15 Best Ways To Avoid Being Catfished
Catfish means someone who is fooled online by a person pretending to be who they aren’t. It is no news that internet fraudsters use pictures of an attractive individual and pretend to be the person on social media online dating sites. They make up a false life story for this fake profile to appear real and seemingly convincing.
This century is more internet-oriented than before and with an increase in the rate at which we connect online and strike up a friendship with strangers. Our susceptibility to being catfished is at its crest.
Here are what to do to prevent you from ending up catfished:
1. Keep Your Private Information Private
It is important that you keep some utterly private things about yourself away from a person you’ve never met. We all know what falling in love does to humans. It’s easy to let your feelings steer you towards bad judgment and wrong moves. But you wouldn’t have a personal conversation with a person you just met on tour, so why should you with this strange person?
They should be treated as what they are: strangers. Be careful about the kind of personal information you put on your social media accounts profile, make sure they can’t give you away to extortion or blackmail. These frauds like to ask a lot of personal questions but are reluctant or hesitate to give important information about themselves. Ask questions, especially real unexpected personal ones, to know if they are lying about their identity.
2. Request For Video Chat
When they give flimsy excuses about why they don’t want to have a video chat with you, then you should be suspicious. It is easy to get a couple of pictures of a person, but it isn’t possible to have them live on a video chat if they aren’t the owner of the account.
3. Love Doesn’t Happen
Quite contrary to what believers of “love at first sight” embrace, love doesn’t happen. If this stranger you just met online out of the blue starts to profess an unending love, it is superficial. People don’t fall in love just like that, especially not with a person they’ve exchanged only a few IMs with.
4. Look Up Their Friends List
If you believe this person is worth the stress of figuring out if they are real or not, perhaps you’ve begun to be fond of them, then you may want to look up their other friends or followers if you met on social media. Have a chat with some of their friends, without being all too nosy; wisely ask if they’ve met this person before. This is easier if you have mutual friends in the medium, hit up your mutual friends and inquire about this person. If none of them says they’ve met this person, then you have more reason to hold back and be careful.
5. Too Good To Be True?
If the whole thing looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Look at the picture of this person saying they love you, are you near being good looking as they are? Would they scribble their phone number on a paper and put it in your pocket if you met at a pub for the first time?
We seldom have an inward conviction not to do something and end regretful after doing it. Do not wave off your gut-feeling about the fling. If you somehow are doubtful about the realness of the person, then you need to follow up on your suspicions, do your findings.
7. Don’t Send Them Money
Isn’t it quite outrageous to request money from someone you have never done anything for, or more, never met? You agree it is? An easy way to know if you are being catfished is when someone comes up with a pathetic story and begs money from you. Don’t ever send them money before finding out if they are real or not.
As for proof of who they are.
8. Meet Them
There are a lot of relationships years gone before the skeleton walks off the cupboard, and the truth is surprisingly visible. Don’t wait for too long before you arrange for a date with this person, especially if you are getting to like them. Insist on meeting them, and if they keep bringing up reasons why they can’t, something is up. Most times, the reason could be distance, you need to be wise and figure out what to do, you may suggest visiting their country or state to avoid being extorted in the guise of a fund for a ticket.
9. An Out Of The Blue Contact
Be careful if someone approaches you out of the blue. There is probably a motive behind a stranger’s messaging you out of the blue. To avoid being catfished, be more careful of chatting with strangers online.
To verify this person’s identity, you can call the schools on their profile to inquire if they exist. You can also call their work to find out if they are true or not.
11. Online Activity
Be skeptical about their updates and photo uploads. Do they post pictures of their mood sometimes? Do they tag the friends in the picture- to a group picture? Do they interact with comment trends with their friends about things that are going on around and in their lives? Do they take pictures with their folks?
If you find out that this person lies a lot, delete them already.
13. Financial Status
Do not give information about your financial buoyancy to an online stranger. Don’t tell them about your family’s history (you may have a rich family), where you live, work or frequent at.
14. Number Of Friends
Be especially wary of profiles with a meager amount of followers or friends. People connect so easily with their friends online these days, and it would be fishy to have less than a hundred friends on one’s social media account.
15. Use Google
Google searches can help with looking for any match of a photo you upload.