Dating apps and online dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, Zoosk, or Hinge help you meet new people, but the potential risks can’t be ignored. Catfishing is one of the problems.
We’ve found so many people asking for help online, not only for themselves but also for their family members and friends. There are the top 3 questions:
- Whether they’re being catfished
- How to find the true identity of the person
- How to move on
Don’t worry, this post is here to help you solve the problems.
How to check if you’re being catfished
Am I being catfished? Once you have this idea come into your mind, trust yourself, there may be something wrong with the person.
Here are the warning signs you should pay attention to:
Sign 1. Their profiles seem too good to be true
They usually use pretty pics on profiles and successful lives. great careers, wild and interesting lives, luxury cars and hotels, etc. When you meet a person and the profile looks too perfect to be true, pay attention to the person, you might meet a catfish.
One user found a girl’s photo on Instagram that seemed not to belong to the person. After conducting a reverse image search on Google and other sites, the photo was of somebody else. 1
Sign 2. Never meet in person and no video contact
A catfish will escalate to love very quickly. It may be normal to some people, however, if you only speak with the person online without photos and voice or never meet in person, this could be suspicious. Catfish don’t post videos with their voice or videos of themselves in general. Also, a catfish will avoid video chat and meet in person.
In an online forum, a user shared their concern about suspecting their boyfriend is a catfish. They met on an online dating site and lived in different states. Despite exchanging photos, they never met in person or had video chats. The user found the same picture that the boyfriend had sent online. After further investigation, they discovered that the real Facebook account and the recent pictures sent to them belonged to two completely different people. It became evident that the boyfriend was indeed a catfish.2
If you’re unsure how to gather information online, consider requesting a video chat using platforms like Facetime. A catfish will likely refuse or delay the video chat. Also, a catfish may attempt to postpone an appointment by claiming they’re unable to take time off work or pretending to be traveling or visiting relatives
When meeting someone online, it’s always advisable to engage in multiple video chats or hangouts before forming a strong bond. If possible, consider running a background check beforehand.
Sign 3. They have various social media platforms but don’t use Snapchat
Snapchat is a popular social media platform, but if the person you’ve spoken to is active on various dating apps but doesn’t use Snapchat, this could be suspicious.
Why Snapchat is important? It’s because Snapchat can share “live selfies”. This feature makes it impossible to use images taken from other people’s accounts.
Ask for a Snapchat and see what they reply. If they refuse your request, saying they don’t use Snapchat, they don’t see the point, or they add you on it but refuse to send you a photo of themselves, you are being catfished.
If a person only posts photos from a camera roll on a Snapchat account, they might be. a catfish. Ask the person for real-time photos.
Sign 4. They ask for money
When someone you’ve only spoken to online begins asking you for money, it could be a catfish scam. For instance, a girl never video-chatted with a guy but sent him about $3000 over a 3-year relationship. The guy never showed up, would ghost the girl, and repeatedly asked for money. These alarming behaviors lead to one conclusion: she’s definitely being catfished.3
Catfishers usually start with small requests, such as borrowing money to cover their phone bill. Although it may seem like a minor request initially, once a catfish realizes that you’re willing to lend money, they will likely continue asking. Don’t ignore the alarm bell, the person might be a catfish and trying to steal your money.
Personally, I suggest don’t trust anyone online who brings money into the relationship. No matter if they’re trying to borrow some money or ask you to loan to people. Remember, NO loans to people who you haven’t met in person. That’s the golden rule.
If you want solid proof, run a background check. Here’s how:
1) Go to BeenVerified.
2) Select a type of search according to the information you have in hand. Then type in the information and hit search.
3) Wait for BeenVerified to search the databases. Once done, you’ll see a comprehensive report associated with the information you input.
What’s more, you can publish posts on forums like Reddit for suggestions and advice, warm-hearted netizens would love to help.
How to prevent catfishing
I would suggest people who are using dating apps do a background search when they’re interested in someone.
If you want to know with 100% certainty that the person you’re connecting with online is REAL and doesn’t mind the cost, you can hire specialists to run a background check for you. The search specialists have access to thousands of public data sources and use the same software and technology used by the FBI. That’s why they can guarantee your results.
If you prefer lower-cost methods, try services that help you find the truth at a reasonable price.
