How To Tell If You Are The Victim Of A Catfish Scam Online
The process of Catfishing involves creating a false online identity and using it for nefarious means. A person may create a false identity through social media platforms such as Facebook and then use this identity for their own dubious purposes. Some people Catfish for romantic purposes, some people Catfish for revenge, others even Catfish for financial gain and bribery.
This is a very real term, and there has been a string of documented cases where individuals have been hoodwinked by Catfish profiles and led to believe the person they have been in contact with was genuine. So how can you spot a Catfish profile? What signs can you look for and should you seek legal aid if you suspect an imposter?
What Will A Typical Catfish Profile Contain?
So now we are clear on what Catfishing means, it is important to understand what a Catfisher’s profile may look like on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and dating apps such as Tinder. If you know what to look for, you will be better able to spot a Catfish account and avoid being drawn in by their web of deceit.
A Catfish profile will have limited information. Although the information will appear credible, if you search through their profile history you will not find an extensive amount of personal information that often spans back for several years in the case of genuine profiles. Most real people, for example, will have Facebook wall posts and activity spanning back to when they created the account – a Catfisher’s account may appear sparse in contrast. They will usually have a limited friend count on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram but this isn’t always the case.
A Catfish profile will also contain a large amount of superficial content. Real people will talk freely and often about their day to day lives on social media – we all know the types of posts; so and so is walking the dog or so and so is having a night in watching Netflix for example. A Catfish profile will generally NOT contain posts like this – basically anything that ties them down to a specific location. The posts they make will be generic and often about their emotions – not about their actual whereabouts and activities.
Finally, a Catfish profile will have little to no interaction with other people. Generally, our social media posts show engagement from other users – a friend might comment on a picture we share for example. Unless a Catfisher has gone to the extreme lengths of fabricating a whole network of fake profiles, you should expect to see virtually no comments, likes or shares on their posts.
How To Tell You Are Talking To A Catfish
Hopefully, you should now have a clearer idea of what a Catfisher profile may look like. But if you miss this and become engaged in conversation with a Catfisher, how can you tell? The following is a list of common signs to look for, that will help you spot a Catfisher.
They will avoid visual contact
In most cases, a Catfisher will be posing as someone they have no physical resemblance too. In a normal relationship, you will progress to a stage where you will either meet the other person or even speak to them via a video call service such as Skype. A Catfisher will NEVER do this – if they do, you will immediately know they are an imposter!
Their life will appear too good to be true
Have you ever looked at someone’s profile and thought – wow they have a perfect life! Well, it could look that way because it isn’t true! A Catfisher will often look like a supermodel, own expensive items, and parade facts about their perfect life regularly – everything will seem too good to be true. That’s because, in reality, it is!
They will regularly make excuses
In most cases, a Catfisher will want to avoid meeting you at all costs. If you are speaking to someone who continually makes excuses and avoids making physical contact, they could be a Catfisher. Furthermore, they may make excuses about parts of their fabricated story that don’t add up when you delve too deeply. The excuses are made to deflect attention from the subject and to protect their true identity.
They will say exactly what you want to hear
A real person would not blindly agree with everything you say. A real person would not always share the same opinion as you. Even someone who likes you on an emotional level would still have disagreements and differences of opinion. Usually, a Catfisher will agree with everything you say, and go out of their way to say what you want to hear – this just isn’t natural so pay attention!
These are the common signs, but we advise also acting upon your instincts – if you have this voice in the back of your head telling you something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it!
Catch A Catfisher With Professional Help
If you feel you are in correspondence with a Catfish scammer you may wish to seek legal aid. You may not be experienced enough to make an informed decision and truly decide if the person you are speaking to is genuine or not. Using a professional legal support business such as Diem Legal can provide you with vital assistance and help in discovering the true identity of your suspected Catfisher. Diem Legal can investigate your suspected Catfisher and delve into their online presence. They can attempt to make contact with the Catfisher and trawl through their online history. With a careful and thorough approach, a professional investigation team can effectively help you uncover the true identity of a Catfisher, or cause them to slip up and make a mistake. If necessary, legal steps can then be taken to bring them to justice if you have fallen prey to any financial loss.
Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the Marketing Director at Kahootz Media. He has been ranking websites on the first page of Google for more than 10 years. Connect with Lewis on LinkedIn.