Catfishing is a term that describes a recently popular “outed” dating scam and is a term coined by “Nev” Yaniv Shulman and his film crew from the movie Catfish. Catfishing online is nothing new and has been going on for years since the first dating site Love@AOL and many others were introduced around 1995. Catfishing is not a surprise since data suggest that 1 in 10 dating profiles are fake on these dating sites. A Catfish scam occurs when someone assumes a persona (or many) in order to trick another person into believing that they’re really that person online. Oftentimes a “Catfish” will go to extremes to continue their lie and typically use social networks, dating sites and all different types online forums. They might display fake profile pictures, get a separate phone line and even create a complete online profile with “fake” friends to cover their tracks. Oftentimes, there is a reason why people choose to create these fake profiles. Below you can see why someone might choose to create a fake catfish profile.
What is a Catfish? A “catfish” is a term derived from an old fish story told to Nev Shulman about stimulating cod to increase the taste and texture. The story explains how fisherman used to have the problem of cod becoming bored and understimulated while being “tanked” during the boat-ride from Alaska to China which would cause them to become stale and tasteless. Someone came up with an idea to put catfish in the tanks with the cod. Being a natural predator (we haven’t been able to verify this as we couldn’t find any data supporting the claim and the fact that catfish are fresh water fish), the catfish would chase the cod and keep them moving and agile which, in return would produce a better quality cod. Well, Vince (the husband of the woman; Angela who “catfished” Nev) compared this story to her efforts in contrast to their online relationship where she lured him in and “stimulated” him. This is a nice way to put it since most of these online relationships are purely selfish and the catfish usually has a motive for what they’re doing.
LonelinessOnline relationships reduce their loneliness so they continue to build upon fake profiles and meet new people becoming more involved (often romantically). This makes the relationship harder to keep as there is often a need to talk and see each other.
Sensation SeekersPeople will take legal, emotion risks to seek intense sensations. This involves creating fake personas and even more elaborate situations to continue these facades. Often there is no intention to hurt people, just to feel a certain emotion.
ExtrovertedBelieve it or not, but, most catfish are extroverts. They love communicating with other people and love the attention which drives them to become a catfish.
RevengeSometimes people catfish for revenge. A boyfriends’ ex or someone that screwed them over. You get the point.
GreedThese are the worst types of catfish. Their only concern is getting your money and they will tell you whatever it takes to get it.
Additional Catfish Resources:
- Find out if you’re being catfished online
- How to handle being catfished
- 12 Signs that you’re being catfished
- 13 of the best ways to avoid being catfished
- Hire us to see if you’re being catfished