As convenient as online Dating Websites is, there are also some big problems with it, and one of them is catfishing. Anyone can become a victim of catfishing, even though it’s more likely to happen when you’re young and inexperienced at online dating.
Most people who’ve been online dating for a while have come across at least one catfisher. What’s more, it’s been estimated that as many as 33% of people who use online dating sites have been catfished. About a fifth of them had sent the scammer money.
While you can report a scammer on the dating platform, most platforms do nothing in the way of protecting you from them. Also, a catfisher isn’t always easy to identify. Here are a few tips to help you figure out whether someone you met online has honest intentions.
Perform a Background Check
The easiest way to find out if someone is who they say they are is to run a background check. Employers do these on candidates to verify their identity. This is the most basic and most effective kind of background check. However, you should use a legitimate provider for this search.
Reverse Image Search
A reverse image search on Google might show whom their profile picture belongs to. It’s easy to do this on a computer or a phone. Simply take their profile photo and upload it to run the search. If they used someone else’s picture or a stock photo, the search would take you to the image’s original location.
This approach isn’t as effective as our first suggestion because it won’t catch a stealthy catfisher. They know about reverse image searches and use pictures that aren’t available online, such as photos of relatives or friends that have never been uploaded anywhere.
Share With Friends
When using dating websites, we can miss obvious red flags, and having an extra pair of eyes is never a bad thing. If you’re getting serious with someone you met, it is best to tell at least one friend or loved one about them. They might be able to see the warning signs as objective observers.
Love Doesn’t Come That Fast
Be wary of someone who was “just about to delete” his profile when they met you and now they are so happy they didn’t. You hardly know them, but they’re already in love with you. Maybe they find you irresistible, but the likelihood of you being catfished is greater.
Patience is a virtue that scammers on dating sites tend not to share. They don’t have a lot of time to spend on hooking and reeling you in. Their next target awaits and this explains why only after a few days of knowing you online, they’re already lovestruck. While this can happen in real life as well, it’s more likely to happen with catfishers.
Meet or Video Call Dating Websites
If you want to meet someone, don’t put it off. The first meeting should always be during the day in a public place. Catfishers can’t hide in real life. If they decline, they might give an objective reason – and in this case, you should ask to have a video call with them. If they refuse or make excuses, this is a red flag.
Trust Your Intuition of Dating Websites
Our final tip is just as important as our first one. Someone might have ulterior motives even if they’re using their photos, and meeting them in real life might do more harm than good. If their intentions are malicious, meeting them, even in public, can be dangerous. They might follow you home or to your workplace.
If something feels wrong about the person, it probably is. This includes behaviors such as giving vague responses to personal questions but asking you such questions and expecting detailed responses. You might catch them making up stories by the inconsistent facts they present. They might give a very general response to basic questions such as, “I live in the west part of town.” They may not tell you exactly what they do for a living or what their major in college was. Honest people will usually answer such questions openly.
It might be that they’re worried about their safety, as well. However, evasive responses aren’t normal and shouldn’t be ignored. If they have a single grainy photo on their profile or just one or two friends on Facebook, they’re probably not legit.