Men account for roughly 43% of possible victims targeted by catfishers and are more likely to believe fake characters on the internet. Irrespective of gender, catfishers create and use fake profiles to lure people into romantic relationships, gain financial information, or even steal someone’s identity.
The criminals who perpetrate these scams are often very skilled in deception, so it can be tough to spot them. However, there are a few red flags to look out for that can help you avoid being scammed or becoming a victim of identity theft. In this article, we’ll talk about how to avoid catfishing. But before going into it, let’s get into the basics of catfishing.
What Is Catfishing?
Imagine you’re talking to someone online, and suddenly they ask for money. You may be the victim of catfishing—a scam in which someone creates a fake profile to lure people into a relationship.
Catfishing can take many forms, but the most common is where the scammer builds a relationship with their victim, often professing strong feelings for them, before asking for money. They might tell a story about being in a difficult financial situation or needing money to help a sick family member.
According to records, 18,000 people were victims of catfishing in 2018 alone.
Catfishing is a significant issue nowadays, especially due to the release of multiple dating apps. So it’s always a good practice to be aware of the red flags and know how to avoid catfishing.
Around 24% of all catfishing culprits disguise themselves as another gender.
Let’s discuss how to avoid catfishing in detail to stay on the safe side.
How to Avoid Catfishing?
The scammer will often try to get the victim to send them money or personal information,
and it can be tough to tell if you’re being catfished. So how can you avoid becoming a victim
of catfishing? Here are some tips:
- Be suspicious of anyone asking for money or personal information before meeting in person.
- Don’t believe everything you see online—remember, the internet is full of scams.
- Use common sense and trust your gut instinct.
- If something feels off, it probably is.
How to Prove You Are Not Being Catfished?
So you’ve been talking to this person online for a while, and things are going great! They’re funny, charming, and seem to get you. But then they ask for some favor, and suddenly you’re unsure if it’s all a scam.
How can one know if they’re being catfished? Well, the first step is to ask yourself;
- Does the concerned person have any photos of themselves?
- Does the other person possess any proper multi-platform online identity?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, it’s probably best to walk away.
But what if you’re still not sure?
In that case, it might be time to reach out to some of their friends or family members to see if they’ve ever heard of them. You could even try searching for their name online to see if any other information comes up.
If everything checks out, but you’re still not convinced, you can try something out-of-the-box. You can ask for a video call or even have them send you a photo of themselves holding up a sign with your name. If they refuse or can’t do any of those things, it’s probably best to move on.
How to Outsmart a Catfish?
What to do if you know you’re being catfished? The first step is to try to get a sense of their personality. Catfish often try to be someone they’re not, so if you can catch them in a lie, you’re on the right track.
If you think you’ve been scammed, you must report it to the authorities and get help. Don’t be ashamed—you’re not the only one who’s been tricked.
Next, see if you can get them to meet up in person. If they’re reluctant to do this, it’s a red flag. And finally, always trust your gut instinct.
Let’s closely examine some of the significant red flags that can precisely answer your question about how to avoid catfishing.
Red Flags to Look for When Talking to Someone Online
When talking to someone online, it’s important to be aware of the red flags that could indicate that you’re being catfished. Following are a few things to keep an eye out for
- The other person is always asking for favors.
- They never want to meet in person, making frequent excuses.
- Profile picture appears fake or fabricated; 73% use photos of others
- Their story doesn’t add up.
- Trying to indulge in unnecessary personal aspects of your life.
- They seem too good to be true.
How to Get Over Being Catfished
It’s understandable if you’re feeling down after you’ve been catfished. In fact, You may even believe it is your mistake and that you might have done more to avoid it. But please, don’t beat yourself up over it. The person who catfished you is the one who is responsible for their actions, not you.
If you were unaware of how to avoid catfishing and became the victim of it, here’s how to move past it:
- Remember that you are not alone. Thousands of people fall victim to catfishing scams every year, so you’re not the only one.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about what happened. It can be healing to talk about your
experience with someone else and help you get some helpful advice.
- Don’t let the person who catfished you win.
You deserve to be happy and whole again.
It’s a severe issue that can have devastating consequences, but now you know how to avoid catfishing.
Be suspicious if the person you’re talking to online refuses to meet in person or seems too good to be true. Be careful about sharing personal information with someone you don’t know, and never send money to someone you’ve never met.
If you think you may have been catfished, Contact the police and your financial institutions, and update your credentials.
If you’re ever concerned about falling victim to catfishing, remember to stay vigilant and follow the above-mentioned tips to avoid it.