Catfishing can happen to anyone. Any person can fall victim to this scam, especially those on online dating sites. Here’s what all online daters should know before logging on.
Falling in Love Online
Online dating is growing now, more than ever. According to a Pew Internet and American Life Project survey, six percent of Internet users who are married or in a committed relationship met each other online. That percentage point is up by three points from three percent in 2005.
Almost 60 percent of the people who were surveyed believe that online dating is a good way to meet someone. However, as the popularity of online dating grows, so do its dangers.
What Is Catfishing?
The term “catfish” refers to a person who’s intentionally deceptive online, whether on dating sites or on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In many cases, the catfish uses fake photos and false information in the hopes of making a romantic connection.
If you think you’re being catfished online, you’re probably right. Be on the lookout for red flags. For example, if the person you’re talking to online constantly cancels plans to meet, he or she might be hiding something about their identity.
In some situations, the catfish will drop the “L word” right away. If you feel like things are moving too quickly and you’re starting to develop feelings for this person, but you’ve never met before, be cautious, because they just might be a catfish.
If the person you’re chatting up doesn’t want to videochat something might be up. Dating experts recommend meeting up with someone for a date after about a month of chatting online. If they’re unwilling to do so, move on.
Additionally, if you feel like aspects of this online persona’s identity are too good to be true or if their photos are too perfect to be real, trust your rational self and do some detective work. With a quick Google Image search you can determine if the photos are genuine or if they belong to someone else.
Protect Yourself Online
For many online daters, online safety is often overlooked. You might think “something like that would never happen to me” or “I know what to look out for.” But when it comes to love and developing feelings for someone, it’s easy to get caught up in your emotions. Scams can happen to anyone.
Get help from trusted industry resources like LifeLock for educational information, identity theft news and online and offline safety tips. Knowing the risks and learning what to look out for can pay off in the long term.
Catfishing doesn’t just cause heartbreak, it can cause some serious problems, too. Australia is experiencing a type of catfishing epidemic. Dating site eHarmony reports that Australian police estimate that Aussies send nearly $8 million to Internet scammers each month.
In many of these cases the catfish is playing to the victims heartstrings, often coming up with elaborate stories of loss, whether it’s a death in the family, a sick child, a lost job or major illness. If someone you don’t know online is asking for money, trust your gut – they’re probably out to scam you.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I’ve learned to accept that we have to all appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate and I’m blessed to have loving family and friends in my life.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
My biggest achievement is graducating from Arizona State University in 2013!
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Working to keep in mind that nobody’s perfect–it’s been hard to accept it.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my unwavering intensity. Everything I do is 100 percent.