While the public image of social media is nice and warm, however, it’s a type of internet service with an equally negative aspect.Social media can not only affect your productivity but also harm your privacy, cause negative psychological effects and even be the victim of bullying or scams.Catfishing could accomplish all of these.
Catfishing is a nebulous phenomenon that is difficult to recognize.It’s a type of identity fraud in which individuals (or group of individuals) creates an online identity that is fake and then targets people seeking to create a (usually) romantic online connection with them.
The consequences of a catfishing scam could be catastrophic If you are aware of the indicators, you can save yourself from suffering.
What Is “Catfishing”?
It is believed that the source of the term “catfishing” to describe this particular type of online fraud originated from a film called “Catfish“.In that movie, we follow an unidentified young man who develops an online friendship with a girl on Facebook which is revealed to be totally fake.
The title was inspired by an incident in the film that describes how cod that is shipped in vats is kept busy by the combination of catfish with cod.The metaphor here is that those who are responsible for catfishing keep us constantly on our toes.
The phrase was made popular by the MTV show called Catfish the TV Show.This was a kind of reality TV similar to Cheaters which saw the victims of catfishing have to fight their attackers by using the show.That’s the reason we refer to it as catfishing today.
What Happens During Catfishing?
Although it’s not always the case, however, it’s typically the catfisher that makes the first move against the victim.They’ll typically receive messages from a private or direct message that has an opener.“Hey there, handsome.” or “I can’t stop looking at your profile picture.” are some possible examples.
If the victim gets involved with them The catfisher will begin to make a web.It’s not unusual for catfishers to engage in a long-term game.The scam could be carried out for long durations, thereby building credibility with the target.
Catfishers are adept at manipulating and exploiting particular weaknesses of the individual they’re seeking to catch.For instance, those who are lonely or have lost a partner, or are vulnerable in other ways.
Why Does Catfishing Happen?
One of the more difficult aspects of fishing for catfish is that people who participate in it have a variety of motives.One of the most common is money.There’s a flourishing catfishing business online that swindles thousands of people of their money every year.There’s also catfishing as an example of pure, sadistic cyberbullying.The goal is to make the victim feel humiliated and then mentally harass the victim.
In the end, catfishing may not be malicious in the sense that it is.Instead, many people make use of the anonymity of the internet to create fictional identities which allow them to live their fantasies or discover their sexual or romantic natures.
A married couple could have an affair online with a person online and hide behind a fake profile they’ve created to facilitate the fling.While there’s no evidence of malicious intent in this kind of catfishing, it’s no less damaging to the victim.
How to Spot a Catfishing Attempt?
The process of identifying a catfishing effort is a difficult task.In the first place, the warning signs do not are appropriate for every kind of catfisher.The motivations behind the catfisher determine the method of attack that they can make against you.However, there are some typical signs to watch out for when your online friend begins to flirt with you in romantic ways.
Fake Profile Pictures
One of the main strategies employed by catfishers is to steal the profiles of others.The profile photo could come from any source.While it’s certainly not reliable, one of the best ways to identify fake profiles or other images uploaded on their profiles is to employ reverse image searches.
Check out the definition of reverse image search and is and How to Use It to learn how you can trace images back to the source.
Complete Avoidance of Video Calls or Real-life Meetings
Since the catfisher might not appear like the profile photo It’s not surprising that they don’t be tempted to show their actual face.That’s why you’ll be given an excuse as to the reason why a video conference or real-life meet-up isn’t possible.If the individual is an entirely different gender than the fake account or has a different tone than the usual accent, they could be hesitant to accept making a phone call.
If a catfisher is attempting to push for a serious relationship, but will not do as easy as hopping on the website Zoom to have a chat this is a huge red warning.
Poor Language Skills
It’s not the only indication of a scam however, you should be wary of someone with poor grammar and spelling in their communications with you.Catfishers who are skilled can make this clear by creating fake profiles of foreign users.
They are Unrealistically Perfect
We don’t want to suggest the reader doesn’t have a great chance and won’t be able to find the one you’ve always wanted to meet.But, catfishers have a tendency to create fake profiles that appear slightly too perfect.They could be gorgeous intelligent, knowledgeable, proficient in any field, and crossing off every other box you’ve got in the back of your mind to find an ideal partner.
Consider how likely it is that someone like this exists and is constantly pursuing you for love in particular.
They Have No Network of Friends
The fake profile of a catfisher may be well-rounded and filled with details about their life as a fictional character It’s a lot more difficult to impersonate a genuine social network.Are they friends with other acquaintances?Do all their contacts appear to like fake accounts?Do they have any contact with other people?Be awed by your intuition and evaluate the authenticity of the account by how it is.
Sob Stories and Requests for Money
Once you’ve built a level of trust with them and ensured there’s a romance, you’re bound to receive a request for cash.Most often, it’s a “medical emergency” or the person is claiming they’re going to be expelled.
No matter what the details of your situation, the need to earn money is urgent, and the newfound passion is employed to earn it with no thought-provoking in your own mind.
Different catfishers have different methods of stealing cash from their victims.Certain catfishers may escalate an incident to ever greater amounts when the “emergency” gets worse and more severe before dissolving.Others may be able to take small amounts that are deposited over a lengthy period of time, and keep the fraud going for the longest time possible.
Remember it’s not the case that all catfishing accidents have to do with cash.Also, just because this type of incident isn’t happening doesn’t mean that you’re in good standing.
Where to Find Help if You’re a Victim
If you believe you’re getting catfish the first option is to stop the account.You shouldn’t be able to continue communicating with the individual and make sure you report their account to the social media site.
In certain instances, it is also possible to speak with the police.Nowadays, many police forces have specialization units for crimes like catfishing.They can assist in locating the perpetrator and provide various other types of support.Particularly if you’ve been ripped out of funds.
Also, you should take the time to think about any psychological damage that might have been caused to you.Examine whether there are any cyberbullying assistance organizations that you can call for help and additional details.Naturally, you can be able to reach out to your family members and friends for help if you require it.Don’t be embarrassed if the catfisher swindled you.It can be anyone’s experience!