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What Is Catfishing And How To Counter It?

  • May 28, 2024
  • 5 min read
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What Is Catfishing And How To Counter It?

If you think that the term catfishing has anything to do with fishing for cats, then you are mistaken. Catfishing refers to a malicious activity where a person uses a fake identity to trick another person. This usually takes place in the online vicinity where it is easy to pretend to be someone you are not. 

One may ask, what would happen after the person is catfished?

Here are some things that a victim can expect;

  1. In the online realm, someone could leak your personal information.
  2. Steal your money
  3. Leak your private photos if you ever make the mistake of sending them to that person

So these are some of the attacks that you can expect. Now let’s discuss the steps involved in the working of catfishing scams.

How Does Catfishing Take Place?

The following are the steps involved;

  1. Creation of a fake account

This is the step where the culprit makes a fake account. He usually constructs a fake personal profile where everything related to the person is fake. This usually includes old school photos or previous workplaces or colleagues. On the other hand, there have been cases where the culprit can take up the personality of a famous baseball player or actor. He may show some liking towards you and ask for any favors. So this probably answers your question is catfishing illegal?

  1. Contacting people with a fake profile

After the creation of the profile, the culprit uses the fake profile to seek his prey. He starts to send messages or may share his old photo. But there is one thing that he or she will refrain from doing and that is showing up for a video chat. 

  1. Covering mal intention behind flattery

The culprit immediately starts to flatter their victim. They will showcase a lot of affection and may compliment you on almost everything you say, share, or do. This will make you feel proud and happy. 

  1. Catfished

Once a certain level of trust has been developed. The victim may be asked by the culprit to share some of his personal information, give some money, or share any private photos. If that is done, chances are that you have been catfished. Now that we have discussed what is catfishing and how catfishing takes place. Let’s discuss some of the warning signs that can help a person prevent falling victim. 

How To Detect If You Are Being Catfished?

The following are some ways that can help any person to detect if they are being catfished;

Verify Their Identity:

Check if their profile picture or shared photos appear under a different name through an image search. If so, it’s likely a fake profile.

Social Media Activity:

Look for signs of low activity such as few friends, posts, or tags. Also, ask if they have other social media accounts to cross-reference information and mutual connections.

Too Good to Be True:

Be cautious if someone contacts you out of the blue, especially if they claim to be famous or seem too perfect.

Mirrored Interests:

Watch out if they seem overly familiar with your interests and details, as they might be using your digital footprint to fake similarities.

Love Bombing Warning:

Beware of excessive flattery and quick declarations of love, as it could be a tactic to manipulate or scam you.

Fast-Paced Sexual Advances:

Take caution if they rush into sexual conversations or send unsolicited explicit content, as it could lead to dangerous situations like sextortion or online grooming.

Push for Private Communication Channels:

Be wary if they insist on moving conversations to private messaging apps, as it could compromise your privacy and safety.

Cross-Platform Connection:

Avoid connecting with them on all your social media accounts to prevent. Them from accessing too much personal information and potentially using it against you.

Pressure to Share Personal Information:

Exercise caution if they pry for personal details or secrets. As it could be a ploy to steal your identity or manipulate you into doing something for them.

Trust Your Instincts:

Listen to your gut feeling if something feels off, such as inconsistencies in their behavior or reluctance to show their face in live video chats.

By being cautious and adhering to the above steps, it is possible that you reduce any possibility of being catfished. You will be able to prevent someone from using you for money or pleasure. 

So the best way to prevent yourself from catfishing fraud is to take care of your privacy settings. This will allow you to see only those people that are relevant to you. And the system will immediately notify if it detects any suspicious activity. 

Conclusion

Conclusively, we can proclaim that online catfishing scams are malicious activity that usually takes place in the digital realm. In this instance, a person pretends to be another person just to get some kick or in a worse case scenario, trying to manipulate you so that he could from you. Hence, one should be careful. This article provides effective steps that you can take to prevent being catfished. 

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