Signs you're connecting with a Catfisher
Catfisher: Someone who pretends to be someone else online by posting false information on social media sites with the intent of getting you to fall in love with them.
Not every catfisher is a fraudster looking to convince you to wire them funds so they can pay for their emergency surgery or an airline ticket to fly home to the U.S so you can finally meet face to face.
Some have such a poor self image that they pose as someone else to achieve a human connection online that they can’t in real life. Others are disturbed individuals who get satisfaction from having control over the way others perceive them. A few are grudge holders looking for revenge over some past slight or imagined hurt.
The quickest, if not simplest method of outing a catfisher is to check the photos they’ve used in their dating or social media profiles. Download the individual’s profile photo to your computer’s desktop. Then, using either Google Images or TinEye.com upload the photo and search for other places the same photo has appeared on the internet.
If you find it’s either stock photo from an agency or is the profile of an entirely different real person, cut all contact with the catfisher immediately and report them to the dating site and the social network.
Of course, the photo could be of the person, but from ten years ago. All too many online daters engage in this kind of lie. To check that possibility ask to chat with the person via webcam, or if they claim to be local, to meet them for coffee.
Someone who says their webcam doesn’t work, that they don’t have one on their phone, or who never seems to be able to meet, is at the very least concealing their current appearance. Cut off all correspondence and report your suspicions to the dating site or social network.
Appearance isn’t the only thing that someone could conceal online. Many people portray themselves as having more impressive jobs or being better off financially that they really are.
If someone passes the photo test and you’re considering continuing the relationship, have a professional background check conducted on them. Ensure that the check is done by a licensed, experienced professional, since there are fraudsters preying on dating sites who will pass off a simple Google search as a background check.