Dating online is most people’s go-to way to discover their prince charming or princess of their dreams. However, scammers know just how badly people want to meet someone and fall in love, so they disguise themselves as someone good-looking and try to get grab your attention, which is called catfishing. Once they reel you in and you start to fall in love with them quickly, they steal your life savings and never talk to you again. Discover the twelve tell-tell signs that you are being catfished online in social media networks or on popular dating websites.
Signs That You Are Being Catfished
Catfish Protip #1: They’re Too Good to Be True
First of all, if they seem too good to be true, they probably are. People who catfish others usually make up fake lives so they can be as extravagant as they want to be. It might be difficult for you to verify if they’re a real person unless you perform a reverse search on them, so be careful if they live an extreme lifestyle.
Catfish Protip #2: Their Profiles Have Broad Interests
Online scammers and catfish create a fake profile with broad interests in their dating profile and social media profile so that they can appeal to as many people as possible. If someone doesn’t seem to have an opinion or their interests are extensive, be wary.
They may be out to scam someone. Some examples would be them saying that they can get dressed up and go to the opera or ride horses and kick their boots up. Most people don’t have interests this broad so, if this seems like a person you’ve met online, be careful.
Catfish Protip #3: They’re Moving Too Fast
If someone seems to be falling for you and pushing the relationship forward without having talked to you or after little contact with you, they’re probably trying to catfish you online. Be careful if someone seems to be falling for you and they write and say all of these loving things about you after a brief amount of time.
Be careful. This is especially the case if they ask you for money right away.
Catfish Protip #4: They’ll Only Talk To You Through Chat or Email
If someone can only talk to you through chat or email and things ‘keep coming up’ that prevent them from video chatting or use a phone, there is probably something funny going on with your relationship online. This is also the case if you can talk to them and their voice doesn’t match their ethnicity (this isn’t always the case) or their voice seems to change, and you start to question if that was the same person you were talking to before.
Sometimes, they claim they don’t know what Skype is or can never download it or always seem to have an issue being able to talk in person (this isn’t always the case). They might also claim that their computer doesn’t have a webcam. If their lips don’t match the voice on the video call, this could also mean that they’re editing the video chat.
Catfish Protip #5: Their Work is Unrealistic
Most scammers live overseas and say they have a ‘job’ that takes them overseas. If someone always has to travel to countries like Africa or the Middle East, be very careful if they start asking for money.
In most cases, this will turn into a Nigerian 419 scam. Also, think about why someone would ask you for money instead of their friends and family who they would usually go to first.
If they are an engineer or have a job that takes them overseas, be very careful. Most 419 scammers have jobs that take them abroad where something dramatic will happen, and they need to ask for money. If they live in the U.S. and they need to travel overseas a lot, watch for these signs.
They might also claim to have an excellent job that seems far-fetched or unattainable for their age.
Catfish Protip #6: They’re Asking for Money
If someone asks for money after having known you for a small amount of time, be cautious. You may have been the target the entire time. And if they ask you to send it to someone else for any reason, make sure you stop communication as there is a high possibility they’re a scammer.
If you tell them you don’t have money, see how fast a catfish will run. In some cases, we’ve even seen catfish offer money and ask for bank account information. NEVER GIVE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION OUT!
Catfish Protip #7: They Contact You Out of the Blue
Think about it. The likelihood of someone contacting you out of nowhere and starting a romance with you is highly unlikely. So, if anyone is doing this to you, be careful.
Also, be on guard if someone says a friend of a friend is trying to connect you two. Go to any contacts and try and verify if that information is correct before moving forward with them.
If they contact you out of nowhere and start talking to you. If they reach out through Facebook or say that a friend of yours is also a mutual friend of theirs, and start chatting, be careful, especially if they start showing the other signs.
Catfish Protip #8: They Live in the U.S. and Have Terrible Grammar
If someone lives in the U.S. but, has terrible grammar like it’s their second language, be aware and don’t be afraid to ask more questions before pursuing a relationship, especially if you haven’t seen or talked to them in person first. This could mean they have something funky in the middle of their sentence, like a period, or they have a ton of misspelled words.
Example: Bb i luv. u
Catfish Protip #9: Their Online Status Doesn’t Look Real
Online dating scams usually consist of a person “faking” their identity so, keep an eye out if their online status doesn’t look real. People should have contacts, friends, and relatives on their social profiles.
If they don’t, be open to the fact that the person may be lying. Most people will post pictures of themselves, their friends, and will have real interactions with others on their social accounts. If they don’t, they’re usually hiding something.
Catfish Protip #10: They Steal Images from Famous People
Furthermore, catfishers try and look appealing so they’ll steal pictures of attractive people. People can be models, movie stars, or other celebrities. Don’t let the fact that you don’t recognize someone in real life as a tool to fool you. Use our reverse image search to check the original source of their Facebook profile or other social networks to make sure you are not being catfished.
If they only have a few pictures on their profile and they don’t look recent, that is a sign to be suspicious. Also, if they look mildly famous, do your research and make sure that their pictures are real to avoid being catfished.
Catfish Protip #11: They Make You Feel Sorry For Them
Most catfish online will make up far-fetched lies so that you’ll feel sorry for them. If they do this and then ask for money, be extremely cautious. If you’re not sure that this person is a catfish, you can always perform a catfish reverse image search on them.
Catfish Protip #12: Trust Your Instincts
In the end, trust your instincts. Most people that come to us already have a hunch that something isn’t right. If that’s you, you may be correct. You know when you have that unsettling feeling. When dating people online, trust your gut and maybe perform a facial recognition search.
Bonus Ways to Know if You’re Being Catfished
- They have kids and have wife or parents that have passed away. Again, this isn’t super uncommon but, if someone claims to have a close loved one pass away, look for other signs and be careful if they ask you for money.
- They may have a lot of friends on Facebook, but their conversations are not of people who know each other well.
- They don’t have any pictures with friends that are on their profile.
- None of their pictures are candid.
- They don’t send you any pictures directly to you that you haven’t seen before.
- Their profile is not that old.
- They always make an excuse not to meet up.
- They say that they’re “new to online dating and just looking to meet people.”
- They don’t have a cell phone, or when you talk to them, they sound like a different ethnicity from their picture.
- They ask you for money to get home, for bills, etc.
- They ask for money but tell you that they can’t receive the money and ask you to send it to someone else.
- They don’t have any social accounts, or they always have stories and reasoning that is far fetched and not normal.
If you’re seeking help finding out if you’re being catfished or want to know if the person that you met online is legitimate, click the link below. If you’ve already verified that you’ve been catfished, check out our guide here on how to handle it.
You can also signup with Social Catfish to have us run a dating background check. It’s private, and the person will never know that you have done this. You can also run a reverse search with a name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see if you’re talking to a real person instead of being catfished. In a lot of cases, people do this to get peace of mind, not waste their time, avoid stumbling upon a catfish online, and avoid getting hurt.