Online Catfishing: 6 Ways to Avoid Fakes Online
Online, it’s tough to know who you’re talking to. It’s very easy for people to pretend to be someone new online, which unfortunately opens up plenty of options for catfishing and pretending to be someone they’re not. If you’re talking to someone online, especially if you’re looking for a romantic relationship, you need to make sure you’re talking to the person you think you’re talking to. These six tips will make sure you don’t run into catfishers online.
1. Make Sure Things Aren’t Moving Too Fast
Regardless of the reason someone’s catfishing, that person is probably going to want to move your relationship along as quickly as possible. That’s why moving too fast is an almost surefire sign that someone’s trying to catfish you.
An online relationship can definitely move fast, just like a relationship in person. However, if your partner seems to be trying to rush you along or artificially make you grow closer together, you should be very suspicious.
2. Find the Person Elsewhere Online
Most of the time, someone who’s trying to catfish you isn’t going to build up a super-elaborate false identity. It’s usually going to be a single false identity on one website that the person in question is using to fool people.
When you first decide to move into a relationship with someone, you want to find that person’s other online presences. It can be anything from a professional LinkedIn profile to a fairly private Facebook profile. You just want to know the person has an existence outside the dating website you found each other on.
3. Try to Video Chat or Meet Up
The internet has opened up a lot of options for long-distance relationships. That means as much as you may want to, you might not be able to actually meet up to make sure the other person is real. However, video chatting can be just as useful.
Typically, catfishers don’t use pictures of themselves online. That means even if you can’t meet up, you should try to video chat and match the person’s video presence to the pictures you’ve seen. If the other person keeps making excuses as to why video chatting isn’t an option, be wary.
4. Be Suspicious of Dramatic Backstories
Outlandish backstories can keep someone invested for longer than a hum-drum backstory. It’s almost like staying involved in a book or movie series at that point. However, if your beau’s backstory seems like it could be on the big screen, you may want to be a bit suspicious.
Obviously, those types of people do exist in real life. The problem is, it’s not very common. Especially if this stranger-than-fiction backstory pairs up with one of the other warning signs in this list, you should be suspicious.
5. Don’t Send Money
Some catfishers are just looking for love, but don’t have the self-confidence they need to come right out and be themselves on a dating app. However, it’s more common for catfishers to be after someone’s money instead.
There are many common dating scams out there. The one thing they all have in common is that the person on the other side of the computer starts asking for money pretty quickly. As sad as the sob story may be, you should be extremely wary of someone asking for money through your relationship.
6. Learn More Personal Details
If you’re talking to a real person, then that person’s life will extend past just what the person’s telling you. You don’t need to interrogate the person, but you should definitely start asking questions to try and learn more about the person personally. If you want to verify someone’s story, you can also use PeopleFinders.
With PeopleFinders, it’s easier than ever to make sure you’re talking to the person you think you’re talking to. All you have to do is perform a people search with the information you have right now. Then, scan the other information PeopleFinders provides to make sure it matches up with the story the person is telling you.
Catfishing can be both emotionally and financially devastating for the person taken in by it. If you want to make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the fishing rod, make sure you use PeopleFinders to verify everyone’s identity as soon as you start talking. You can also read the PeopleFinders blog to learn more about how to keep yourself and your family safe with these incredibly powerful tools.
Image attribution: Skórzewiak – stock.adobe.comTags: Catfishing, Dating, Online Identity, Online Safety
Categorized in: Digital Identity