Dating sites are services where people communicate using the Internet and arrange meetings to build a romantic, sexual, or personal relationship. The number of people who use dating sites is growing every year.

The Internet is a great place to make friends, and this is proved by the billions of people around the world who use dating sites. Many of them are lucky, and they have found their love, but at the same time, many become victims of fraudsters. What is catfishing on dating sites? Today we are going to tell you how to find out if someone is a catfish and how to stop catfishing online.

signs someone is a catfish

What Does It Mean to Catfish Someone?

Online dating is not trusted a lot because it is very easy to fake a profile and impersonate someone else. Catfishing is an attempt to get acquainted with a user of a dating site under the guise of a fictional person when someone takes on a different persona, using fake photos or profiles.

The term has appeared thanks to the documentary film "Catfish." It tells how the photographer Niv Shulman has become a victim of deception, falling in love with a virtual image, skilfully created by the lonesome mother of the family.

Why Do People Catfish?

A catfish can be a person who lacks self-confidence. If nature initially poorly endowed a user with physical beauty, slender body, and wonderful hair, then they can use the increasingly popular "catfishing." After all, all they need is to find photos of the person they like and place them on their profile page as their own. Such a person wants to make numerous users see them as a young, blue-eyed, tall blond with the body of an ancient athlete. But in fact, they are, to say softer, not at all like that.

Sometimes people engage in catfishing because they have a tough time and experience problems. They may complain about their unhappy lives, and you will calm them down. This is all they need but nothing more. Such an acquaintance does not turn into a meeting in real life.

It is much more serious if a person starts catfishing for the purpose of fraud. Scammers create fake profiles using fictitious names and fake IDs to lure you into their traps. In a short time, they will tell you about their great love for you with the sole purpose – to trick out of your money. They often make great efforts to gain your trust, win over your heart, and then deceive you.

am I being catfished​Scammers share personal information, talk about their families, and even send you gifts. However, as soon as they hold your attention and trust, they delicately ask you for money or the details of your bank account. Fraudsters may claim that they have financial difficulties or personal emergencies. Do not believe them. This is a lie!

Fraud associated with online dating sites, can both lead to a loss of money and be a threat to your health and safety. This is especially true in case someone convinces you to go abroad and do something for them. Avoid those who ask you for money or find out the details of your bank account since it is almost impossible to return the lost money.

Is It Illegal to Catfish Someone Online?

In catfishing, things are a little different than in fraud. Firstly, the lie of impersonation does not have a specific addressee. The thief of someone else's image does not deceive any particular person by placing a fake photo in their account. Perhaps, nobody will see this photo at all.

Secondly, it is difficult to determine whether any material damage was caused to the deceived person. Catfishing is most popular on dating sites. A person who has already arranged a personal meeting, attracted by a photo of a catfish, is unlikely to be able to prove in court that they suffered some property damage as a result of this deception. Even if for the sake of this meeting, a person spent money on transportation, begged off work, or refused a hack-work where he would earn a lot of money. No less difficult is the argument about the infliction of psychic trauma. Theoretically, this is possible, but the trauma must be confirmed by a medical expert.

Everything is more or less clear with those who turned out to be deceived in their expectations, but there is another contender to be considered the injured party. This is the beauty whose photos were found on the Internet and placed under another name. In this case, the question of causing the material and moral damage looks more specific.

Finding your own photos on a dating site under an assumed name is most likely a shock for a successful beautiful woman. At least, there is a reason to sue out an order (interdict) to site administrators about the immediate removal of the photos. If we are talking about a media person, then mental damage and moral suffering can be accompanied by accurately calculated property damage.

10 Signs of Catfishing in Dating

Many people wonder, “What is catfishing in dating? What does it mean to be catfished?” We’d like to present you 10 sure signs someone is a catfish.

1. Unnatural behavior

On this basis, it is possible to figure out the "actors," that is, those who pretend to be another person or lie about themselves. You must admit that for a successful and wealthy person - “the owner of factories, newspapers, and steamboats,” weird errors in messages and the primitive speech of a schoolboy are a bit atypical. If the photo shows a handsome rich man, ask how he's started the business and what he does now. Then draw conclusions on his answers.

2. Refusal to develop communication

Constant refusal to develop communication for no apparent reason is suspicious. Just yesterday, a woman confessed in love, and today she refuses to give you her phone number? Most likely, she just wants to while away boring evenings. If the interlocutor is not ready to speak on the telephone, not to mention the video, then perhaps they are afraid to show their true face.

3. Logical errors of a catfish in communicating with them

Yesterday your interlocutor talked about work in the store, and a week later they say that they are sitting in the office. Did they tell you about the love of dogs but then suddenly change their mind? They lie to you, so there are doubts about the reality of this person.

