One of the biggest risks of online dating is being catfished. Catfishing is when someone uses a fake profile, including pictures and personality, to lure others into a relationship or con them out of some money. Most of the times these relationships go on for a while, during this time the catfisher drains the other person for money and materialistic items.
One of the worst parts of being catfished, is the person who is being used thinks they are in an actual relationship and usually fall for the catfisher. Thankfully, there are a couple of things you can watch out for to protect yourself against these vicious money leeches.
- They ask for personal info. If anyone asks for your address or bank info it should be a big fat red flag. This may not seem like something to watch out for if you’ve been talking to the person for a while, but if you haven’t met someone in real life it’s never a good idea to send them your address.
- They ask for money. One of my friends sent some money to someone against my better judgement a while back, and nothing came of it. While it isn’t always harmful, it is never a good idea to blindly send money to someone you just met online or have never met in person.
- Using fake profile pictures. You can usually run pictures through a reverse image search engine if you are skeptical of someone’s authenticity. If someone is using fake profile pictures, they are probably also using a fake personality and have bad intentions. If you find that someone is using fake profile pictures on a dating app or website, you should report them.
- No proof identity. Another red flag to look out for is if the person refuses to prove their identity. If they don’t want to hop on a web cam or meet in real life, they are more than likely using a fake profile to scam others. If they claim they don’t want to get on a webcam because they don’t have one, you can always ask for a picture off them touching their left pink to their right ear.
- Don’t want to meet in real life. Finally, the biggest red flag is someone who wants a relationship with you but doesn’t want to meet in real life. For example, you are looking for sex in Sydney, but the catfish does not want to meet offline. I have found that if you are really interested in someone, you want to meet them! If the person refuses to meet in real life or always has an excuse to cancel last minute, it’s probably because they are catfishing you.
With these five tips you can avoid losing your hard earned money to moral-less catfishers. While all of these tips don’t always apply exclusively to catfishers, you should go with your gut and do some research on the person asking you for money.