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Have you received a message from a guy/girl who appears to be too good to be true? Did you come across a person who is a stranger to you, yet claims to be madly in love with you, but never agrees for a meeting or a video call?
Over the years, the nature of dating has changed to a great extent. It has now involved the virtual world as well. With the arrival of various dating platforms, people tend to find their potential partner through various online dating platforms and then decide to meet in-person with them. But one cannot deny that the virtual world itself has several negative aspects. 'Catfishing' is one of them.
If you are already scratching your head to know what is catfishing, scroll down to read. For those who think it is related to cats and fish, you are absolutely wrong. Read more to find out what it is and why people should be beware of Catfishing.
What Is Catfishing?
The act of creating a fake identity, only to indulge in a romantic relationship or to have a companionship with someone else, is said to be catfishing. The reason behind this could be the insecurity and low self-esteem of the person.
But, it can also involve the catfish (the one who is doing catfishing), asking for some financial help stating that he/she will return the money, but never does the same. Though these people prefer staying shady, they might reach you through some trusted online platforms.
In order to safeguard yourself from catfishing, here are some tell-tale signs that you can take into account.
1. They Will Claim To Be In Love With You Too Soon
It might be possible that you have met someone online and feel there is a spark between you two. As a result, both of you may get serious too soon. But think about a situation where someone has messaged or mailed you out of nowhere and claims to be smitten by you. Even if you haven't met each other and are strangers, the person declares that he/she passionately loves you. In that case, it can be a sign that someone is catfishing on you.
2. They Have Less Or No Friends And Followers
It is obvious to go through the profile of someone you just met on the social media platform or on some dating sites. This helps you in knowing more about the person. But, if the person claims to be in love with you or shows extreme care for you, has no or fewer followers and friends, then you must consider it as a danger sign. Scammers generally tailor their profile in such a way that it looks real.
For this, you can check the friends and followers of the catfish. If you find his/her friends and followers to be quite less then you need to play smart and use your brain.
3. They Look Too Perfect In Their Pictures
If you have come across a person who looks like he or she has come out straight from a magazine, ignore that person and save yourself from the pain of going through a difficult situation in future. These people take pictures of models from social media platforms and post in their profiles. Beware of these people.
Also, the one who is catfishing on you might post pictures of actor/actresses, pets, flowers, cartoon characters, but won't prefer posting his/her own pictures. Even if you ask, the person would deny saying that he/she doesn't like to post his/her own pictures.
4. Their Profiles Seem To Be Fishy
There is a high chance that the profile of the scammer will seem to be fishy. He/she might have interests in almost everything and might have some weird names. Such as 'lover boy', 'beautiful angel', 'I am an angel' and so on. Also, the scammer's account might seem to be created a few days or months before you met. There might fewer posts and no proper information about his/her school, college or job.
In such a situation, you can strictly ask the person to share his/her genuine information.
5. They May Ask You For Money
You need to be cautious when someone you have just met online a few days ago asks for money. Though it is good to help others, lending money to someone, you have never met in-person and whose profile is too good to be true, can be a foolishness.
The catfish will say something like, 'I am sorry but I do not have money to pay my internet bills and talk to you. I will be obliged if you lend me some money.' Or 'I am facing some financial issues. Can you please lend me some money? I can't ask my parents.'
The catfish will try his/her best to manipulate you. If the person is really in need of money he/she might ask the same from his/her family and trusted friends.
In such a situation it is better to distance yourself from such scammers.
6. They Will Never Agree For A Video Chat
It is quite obvious for you to shares pictures, go on dinner dates and for a cup of coffee after you have been chatting with your ‘online flame' for a long time. If not dinner, then you have opted for a video chat.
But, if your online flame constantly denies for video chat and for sharing pictures, then it might be because the person is catfishing on you. The catfish will do anything to avoid a face-to-face meeting or sharing his/her pictures.
In such situations, it is better to cut all sorts of connection from such scammers.
7. They Have Stories To Tell That Are Far-Fetched And Too Good To Be True
The catfish will have vague stories or far-fetched stories to share with you. He/she might say things like 'My job profile allows me to meet with several famous personalities,' 'I feel so lonely after my pet died,' 'I couldn't reply to your messages as I was in a funeral' and blah-blah-blah! The catfish will also tell you stories that he/she has met with an accident or someone close to them just passed away. He/she will try to make you feel sorry for them.
For this, you can ask him/her to show some proof of the mishaps.
Though online dating has turned out to be a blessing for some, it has also become a curse for some. It has become a quick way for scammers to manipulate people who are eager to date. Therefore, it is better to be cautious while you chat with someone online rather than trusting these people blindly.