Online romances are complicated. Not only do you have to deal with the lack of physical intimacy together, but the fact that you can’t meet face to face is pretty hard. You’ve been one of the lucky ones. After scrolling endlessly through tinder or an online dating website, you’ve come across a woman or man who seems perfect for you. They’re good looking, smart, funny and you’ve already managed to fall head over heels in love with them. But how can you be sure that they’re exactly who they say they are? You might be getting catfished without even realising it. Here are the top ten signs of catfishing to make sure that you don’t fall victim to a fake profile!
What is Catfishing?
If you haven’t watched the program “Catfish”, then you probably won’t have any idea what catfishing is online. Well, to put it bluntly, catfishing is where someone online pretends to be someone else to gain your trust and romantic attention. For instance, a man trying to scam money out of you might create a dating profile for one of the hot escorts in Sunderland. As you find the profile attractive and you are being told everything you want to hear, the profile might ask you to send money and emotionally manipulate you.
It’s someone who is not who they say they are trying to exploit you.
Sign 1: They never show their face
You’ve seen their profile pictures tons of times but they only seem to occasionally update their gallery with recent pictures. Worse still, when you ask to video chat with them then they will make up a ton of excuses, like their video camera is broken or that they aren’t comfortable showing their face. Heck, some won’t even take pictures for you so that you have proof that they are real. This is a major red flag that the person you are talking to is a catfish. If you are nervous about this then ask the person to send a selfie. You will know if they are fake or not by their reaction.
Sign 2: They ask you for money
So, you’ve been talking to this amazing man/woman for a while and they seem like the perfect fit for you. But suddenly tragedy strikes, their car has broken down, they can’t pay the bills or they have been put in prison and need bail money. If someone ever asks you for money online then it’s best if you just completely refuse. Most catfishes go on dating websites to prey on easy targets who are looking for love. Don’t become their next victim.
Sign 3: They won’t talk to you on the phone
Now, this is a problem if the person you’re speaking with online is too scared to let you hear their voice. Perhaps they’re worried that their voice will sound different to what you expect from a person like them…Or perhaps you might recognise the voice of the person you are talking to. Either way, this is a very bad sign and should set your alarm bells ringing immediately.
Sign 4: They appear too good to be true
Sometimes if you get the feeling that someone is too good to be true, they usually are. Take a look at your crush’s profile. If they have a photo that looks like it’s been photoshopped, have a degree from Oxford or Cambridge, have a top-notch job or are the kindest, most tender-hearted person to have ever lived, they are probably fake.
Sign 5: They flake out on meeting you
It’s genuinely a horrible feeling to have arranged a date only for your crush to not show up, especially if you have spent months trying to get the date arranged. A freak tragedy on their end, such as their car breaking down or them suddenly being out of the city for the weekend, is enough to send anyone’s alarm bells ringing. But the nagging sensation of doubt will only get worse if they end up doing this frequently. Trust your gut and get them out of your life.
Sign 6: Their profile images appear in a reverse Google image search
The person you’ve met online looks jaw-droppingly beautiful, to the extent that they could probably be a super-model in real life. But what if they already are? A lot of catfish profiles tend to steal images of moderately famous people, such as models or social media celebrities, to entice new people to click on their profile. A quick way to check out whether or not their image is real is by dragging it into Google’s search result. If it appears on several different websites, you’re most likely talking to a catfish.
Sign 7: They travel the world but never see you
It’s one thing to have a long-distance relationship with someone, but if you’ve found that the person travels around for their work, it shouldn’t be so hard for them to spend a few days coming up to see you. However, a lot of online catfish use this as an excuse to avoid seeing you in real life as their “job” keeps them busy. Well, if they’re too busy to see you, they’re too busy to have a relationship with you as well!
Sign 8: A lot of their social media friends are of the opposite sex
Whether the person in question is a man or a woman, you may find that they have no friends in common with you. Instead, they have reached out to several women or men and have tried to befriend them. This is because they are trying to find someone new to talk to and hopefully start to emotionally manipulate. Only add people that you know to your social media. That way they can learn as little as possible about you until you can confirm that they are real.
Sign 9: Their story doesn’t add up
Have you started to notice flaws in your romantic interest’s backstory? Maybe they work in London but have told you that they’re opening up a very specific office in your home city. What luck! It’s practically fate that they are suddenly living on your doorstep. If you find parts of your lover’s story start to sound a little untrustworthy, it’s time to call them out on it and see if they are exactly who they say they are.
Sign 10: Your friends and family are suspicious
Your friends and family only want what’s best for you. You might be head-over-heels in love with the person that you’ve met online, but that doesn’t mean they are. They are going to be grounded in reality. If they don’t seem sold then you may need to reconsider who you are talking to. Trust your family and friends, trust their judgement. They are ready to help you.
Don’t get fooled by a Catfish!
Going through heartbreak is one thing, but losing your cash and self-respect to a catfish is quite enough. If you have any sort of suspicions about someone online then trust your gut. It’s better to be sure about who they than end up having your heart trampled on by a stranger.