfishers target — . According to SocialNewsDaily.com: • 83 million Facebook accounts are fake • 97% of fake accounts claim to be female • 60% of fake accounts claim to be bisexual • Fake users tend to have six times more friends than real users Some other signs to look out for on Facebook include that the person is vague about their past, always seems to be traveling, and has had some sort of recent traumatic event happen in their personal life.
11. In 2011, the FBI Received 5,600 Complaints About Romance Scams According to the Better Business Bureau, over in 2011, with collective losses totaling more than $50 million. We expect that those numbers have only grown since then. Now that we’ve given you all the stats, here’s how to avoid being catfished in the first place and what you should do if you think you’re in contact with a catfisher.
These tips are simple and can be done immediately! 12. Run Their Photo Through Google’s Reverse Image Search Google isn’t just for looking up funny cat videos — you can also find out if the person you’re talking to on a dating site is using someone else’s photo.
It’ll only take you a couple of steps. Go to Google, click Images, click Search by Image, and then paste the URL where the photo can be found or upload the image. Google will show you if the image is anywhere else online. Google has a feature where you can upload any photo and see where else it has appeared online. If the photo doesn’t show up anywhere, you should be in the clear.
Sometimes results will show social media profiles or other dating profiles. If your online match’s name and photo match up with the name and photos in the results, and if the profiles look filled out and legit, that should be OK.
If, on the other hand, you see the photo coming from a stock photo depository or being used on another person’s Facebook profile or website, you should definitely be wary. 13. Look for Them On Social Media Some people will tell you , but if they’re being weird and/or you suspect they’re lying, then you should definitely look them up.
See if everything they’ve told you matches up with what’s on their social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). You’ll also want to look for articles, comments, forum posts, mug shots, police reports, or anything else with their name in it, just in case there’s something fishy.
14. Ask to Skype or Meet in Person ASAP In general with online dating, you want to try to meet your match in person as soon as possible — or at least exchange numbers and Skype info so you can text and call each other. Not only is this the best way to tell if there’s chemistry in real life, but it’s also the best way to see if they are who they say they are. When an online match keeps putting off meeting on Skype or in real life, that’s cause for alarm. If your online match keeps making up excuses for why they can’t call, text, Skype, or go on a date, then your Spidey senses should be tingling.
This is particularly true if this has been going on for longer than a month. 15. Block & Report Suspicious Users If an online dater makes you uncomfortable even in the slightest, block them and report them to the dating site you’re on right away. If it’s something very serious, like they’ve threatened you or asked you for money, you should also .
Both of these actions will help prevent other online daters from having to go through what you went through. MTV’s “Catfish” entertains millions of people like my friend. But we should also remember that these are real people with real feelings and real lives that are being messed with (and sometimes even ruined).
Hopefully, this article has taught you a few things about catfishers’ behaviors and schemes, so you can keep yourself safe while on that journey to love. Photo sources: , About The Author As the editor-in-chief of DatingAdvice.com, I oversee content strategy, social media engagement, and media opportunities. When I'm not writing about cheese or my 20-year love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, I'm listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns (I'm a proud Slytherin!), or drinking IPAs.
Disclaimer: Great efforts are made to maintain reliable data on all offers presented. However, this data is provided without warranty. Users should always check the offer provider’s official website for current terms and details. Our site receives compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear).
Our site does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.
Urbandictionary.com defines a Catfish as: 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. You may have noticed the Australian media has recently held a spotlight on the issue of internet fraud, specifically, internet dating fraud. It has become such a hot topic because so many of us are falling victim to scams, we need to . Police estimate that Aussies send around $8 million to internet scammers every month!
Although the majority of these covert predators are based in Africa, mainly Nigeria and Ghana, they show up on our dating sites as attractive, Western-looking, perfect potential dates.
They often use false photographs stolen from other peoples’ social media sites and they present too-good-to-be-true stories about their lives and achievements. At a glance, they seem like great dates. It’s important to the note that Catfish prey on all types of people. Anyone can fall victim to an , not just the naive or socially inexperienced. Falling for a Catfish has nothing to do with intelligence or rational thinking – it’s all about HOPE. , we put ourselves out there and subsequently make ourselves quite vulnerable.
Sometimes, our desire to find our ideal partner outweighs our rational thinking. and the inner voice that says “I want love” becomes so much louder than the voice that says “be careful”. You can empower yourself by starting to listen to your rational voice, and you’ll soon be separating the princes from the frogs like a pro. Here are some tips for spotting a Catfish: 1. Too good to be true – photos Do they look like a model?
Do they seem way too perfect to be a normal person? Search their photos using – if you find the same images on lots of different sites linked to different names or if the images turn up on a stock photo site or modelling site, you might want to think twice.
2. Too good to be true – life Don’t be too quick to believe everything you read. If they claim to be a brain surgeon and part time pilot, who enjoys running monthly marathons and volunteering to save the children in Africa, your alarm bells might start ringing.
3. No photos or webcam Be alert to any profiles that offer no photos. Early in your interaction, ask them to send you a photo and if they refuse, you might become suspicious. Having a web chat is a great way to explore the level of chemistry between you.
If they claim to have no access to a webcam (unusual these days), your intuition might tell you something. 4. Saying exactly what you want to hear Many victims report that the person said all the right things, they tapped into their deepest needs and said only positive things. We all know that ‘real people’ have flaws and tend to say a combination of positive, negative and neutral things so look out for this.
5. Too serious, too soon , it is based on trust. If they move too quickly into the realm of love and commitment, try not to be flattered. This may be a sign that they are not legitimate. 6. Asking for money This should be a massive red flag (but unfortunately, many people are seduced by this).
If they ask you for cash, this is an indicator that their intentions are based on something other than finding love – walk away! 7. Very low Facebook friend count as soon as you can. Often, when a Catfish sets up their false dating profile, they set up corresponding Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts to demonstrate ‘social proof’ that they exist.
If their other social media profiles appeared online around the same date as their , this could be an indicator of deception.
If their Facebook profile has less than 100 friends or no people are tagged in their photos, this is also an indicator of a fake profile. 8. Traumatic life events Many Catfish create elaborate stories to play on your sympathy, especially in the lead up to asking for money. Be aware of anyone who talks about major illnesses, traumas or unusual life events in the context of ‘feel sorry for me’.
9. Excuses, excuses, excuses A key indicator of a Catfish is that they will not want to meet you in person (or via webcam). Be aware of anyone who constantly makes excuses as to why they can’t meet. A good guide is to aim to meet in person within one month of connecting online. 10. Trust your gut Most victims of Catfish report that there were many little signs, lots of times when their gut told them NO but their heart told them YES. This is one situation where it is important to listen to your intuition, it’s there for a reason.
Your unconscious mind gives you hints when it suspects someone is not the real deal, listen to it! So start to balance your approach to online dating. Of course, it’s important to have fun, relax, be yourself and enjoy the process, but try to maintain a healthy level of Dating Skepticism too.
Cast a more objective eye over your own profile and maybe get a friend’s opinion. Do you communicate a level of vulnerability or desperation in your profile? Online predators are known to target people they perceive as vulnerable as they are considered to be easy marks, so make sure you protect yourself from this. To stay safe, maintain your communication on the for as long as possible. Many Catfish attempt to coax you away to instant messaging or private email, thus reducing your level of control over the communication. Check out our tips for dating safety .
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