How To Spot an Online Dating Fraudster (Catfish)

I must admit I hadn’t heard of the term Online Dating ‘Catfish’ until I started to research modern methods of dating to offer women advice on the new rules of 21st century dating and relationships.

If you’ve never heard of a Catfish either then let me put you in the picture… and this is VERY important if you’re searching for love through online dating sites, or considering joining one.

Now, I don’t want to scare the living daylights out of you but I think it’s my duty as an educator and a coach to make you aware of these rotten, dishonest fraudsters so you can be on the look out. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

The majority of these predators are based in Africa, mainly in Nigeria and Ghana. But when they create profiles on online dating sites and social media sites they look like white Western-looking guys just looking for love.

They often go hunting around the Net and steal other people’s photos from their social media sites and invent a great profile and story that pulls their victims in.

They are VERY CLEVER and know the power of the emotional energy people put into online dating – sadly sometimes the rational part of the users brain is somehow overruled by the need to be loved, and this is where the vulnerability takes place.

Here are a few tips to help you spot the Catfish right away

Their photo seems too good to be true – almost like a model. Let’s face it, if they were that good looking would they need to be looking for love online?

One very clever way to catch them out is to do a search on the website TinEye to check and see if the photo has been uploaded somewhere else online. If the photo shows up in other places then they are not genuine

No photos on their profile – on some of the online dating sites you can’t register until you upload a photo – but on some you can. No photo usually means they have something so hide, so be warned.

They have a perfect life as a pilot, brain surgeon or industrialist – again use your common sense – would they be looking for love online? Maybe, but just be on your guard until you know more about them.

False social media accounts with very few friends or followers. Catfish are being very clever and set up false social media accounts so you think you’re actually checking out a genuine person – but the whole thing is a SCAM, especially if they have very few friends on Facebook.

Be especially wary if they try to get you off the dating site to communicate with you by email or phone.

Most of these fraudsters will invent a hard luck story to pull at your heart strings for example, a relative needs urgent medical treatment, or they’ve had a car accident – then they ask you to give them money to help them out.

Asking you for money – you should NEVER part with any money and if you have any suspicions then contact the National Crime Agency or the equivalent authority in your part of the world.

Don’t be drawn into their hard luck stories – they are playing on your emotional state of mind. Also pay attention if they never use your name and also call you ‘Darling’ or ‘Baby’, this is a sure sign they are also contacting other women with the same story.

By always addressing you by a pet name they’re making sure they don’t get mixed up, calling you by the wrong name could alert you something was amiss.

They are especially good at targeting the very vulnerable by looking for clues in their online dating profiles. Are you coming across as too desperate in your profile? Unfortunately, some women tend to pour out their heart felt pleas when looking for their soul-mate online.

You just have to take a look at some of your friends Facebook updates to get what I mean, right?If you think you’re coming across as a bit vulnerable then ask a friend to take a look at your online dating profile and make sure you are not sending out the wrong messages.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this rather long article, I don’t want to worry you unnecessary about online dating and I do want you to have fun… but just look out for these ‘red flags’ of the Catfish and enjoy the adventure!

How Long Should I Wait Before Meeting My Online Date for the First Time?

There is no sense in communicating with someone endlessly, talking on the phone for hours and days, if you can just as easily do so in person to find out if you like each other.

Therefore, you should try to meet up with someone you’re interested in as soon as possible. In other words, within 2 weeks of striking up conversation.

This prevents several things.

Don’t Waste Your Time

First, it prevents you from wasting your time on someone with whom you have no chemistry. Let’s say you spend several days and even weeks texting, or otherwise communicating with each other, not in person.

Let’s say you finally meet, and – woops! – there’s no chemistry there for you. Talk about a let down! Here you’ve built up this person, thinking your first date would culminate in fireworks, because of how fun it was to chat back and forth.

Instead, he was a dud, and you realize now that you aren’t very much interested in communicating with him going forward. Next!

Who Is This Person, Anyway?

Another reason why communicating too much before a first date is bad is because you don’t really know with whom you’re communicating – is this person really who he says he is?

You may have heard of the term “catfish” lately. The definition of a catfish is someone who claims to be one thing online but is someone completely different in real life.

Examples of catfish are gay/questioning women posing as men, or gay/questioning men posing as women, attempting to attract someone of their same sex, but without being honest about their own gender or sexual orientation.

Some catfish are the gender they say they are, but are stealing other people’s social media photos, and passing them off as their own.

Other examples of catfish are foreign men in developing countries who sit at an internet cafe all day, pretending to be the kind of person someone is looking for, and somehow managing to swindle vulnerable people (often older folks) out of hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, using emotional and romantic manipulation.

Hopefully, you never come across a catfish. But the best way to combat this trap is to ensure you meet your new potential love interest in person as soon as possible.

Beware Excuses

If you’ve tried more than once to meet up with your date, and the excuses seem to keep on coming, just give up. He or she is either a catfish, or just not that interested in starting a relationship.

You are free to move on!

Holiday Calendars Online – An Important Business Tool

Can an online holiday calendar help your business?

Yes it can, and the online holiday calendar we recommend is

With this site, you simply go to “Holidays by Date”, choose a month and click “Show Holiday”. For example, here are the holidays for August:

o Children’s eye health and safety month,
o Cataract awareness month,
o Foot health month,
o National catfish month,
o National golf month,
o National parks month,
o Medic alert month,
o Spinal muscular atrophy awareness month

In just August alone, there are several good holidays to use for marketing purposes. National parks month could be great for businesses which sell hiking or camping equipment, foot health month is great for running shoes or pedicure supplies, and, of course, golf month is a haven for people who sell golfing supplies.

Of course, not all of August contains occasions which will help with making money. Some of them can specifically help you make others feel better. Here are some examples.

o Clown week – First full week of August
o World breastfeeding week – If you are interested in making people want to read your emails or blogs, ‘breastfeed’ your ‘baby’ through advertising and making your titles eye catching.
o National smile week – First full week of August as well. This is a good time to put a smile on the faces of your customers or your visitors by offering them a joke each day.
o Elvis week – Second week of August. A good time to reach out to all of your Elvis fans.
o National Friendship week – Third week of August and a great time to email your list and let them know that you are thinking of them.
o Be Kind to Human Kind week – Fourth week of August. This is a good time to make a contribution to a charity.

It’s easy to see why having a calendar like the one that you can get at is a good idea.

Google does it why not you?

Google changes their logos to fit the holidays and it works well for them, so why not do it yourself.