25 Feb 2022

Catfishing: Signs To Look Out For

The acute rise in online dating has provided scam-artists with new ways to work their trade. Originated from the old fisherman’s tale, the term ‘catfish’ is all about lies, deception, and exaggeration of the truth, to lure someone into a relationship for personal (often monetary) gains. 

While the typical targets of such scams are lonesome, vulnerable and reclusive people, there are cases where even the more popular, “street smart” individuals have fallen victim to catfishing. Therefore, it’s vital to familiarise oneself with such cases in order to avoid not just heartbreaks but also financial losses.

With so many men and women turning to the online world in search of love, at least a fraction of them are bound to be con artists. Catfish profiles often seem too good to be true, and that’s the first red flag to look out for. If they mention that they’re an influencer or a model – beware! It’s extremely easy to access photos of popular individuals and pretend to be them on dating apps. Besides, they’re often on the move, with busy work schedules, so if they’re extremely chatty and conversational, that should be a point of concern too.

There are a series of warning signs that one must pay attention to when approaching a new relationship online. 

  1. Suspicious social media presence: Catfish tend to “borrow” photos off of other people’s profiles – usually models or attractive individuals. These photos often lack identifying features that could help one recognise the location at which they were shot. They also have an unusually low number of friends or connections, none of whom are tagged in any of the photos that have been posted on their profile. 
  2. Inconsistencies and vague responses: Catfish are quick to dodge personal questions. Discussions about their past and current life will also be rather vague, with several inconsistencies. And when caught in a lie, they deflect the conversation by cooking up incoherent excuses.
  3. The relationship progresses unusually quickly: Considering that they have ulterior motives, catfish are quick to develop a full-blown romantic relationship with their victim. They are usually the first to declare their feelings.
  4. Grammar & Spellings: Catfish are often based out of countries where English is not the native or the first language. However, they often claim to have a decent career and a steady job, in an area or state near their victim. Considering these points, their ability to converse in English should be impeccable. Thus, when speaking to someone online, watch out for grammatical mistakes as well as spelling errors.
  5. Request for monetary help: This is the ultimate goal of a catfish scam. Once the catfish has confessed their feelings and lured their target into forming a deeper relationship, a tragic incident occurs in their life for which they require monetary support. Immediately cut off all contacts if this happens.

While one can take precautions or do their investigation by reverse searching images or conducting a search on social media, a professional detective is trained to recognise such scams and even locate the culprit.  

A private investigator from our team at Globe Detective Agency, can help look for their birth details and addresses, do a thorough background check, and gather evidence to corroborate and thus refute the story a catfish has constructed. To know more about our services, click here: https://www.globedetective.com/