4. Invitation to visit a third-party site or register on the social network

It does not matter how it is expressed and whether it is posted on the profile page or sent to you in private. Such proposals are prohibited by the rules, but dating site moderators do not have time to quickly respond to all violations with several tens of thousands of online users hourly. Remember forever: in 100% of such cases, a link will lead to a virus or a fake site, where you will be tricked out of your money.

5. They hide their social network profiles from you

You met them on the Internet, and they don't have either Facebook, or VKontakte, or Twitter, or Instagram? They might just have something to hide.

6. They often postpone your meeting at the last moment

First, they had a fire, then a flood, then their house was carried away by a hurricane to the Land of Oz, and they were returning home on sea turtles. Well, trouble happens to everyone. But if this is a steady trend, it means that it is one of the most obvious signs of a catfish, who is waiting for you to agree to send them your intimate photos sooner or later.

7. They avoid talking about work

“I’m an entrepreneur,” “I don’t want to talk yet, let it be a surprise,” “This is a long story.” A real entrepreneur usually clearly explains in what area they work. So, most likely, they are either a catfish or just out of job and are not going to look for it.

8. There is only one photo on their profile page

Either they have low self-esteem, or they haven't taken care to give you a comprehensive idea of themselves. More likely, this is not their photo at all.

9. They answer questions about themselves reluctantly and evasively

Do not hope that they work in intelligence services and are afraid to say too much. Then they would have a clear legend. It is better to ask yourself a question, “Am I being catfished?” Most likely, this person keeps silent about something by all means. Either it is the criminal past or the fact that their life is empty and boring.

10. They try to trick out of your money

This is the most obvious sign of how to tell if you're being catfished. They write that they want to get acquainted with you and introduce themselves as a single woman. Often, a fraudster tries to create a sense of pity and makes up a story as if they were in trouble. If a deceiver feels your pity for them, they can ask for money directly or somehow hint about it.

How to Catch a Catfish Online?

Despite the seeming seriousness of the problem, you can easily figure out a catfish, even without having serious computer skills. Now, we are going to tell you how to catch a catfish online.

Upload photos of your new acquaintance in the search for pictures

Naturally, a catfish prefers beautiful and high-quality photos, which are given in the first 2-3 pages of the search. Look for a profile picture of your new friend in a search engine such as Yandex or Google. The browser will give you all the social networks and sites where this image is found. There may be a lot of them if you suspect the authenticity of this person!

what is catfishing on dating sitesCheck their profile

Pay attention to the conformity of the questionnaire items to photos of a person. Often, the indicated anthropometric data (weight, height) do not coincide with the images. This can be a simple deception, and the information is filled at random, which has nothing to do with reality. It is one of the sure catfishing signs.

Check out their biography

When you communicate with someone on the Internet for the first time, find information about them on Google, VKontakte, or other dating applications if you are registered there. Look at the inconsistencies between their photos and profile descriptions. If you find something, complain about it.

Ask for a video call

The easiest way to verify the reality of a person is to make a video call, or at least ask for a link to their profile page on the social network. If the page is controversial and doubtful without real photos - congratulations, you are talking with a catfish. If a person refuses to communicate via video call even after 2-3 weeks of acquaintance, remember that, most likely, there is a fake in front of you! Just leave them and move on. There are still hundreds of thousands of real people on dating sites.

Ask questions

Pay attention to how a person responds to you. Fraudsters usually use templated messages with sensual declarations of love, ignoring most of the questions of the interlocutor.

Catfish Dating Stories

There are many stories about catfishing on the Internet. One antivirus company conducted a survey among users of dating sites and found out that the main problems of such sites are inadequate users, fake accounts, and malicious links. The participants listed the problems they had faced on dating sites.

  • Most people called inadequate users as the main problem - 43% of respondents encountered them.
  • 37% of survey participants complained about fake accounts. As you see, catfishing online statistics are frightening.
  • 28% of respondents faced Internet fraudsters, they claimed that the interlocutors on dating sites had sent them suspicious links.
  • 18% of users suffered financially, they lost money for some reason. Another 8% of respondents complained of extortion attempts, threats, and other manifestations of aggression.

How to Report a Catfish Online?

Moderators of any dating site take every case of fraud very seriously. After all, it affects their reputation. Using the "Report" button, any user of the site can report to moderators about any violation by other users. In the case of catfishing, moderators check suspicious profile photos using a special scam detection system. Further, such user will be blocked.

Be careful and watchful! As they say, forewarned is forearmed! Take this information into account, and you will never fall into the insidious traps of a catfish and other scammers on modern dating sites. Good luck in the search of true love!

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