5 Ways to Avoid Getting Catfished Online
Find out if who you’re talking to online is who they say they are!
With MTV’s hit show Catfish coming back for it’s craziest season yet, we at MyMatchChecker, decided it was a good time to publish a quick guide to help you avoid being catfished.
What is Catfishing?
For those of you that don’t know, catfishing is when someone puts up a fake profile online in order to begin a relationship under false pretenses.
The term gained prominence when a movie of the same name became an indie hit in 2010. This inspired a TV show starting in 2012 hosted by the makers of the film.
In the show “Nev and Max” the hosts, travel around the country helping those who have been catfished or are in questionable relationships online. If you’re like me, you probably watch the show shaking your head in frustration, because there are soooo many different ways to verify if who you’re talking to online is who they claim to be.
But it’s not just time and heartbreak, the FBI claims over 81 million dollars was lost to online “Love” scammers last year, with the average victim losing $12,000.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through 5 EASY steps you can use online to figure out if someone is lying about who they are!
The last thing I want is for you to end up like Spencer Merrill a Knoxville Tennessee man who went on Catfish claiming he was dating a world famous pop star or worse!
5 Best Ways To Avoid Being Catfished Online!
1. Google them
The first and easiest way to check out a potential romantic match online is to Google them. Plug their name into Google along with the city they claim to live in and see what comes up. It also might be a good idea to run a search for their name on any sites they frequent like Reddit or YouTube.
2. Investigate their social media
Social media can be a dead giveaway that you are dealing with a Catfish. Be aware of anyone with a suspiciously low follower count as Catfish often create fake accounts but don’t always take the time to add friends to these accounts. It’s also a huge red flag if they don’t have any tagged photos or interact with anyone online on a regular basis. You always want to run the person’s name and picture through Facebook and Twitter as well to see what comes up.
3. Do a reverse image search
One of the things that consistently makes me shake my head when watching Catfish the TV show is when “Nev” acts like he’s using some sort of space-aged technology to do a reverse image search on Google. All you have to do is go Google Images and you can check for yourself if the pictures you are being sent are coming from someone else’s profile.
An easy way to confirm whether or not you are dealing with the person in the pictures (of if the pictures have been altered) is to invite the potential Catfish to jump on Skype or Facetime. This way you can see in real time video, which cannot be altered that you are dealing with the right person. Be warned though some catfish are masters of angles and will be able to hold their phone or computers in a way that makes them seem more attractive than they actually are. Don’t be fooled!
5. Do a Background Check
If you still haven’t been able to figure out whether or not the person you’re talking to online to ever to end is who they say they are, you can always run a background check.
By searching billions of public records you can find out exactly what you need to know! In addition to verifying that you’re talking to the right person, a background check can also find criminal records, marriage and divorce records, property and uncover phone numbers using a reverse phone number search. At MyMatchChecker we offer a wide variety of different searches from Multi-State Criminal History, Multi-State Sexual Offenders Registry, FBI Terrorist Watch List to a Full Comprehensive Report. A background check is a great investment especially if you are thinking about loaning money to someone you just met online!
Good luck single friends!
To re-cap, in this article, we talked about catfishing, what it is, how people get caught up with it and how it can lead to Love Crime, which is an 80 Billion dollar, a year criminal enterprise.
We also looked at 5 ways you can stop yourself from being catfished including but not limited to doing a reverse image search, using Facetime or Skype and running a full or partial background check.
You now have all the information you need to protect yourself from being Catfished, you know what to look for and what tools online to use if you suspect you are being catfished.
Now you won’t end up on MTV explaining that you met this cute girl named John, or this handsome man named Katherine!
It’s always better to be safe than sorry start a Search Now.