How To Avoid Getting Catfished

Online dating has become increasingly popular within the last 10 years. There are all types of dating websites online for all types of people. Many people feel that the draw of going out and finding a good person with genuine intent of falling in love just isn’t the same anymore. It is said that online dating cuts having to make trips to the bar and club scene in half; making the losers out there easier to avoid. What’s even better is that you can do it right from the comfort of your own home in your PJ’s. There are thousands and thousands of people who sign up to do online dating every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or Match.com. Many feel that the chances of them meeting that special someone is going to be pretty high because everybody’s doing it. Now whether or not everyone gets the results that they’re looking for, remains to be seen in more ways than one. Enters Catfish. A “catfish” is a person who creates fake profiles online and pretends to be someone they are not by using someone else’s pictures and information. These “catfish” use dating and social media sites, usually with the intention of getting other people or a person to fall in love with them. It is one of the ugly sides of the online dating equation that is often leftout. MTV now has a docu-series dedicated to this unfortunate side of online dating.

By now, everyone in America knows about the heartbreaking and inspirational story of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o and his dead girlfriend was a hoax. People have become attached to the story because they want to know whether or not he was in on the hoax. They are also wondering how could a superstar college football player get duped into falling in love with someone who didn’t exist in the first place?

Now anyone who has read my articles in the past, knows by now that I am totally against online dating. I find it to be a form of escapist entertainment that encourages people to withdraw from the reality that surrounds them. It’s lazy, passive, and the fact that you have to be tied to a computer to do it makes it even more disturbing. For those that enjoy the idea of finding happiness and love online, there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of Catfish and the tips below should help.

  • Schedule A Meeting – Facetime is the number one rule in any form of dating. Scheduling a face-to-face meeting should always be the first rule of thumb with online dating. It helps you to establish a form of trust, and you are able to communicate a lot better. If your online partner makes up excuses as to why they can’t meet. It is likely due to reasons they are ashamed, or something they don’t want you to see and find out about them. Move on!
  • Never Reveal Personal Information – While it’s tempting to share every detail of your life with a person you think you could be in love with, do not ever give anyone you meet online personal information about yourself. This is at least until you have met them face-to-face and have established some form of an offline relationship.
  • Background Checks – You do not need to be a member of law enforcement to do a virtual background check on a potential suitor. The online search engines work very well so never be afraid to use it. Upload their photo on tineye.com. This will allow you to see where on the Internet the photo has appeared. People who catfish often tend to use a photo they’ve swiped from the Facebook or Instagram page of someone else.
  • Watch for Language – There are a lot of scammers out there using online dating websites to lure people into sending them money. Many of those who commit these crimes are from West Africa and the former Soviet republics. If their command of the English language is fuzzy, but they are claiming to be a native citizen of your country, it should raise a a red flag. The person is likely up to no good.
  • Never Send Anyone Money!
  • Never Agree to Purchase Anything Online For Someone and Send it to Them!
  • Know Your Personnel – It’s one of my favorite sports terms used most often in the NBA. You should always be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of those around you; be it a teammate, co-worker, colleague, friend, and especially someone claiming to be in love with you. If a person’s emails, messenger chats, phone calls, etc. don’t seem to be following earlier conversations or contradict things that were already said, it is likely that your online lover is following a certain seductive script.

No one wants to think they could be taken advantage by an internet dating scam, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are every single year. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find love and happiness with someone. There are many people who have formed successful relationships after meeting online, however, Catfish scams are real. It’s better to be prepared and recognize when someone is trying to take advantage of you.