Method 1. Search for the person on Truthfinder
Catfish usually use fake profiles, sometimes they use other people’s information to attract victims on the internet. To find out the truth, you need a powerful people search tool like TruthFinder.
Truthfinder is one of America’s most trusted background-check services that cross-references data collected from public records and social media sites. You can get detailed information by searching for a name or a phone number. You’ll see secret photos, phone numbers for dating sites, and social media profiles.
1) Go to the TruthFinder official website.
2) Enter the person’s name, city, and state, then hit Search.
3) Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for a few minutes. Truthfinder will secure the search process and search for relevant data.
4) Once it locates a match, it’ll generate a report containing all the available phone numbers, email addresses, photos, and social media profiles linked to the phone number. Then you’ll find out if you’re being catfished or not.
In order to view the report, you will need to purchase a membership plan.
Method 2. Run a reverse image search
Catfishing is a process in which someone uses other people’s photos to create a fake profile and tries to lure victims into a relationship. Therefore, a reverse image search would help you identify whether the person is a catfish or not.
SocialCatfish.com uses image metadata and proprietary technology to scan millions of social profiles, including the biggest and most popular sites, so you can get the most publicly available results in one place.
SocialCatfish has an accurate search feature that will show you if the image you have is used anywhere else online. It has helped people to identify scammers and keep users away from bad situations.
1) Go to SocialCatfish.com.
2) Browse and upload an image from your device then click Search.
3) Wait for a while and you’ll get a search result. Click View Report.
4) Check the report to see if you’re chatting with a catfish.
Run Google image search
Run a Google image search to find the photo owner. Then check the information, like name, region, age, address, etc. If the photo belongs to another person, you may meet a catfish.
1) Save the photo on your PC.
2) Open Google and click Images.
3) Click the camera icon.
4) Click Upload an image > Choose File.
5) After uploading the file, Google will show you the result.
What to do if you’ve been catfished
When you’re sure you’ve been catfished, there are things you need to do:
- Stop communication: Immediately stop talking to the person who catfished you. Don’t reply or keep the conversation going.
- Protect your information: Check your online accounts and make sure your personal information is safe. Consider changing passwords to be extra secure.
- Report the profile: Report their profile to the platform. Most social media and dating platforms have options to report fake or suspicious accounts.
- Ask for help: You can talk to friends or family about what happened and ask for support.
- Seeking the help of a professional: If you have financial disputes with the scammer, please seek assistance from professionals immediately.
Remember, being catfished isn’t your fault. It’s essential to prioritize your well-being, protect yourself online, and learn from the experience to prevent it from happening again.
How to move on
It’s hurt if you’re being catfished. You’re the victim and you’ll need help from others. Getting emotional support from your families and friends is a good option.
If you don’t dare to tell your family members or close friends, you can share your story on online forums, for example Catfish Reddit group anonymously. You can also read stories on forums and get comfort and courage to deal with your life. These groups not only tell you what’s catfish and give you emotional support but also share the catfish you meet and help others away from scams.
Or, you can find websites that provide emotional support. The list below may help:
- Victim Support has a 24/7 free helpline.
Tel: 0808 16 89 111
- Mind Infoline has a support line available 9 am-6 pm, Monday to Friday.
Tel: 0300 123 3393.
- Elefriends is a supportive online community.
In short, doing a background search before you fall in love with someone you’ve met online can protect you from being catfished. If you’ve been catfished, you need to get out of the relationship as soon as possible. Your close friends and family would support you.
Hope this post will help. If you have suggestions or stories you want to share with us, you’re welcome to drop a comment below.
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- General Chat [ZADDY]. (2018, July) I’m being catfished! Help! [Online forum post]. Episode. https://forums.episodeinteractive.com/t/i-m-being-catfished-help/70345 ↩︎
- r/catfish [No-Screen-470]. (2024, January 7). I think my boyfriend is a catfish what do i do? [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/catfish/comments/1908eix/i_think_my_boyfriend_is_a_catfish_what_do_i_do/ ↩︎
- r/Discussion [No_Acadia9113]. (2023, December 30). Am i Being catfished? [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/Discussion/comments/18twcm9/am_i_being_catfished/ ↩︎