Using the internet to meet new people is fun, exciting and very easy. Saves you having to actually wear underwear. However, because it is so easy it creates the opportunity for people to be a bit of a bloody liar about themselves.
What is a catfish?
Just to be clear we aren’t discussing an underwater creature here…
When a person sets up an online profile using a false identity they are referred to as a ‘catfish’. A catfish will generate a fake name, steal another internet users photographs and then fabricate a completely fictitious persona. Basically they will be everything they are not. Aka a decent human being.
Once they have done this they will search online sites such as social media platforms or dating websites, to find a victim.
When some poor soul has caught their attention they will make contact with that person. They deliberately make people believe that they are the new character they have invented for themselves. Doing this not only damages their victims trust it also causes a lot of heartache and pain in the process. Yet they can still sleep at night. Who’d of though ay.
How to avoid being catfished
Learning techniques to help you spot a catfish doesn’t mean you will never be catfished. Sadly there is no fool-proof method to prevent it and there are arseholes everywhere. However, it does significantly lower the risk. You will know exactly what to look out for. It should help you to avoid profiles which scream out catfish.
So, to help you protect yourself from the catfish of the internet world I have put together a guide. What to look out for and what to do when you have suspicions that you’re communicating with a catfish.
Always check their profiles photos, a catfish account will very rarely have photos of themselves with friends and family.
No tagged photos can often be a sign that the person you have been chatting to isn’t who they are claiming to be. This is by no means a foolproof method as some of us aren’t photogenic. We like to hide our tagged photos.. guilty, sorry not sorry.
Try to stay on the ball when you are talking to them. Catfish tend to lie about themselves and the lives they lead and well, basically everything else. Keep an eye for any contradicting information and stories that are a hard to believe. They may well be an astronaut with genitalia made of gold, but maybe get some solid proof on that one first..
Does their profile have any interactions from people. Does the communication make you believe they have met in person? Be careful on this one as a catfish may make online friends who will interact with their profile without having met in person first. With that in mind, make sure you actually read the conversations.
If you are planning on meeting this person they won’t mind putting you at ease first. Ask to participate in video calling, or at the very least Snapchat. Snapchat is in real time, they have to take the photo at the same time they want to send it. They can’t trick the system as you will be alerted to the fact that the photo has been uploaded from their camera roll. This can often help weed out who does and doesn’t look like their photos!
Type their name into a search engine and see what comes up. Even if you can only find various social media page’s. It gives you another opportunity to look through their profiles and search for any inconsistencies.
Reverse Image Search
This is a pretty good method to use when you are worried about a potential catfish.
A reverse image search will look for the exact same image online. It should be able to tell you the source of the image, where it comes from and who originally uploaded it onto the internet. Hopefully, informing you whether or not the person you are talking to is really the person in the pictures.
You can use Google to do this, images.google.com.
Or download an app. I can’t guarantee it will work every time but it’s definitely worth a try.
While I know this isn’t really a ‘method’ as such I still put a lot of confidence into a person’s gut instinct. If you feel something isn’t quite right the chances are it isn’t. If you have suspicions about someone it is always best to take your concerns seriously.
Why do people catfish?
There are many reasons why people resort to catfishing, sometimes it can be complex. Often insecurities and self-loathing and other times it’s as simple as finding the double life aspect of it ‘fun’.
The whys vastly depend on the reasons they decided to create a cat fish account to begin with. After doing some investigations, the most common reason is actually pretty simple and straightforward.
They simply didn’t believe that people of the opposite sex would communicate with them if they was given their real appearance.
Whereas some people are just selfish twats.
After doing some investigations, the most common reason is actually pretty simple and straightforward. They simply didn’t believe that people of the opposite sex would communicate with them if they was given their real appearance.
Whilst I do sympathise with anyone who feels that way about themselves, hurting others for selfish gain is not okay.
If you go through the experience of being catfished I understand you may feel the need to acquire an explanation. However, I personally suggest just walking away from the entire situation. It is a no win scenario.
You will never get the answer that you need and learning the truth won’t heal the damage that has been caused. The best outcome is to warn any others on their social media sites and move on with your life.
The best revenge is to move on and be happy.
If you are planning to meet in person with somebody you have met online please take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. The article online dating safety tips gives you tips and advice on how to stay safe when you are dating online.
Have you had any experience involving a catfish? If you have any more tips help others by leaving them in the comment section below!