Online dating is one of the most popular uses of the internet. Millions and millions of people all around the world use the internet make new friends and find their dating partners. While online dating is a great way to make good new friends, it may also turn into a nightmare at times. Have you ever heard of the term Catfish? Do you know what does a Catfish mean and what exactly is Catfishing?
Online dating scams are very much in news these days and this post is to spread the awareness about the Catfish and learn how to protect ourselves.
What does Catfish Mean
A Catfish is a term used for a person who creates a fake identity on the internet. It could be a social networking website or some dating website. While some people create such fake identities just for the fun, there are some people who do so with some nefarious purpose.
Anyone can be a victim of Catfishing, it has nothing to do with your intelligence or experience. Usually, the main purpose of such Catfish is to create deceptive romance dates followed by some monetary fraud and theft. They first make you a friend and then gradually trigger your emotional points and take you in confidence. Or they may also start with their own sad story to gain your sympathy first.
What warning signs should you look for to identify a catfishing attempt and how can you stay safe and alert?
The only way to avoid such catfish attempts is to be watchful on the social networking websites and the online dating websites. Plenty of online dating scams are reported every day and one really has to be careful before getting close to anyone online. Below are some key points which you should keep in mind before you share any of your personal secrets with your virtual friends.
Scan the profile thoroughly- Profile says everything. If you check the profile thoroughly, you can easily make out the difference between the real and fake ones.
Too good to be true
This is always the first warning sign to identify any fake profile. The Catfish usually try to make a profile which looks perfect with a perfect house, big luxury cars and a perfect life which obviously is too good to be true.
If it is a social networking website, check their friends’ list. The fake ID usually has very fewer friends and that too very weird and vague kind of friends. You can easily identify the fake friends in the list. Such IDs have no posts shared on their timeline, no real pictures, no family etc.
The catfish usually is super quick to make a strong bonding with you. They will very soon get into an emotional relationship with you which actually is a trap.
Right after you are in a relationship, they will start asking for your personal details like your address, your family, your work address and even your bank details.
The only way to stay safe is to be alert and watchful before adding anyone to your friends’ list. Even if you add some unknown person, do not share any of your personal details like address, bank details, your work timings or your pictures with them.
Stay strong and do not share any of your emotional or sad stories publicly on your social media accounts. Catfishes target the people who look vulnerable and emotionally weak. Share your thoughts with someone you know and not the unknown virtual friends online.
Never use any of your social networking website or the online dating websites when you are drunk or under any other drugs. You are emotionally weak at that point and may share your personal details. Take your time, analyze people and then trust him/her.
It is not that every unknown person one on the dating websites or social networking website is a fraud, but your safety is in your own hands.