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!

Five Tips For The First Date

It’s difficult to make an authentic connection with a stranger unless you have a natural chemistry, but if it feels right for both of you, sparks can fly. Conversely, although it’s sometimes love at first sight, a gradually developing integration of sizzling banter and sparkling repartee might also win the day. For some, online dating websites are a tempting avenue packed with potential possibilities.

If you do try them, make sure that the dating service you employ gives you like-minded matches. Look for a site that matches all of your kooky personality quirks. If you decide on using something that only capitalizes on your all-day adoration for Hello Kitty, then you could paint yourself into a corner. Instead, share all of your interests in your online profile. Don’t have any misgivings. Be utterly misgivingless.

Oh, and do not misrepresent yourself online. If you state that you’re five years younger than you really are, or you purposefully use out-of-date photos from your “thinner era”, then you’re lying about yourself. No one wants to be on the receiving end of fraudulent trickery, or catfished by improper untruthiness. The same goes for your prospective date. If they pretend that they’ve got an awesome job or a crazy, celebrity-filed lifestyle and that’s really not the case, then you’re going to feel pretty cheated by their deceit. When creating your profile, be sincere, and trade in nothing but honesty. Tell it like it really is.

If you’ve tried a spot of online dating and are meeting up with a suitor for your first date, you might like to keep in mind these four instructional tips on first date etiquette.

Tip 1:

On a first date, choose a neat balance of seriousness and fun. Don’t be too humorless but, equally, don’t come across exclusively interested in lightweight, throwaway subjects. It’s important to keep conversation positive and enjoyable. An upbeat natter about your personal passions will ALWAYS be preferable to The Big Three Taboos, e.g. religion, politics and past relationships (the latter is the biggest no-no, because it signals to your date that you’ve not got over the previous partner).

Tip 2:

Don’t be afraid to start up a meaningful conversation. If you’ve met on a serious dating website, the chances are that the pair of you are looking for something real. Compelling questions about your career, the most important things in your life or plans for the future, are a necessary part of getting to know someone better. Let the chatting flow naturally, and don’t forget to listen. Busying yourself by continually thinking of the next conversation topic makes you seem either rude, easily distracted, or scarcely interested in what they have to say. If possible, keep the talking/listening ratio to a symmetrical 50/50 split if possible.

Tip 3:

General modern etiquette proclaims that whoever proposes the date will pay, but this should probably be talked about beforehand, so as to cease any potential faux pas blunderings. Men traditionally pay for dinner, but won’t mind if the girl wants to pay for the second meet-up: If you make him feel at ease on the first date, he’ll be open to letting you pay the next time.

Tip 4:

Act confident and self-assured, and display positive and encouraging body language. Make eye contact, smile, and lean in when talking. If there’s an attraction and you want to meet up again, don’t be shy and play hard to get. Playing pretend-uninterested is genuinely tiresome, so go ahead and ask for a second date. Something bold but controlled like “I had a really nice time with you tonight, and I’d like to see you again” is entirely appropriate. If you get rejected, take it like an adult and move on; there’s no use dwelling, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Tip 5:

DO NOT get drunk. Most people know that drinking too much can lead to awkward displays of idiocy. An anxious or worried mind can become a weak mush, and a few alcoholic beverages can appear to be a good idea at the time. However, getting wasted is an impractical quick-fix that might combat the nervous nerves, but you won’t emerge funnier or more charismatic; you’ll appear insecure and boorish. Don’t hide behind a flurry of hastily-ordered glasses of wine or a few beers that encourage such mortifyingly humiliating behavior. Avoiding that will avoid that.

Hopefully some of these words of wisdom might help some readers!

Top Tips of Keeping Yourself From Getting Catfished Online

As a single mother, I am not ashamed to admit that I have tried online dating. Online dating for me turned out to be more of a social experiment as oppose to a way to find love. There are many commercials and real life stories of people who have found their husband or wife through online dating. So, it is a good assumption to say that there are some people who do reap some benefits from online dating.

But if you watch just one episode of catfish you can see that their are many online dating horror stories. In fact it amazes me at how many people get tricked into dating people for years without ever really knowing what they look like. So here are my tips on how to prevent yourself from getting cat fished online.

Ask For Pictures

Obviously if you met the person online, then you are going to see pictures of them. But just because the pictures are on their profile does not mean that these are pictures of them. Once you start talking to someone, try to ask for random photos at random times of the day. Most importantly ask them to text it to you.

A red flag is if when asking for a picture of someone, and they constantly put you off or send you a picture days after you have asked them. This may be a sign that they got the picture from somewhere or someone else.

Skype or Video Chat.

This one should be a no brainier, if you want to make sure the person that you are talking to is really the person you are talking to, then of course you need to see them. It shocks me how people can go on for years and years with talking to someone online and not see their face. Then magically they are somehow shocked that when they really see the person it is not them.

After talking to someone for a while, video chatting with them is perfectly normal and expected. Once again if someone is actively avoiding you from seeing them, then they are not who they say they are. You should be concerned.

Talk To Them on The Phone

Talking on the phone is one of the easiest things you can do. Almost everyone has a cell phone and there are no long distant charges so there is no reason why someone cannot talk on the phone with you. Some red flags to look out for is not being able to talk on the phone, never talking on the phone while they are at home, or being rushed off the phone. This may not only signify that they are are not who they say they are, but that they may be hiding a spouse or a hidden life from you as to why they are not free to talk on the phone at various times of the day.

Background Check

I am not talking about running their social security number but rather researching the information they tell you. This includes running their image through image search to see if the pictures on their profile come up as someone else. Also do a reverse phone search, their phone number should come up registered to them and in the location they say they are in.

Progression of the Relationships

As with any relationships, their should be some type of progression. This means you should be talking on the phone, seeing each other, making plans to go on real life dates. Never under any circumstances should you be in a situations where you have been taking to someone for years and years and have never even seen their face. After of about two month (max) of talking to someone, you have not seen their face in person or on Skype then just let it go. Something is wrong here.

As a single women and mother I have tried all the dating tips and trick. And they are all in my book “Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.” Read the first two chapters free on Amazon. Click this link to purchase http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-After-Gods-Heart-Encouragement/dp/1493698303/ref=tmm_pap_title_0