by Spokeo

Are You Being Catfished?

Think you’re being catfished? Catfishing is slang for being duped into a false, online, romantic relationship. Usually the scammer wants money and they aren’t afraid to ask for it…after they’ve stolen your heart. Sadly, the anonymity of the Internet brings out the worst in people and if you’re looking for a partner online, you could land right in a trap. Here’s how to know if you’re being tricked into a fake relationship.

They Like Everything You Like

If the person you’re talking to like everything – especially everything  you like – be careful. A catfish loves everything you love, no matter what. Also look out for someone that is too generic. Are they fans of everything? Are they athletic  and nerdy? Are their musical tastes all over the map? Do they like every popular movie?

No one is into everything, unless they’re trying to weasel their way into your wallet via your heart.  

They Travel A Lot

This isn’t always a warning sign, but if someone is into you they will find a way to make time to meet you in person. If they say their job takes them all over the world, especially to places where scams are common: Africa, Russia, the Middle East, and South America – be very wary. Insist you meet in person before things get serious. Speaking of things getting serious…

They Are Really Serious Really Soon

You might be flattered if an online relationship is moving quickly – maybe you’re connecting, you feel needed, you feel secure, but be reasonable. If the person you’re talking to starts getting serious very quickly, they might be a catfish.  

They Ask For Money

Here it is – the telltale sign. A catfish’s ultimate goal is to get money from you. If anyone asks you for money, or to ‘store’ a piece of expensive equipment, furniture or car, and especially if they want you to send money to someone else then you’ve met a catfish. Time to call things off ASAP. No one should ask you for money if they’re trying to spark up a romance and they should  never ask you for money if they haven’t met you in person.

No Friends or Family

Look at your social media profiles – you’ve got friends, coworkers, family and classmates there and they’re friends with you too. Catfish don’t have real friends, and they won’t have honest, real-life conversation on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed. If their friends all look like stock photo models – they are.

Find Out For Sure

Want to put your mind at ease? Do a quick people search. Plug in their name, email address or phone number and you’ll see their social profiles (including ones they didn’t tell you about); their known addresses, marriage / divorce records and any lingering criminal records.

If you’re dealing with a catfish, chances are you’ll find absolutely nothing. Maybe a few social profiles that are filled with fake friends. Why? Because they aren’t real – they’re a catfish trying to bait you. It’s easy to get catfished, but it’s avoidable – trust your instincts, never give out your financial information, and if you really want to know for sure, check their public records.