What is catfishing and how to know when you’re being catfished

What is catfishing and how to know when you’re being catfished
Internet has become a utility, but it is also offers a veil to many nefarious elements to launch vicious schemes onto unsuspecting public. One such horror is catfishing. With time, it is not just a beautiful woman or a man’s picture coupled with flirting, but they have turned complex, complicated and elaborate. But the basic fundamental psychological need of being wanted is what most such criminals exploit.

So, what exactly is catfishing?

Catfishing is deception at its very core. A catfish creates a fake online identity in order to lure victims.

To create this identity, the catfish often uses personal information, photos and posts of someone they know, which makes it real to the victim.
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In most cases, catfishing is done with the intent to damaging victims financially. In other cases, the reasons could be revenge, curiosity or simple boredom.

The term ‘catfish’ was coined from a 2010 documentary called Catfish that explored this phenomenon.

How to know when you’re being catfished

Identifying a catfish is important, especially since they tend to get personal and can try to cheat you financially.

The first dead giveaway that you’re being catfished is that they will refuse to meet you in person. This is especially the case when their intention is to cheat you financially.

Here are some such unmistakable signs:

They refuse to talk on the phone

Ever wondered why you can never get to talk to them on the phone? Probably because it’s easier to understand a person’s intentions on a call than it is from text messages.

They refuse to reveal their face on the webcam or a video call

Catfish are extremely wary of revealing their face in a video call. Video calls are a catfish’s kryptonite as they can reveal themselves and their surroundings.

Their social media accounts have very low activity

While fake social media accounts may be too common these days, a genuine person might still have an active account. If they have very few friends and posts in which they’ve been tagged, it’s time to get suspicious.

They might tell you a sob story and ask you for money

Sob stories that tug at your heartstrings are the easiest way to extract money from unsuspecting victims. This happens all the time, even in the real world. If your virtual friend asks you for money, they could be a catfish.

The conversations tend to get romantic very quickly

Catfish tend to come on strong and fast onto their victims. If a person you’re chatting up online tries to be pushy and wants a relationship, it is highly likely that you’re being catfished.

They claim to travel around the world for work

Protecting their fake identity is of utmost importance to a catfish, and one way to do it is by claiming to travel around the world for work. By doing so, a catfish tries to prevent you from visiting them.

They have elaborate excuses for not meeting you

Life can be extremely busy at times. At some point, we’ve all had to cancel on dates, or meeting friends. Often, it’s easy to explain this to your friends, and you don’t need elaborate excuses.

A catfish, though, can come up with elaborate stories for not meeting you. If they keep doing this every time you try, you should be worried.

They are too good to be true

It’s extremely odd for someone way too beautiful or handsome to reach out to a stranger online. If all their pictures and videos seem flawless, then it is likely that you’re not an extremely lucky person, you’re just a victim of catfishing.