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Are You Being Catfished?
The Urban Dictionary defines catfishing as, “having a fake profile, images and avatar in order to lure people to have romantic feelings.” If you’re being catfished by someone online, you may be in a digital relationship with a person who’s using someone else’s pictures to create a fake persona.
There are some hints to help you detect catfishing if you know what to look for. Also, if you have suspicions about someone you’re interacting with online, a private investigator can find out the truth behind a person’s social media presence. Below are some details to help you avoid this kind of online scam.
Signs of Catfishing
If you’re developing a friendship or romantic relationship with someone online, they should be willing to chat with you face-to-face using Skype or FaceTime. If you’ve been talking for weeks, a refusal to do so is a warning flag. The same goes for being unwilling to talk on the phone.
A genuine person on the other end of the phone or computer should have no problem snapping a selfie and sending it to you. You can even ask them to take a picture in the moment, holding up an object or something you’ve sent them.
When there’s always some reason that the two of you can’t meet up in person, it can also be a hint that the other person isn’t who they seem to be. Even if you live far apart, an online relationship is usually considered to be moving toward a real one. If yours isn’t, you should find out why.
In an online relationship that’s gone on for months, people naturally share details about their friendships and activities. If your online interest never mentions friends or outings, try asking for a photo the next time they go to a party, concert or even grocery shopping.
If You Suspect You’re Being Catfished
Don’t feel bad about doing your own sleuthing to check out an online friend, especially if you have suspicions. A Google reverse photo search using some of their photos might be all you need to expose a fake. You could find out that their photos are originally from another person’s website or even from a stock photo site.
Realising that you’ve been the victim of a fraudulent relationship can hurt. Some people feel foolish, ashamed and embarrassed. Just remember that you trusted your own gut instinct and your suspicions were confirmed. You didn’t expect to be misled because it’s not the kind of thing you would do, and that makes you a better person.
People who deliberately lie to others online by catfishing can be skilled at creating a false image. Often, they’ve done it many times and learned from experience. There’s no shame in being fooled, and you should be proud that you eventually saw through the deception.
Truth Investigations‘ research and investigative skills are available to reveal the facts. Often, we can find out whether someone is being deceptive with a simple background check. If you haven’t been able to find out any information on your own, give us a call and let us help you put your misgivings to rest one way or another.