Dating online providing limitless options on who you can date. With an online dating account, you find your love hundreds of miles away, know each other, meet up, and have a beautiful love story to tell.
However, the issue of catfishing has increasingly become a major problem with online dating. In fact, if you are dating online, the chances are you’re being catfished.
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The mean of the word “Catfishing”
Catfishing means luring someone into a relationship using a fake identity. So being catfished is when a person (catfisher) assumes the identity of another person online to date you.
Catfisher goes to an extra mile to make you believe that they are exactly who they say they are. So if you are a woman, you might be thinking you are in love with a young male model when in reality, it is an older adult or a teenage girl on the other end. Some of them could be criminals or serial killers.
How To Find Out that You Fall Into Online Dating Scam?
If you are dating online, it is easy to tell if you’ve been catfished. There are crucial red flags that can tell you the person is not real. First, they will not accept direct communication, such as a phone call or a skype video call. If they only accept text messaging, then you’re being catfished. If they give you a phone number, do reverse number lookup to see of their personal information is adding up.
Secondly, if their account and other online platforms don’t have many friends, chances are their account is fake.
The third sign is using someone else photo. Use Google reverse image search in their photos to if they are linked to someone else.
If your dating partner only uploads professional photos, then they should raise your suspicions. Real folks posts of their day-to-day activities and even with family. Last but not least is if they are reluctant to meet with you in person.
Ways to Avoid Online Dating Fraud
There a couple of things you can do to avoid being catfished. First, you need to fact-check using all the available tools. Google the person you’ve just met. Google’s image search can help check if multiple accounts are using the same photo. Do a phone number search with Spokeo app if they have provided a contact number. A reverse phone lookup using Spokeo app will provide all the information you need to know about your online partner. If there are inconsistencies in the information they have provided, the account is fake.
Last but not least, meet up as soon as possible. If they are distance is a problem, employ skype video call as form a virtual face-to-face contact.
How To Recognize Fake Profile
You can easily spot a fake online dating profile by the photo(S). If they look like stock photos or they have uploaded one or two photos, they are highly like to be fake.
Relationship status is another common sign of online scammers. If they have widow or widower as their status, please avoid them.
If your online partner is recommending speaking outside the dating site, it’s a red flag that they are dating scammers.
If you notice that there are empty sections in their profile, that should raise your suspicion.
If there are discrepancies in their stories, don’t waste your time on them.
If you do phone number lookup with popular apps such as Spokeo and the information does not add up, the account is fake.
Last but not least is the partner asking for personal information such as your full name, address, or your credit card number.
How to Overcome the Fact of Being Catfished
Knowing that you’ve been catfished is one of the heartbreaking experience of online daters. It is similar to knowing that your partner has been lying to you. It hurts and sometimes can lead to depression.
First thing you need to know is that you are not the only victim. So don’t feel sorry for yourself or embarrassed. Treat it like a normal break up and cut all contacts with them.
Second, you need to report the account or flag it so that no one else gets hurt by the scammer. For your mental health, talk to a counsellor to help you recover quicker. You can also confide to a family or a supportive friend to help you heal faster.
Catfishing shouldn’t scare you from dating online since there many ways that you can easily spot a fake account. But we highly recommend doing reverse phone search with reliable apps such as Spokeo to gather accurate personal information from your online dating partner. Meeting up or having a Skype video call can also spare you from being catfished. Just be smart, fact-check, and don’t rush.
Author Bio- Valerie Malecha is the content marketing manager for Spokeo. She is an experienced writer and editor. She creates articles on relations, dating, parenting, technology, travel and business topics.