How To Tell If You’re Being Catfished (13 Ways To Spot A Fake Identity Online)

Online dating apps and social media networks have made finding love easier than ever. You don’t have to wait to meet someone in person anymore. Instead, you can simply open an app and your Prince Charming is a few clicks away. 

It sounds like a fantasy come true, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. Millions of people use this to their advantage in an attempt to con you, steal your identity, or simply be a troll for their own personal reasons. 

This is so popular, the tv show Catfished had millions of viewers that were sitting on the edge of their seats to watch the drama unfold as people discovered whether they were being catfished. 

Warning Signs You’re Being Catfished

Being catfished means that a person is pretending to be someone they aren’t. Maybe they’re handsome or rich. Perhaps they give you all the love and attention you could possibly want. Regardless of how they’re catfishing you, it’s always a scam. 

You just haven’t figured out what they’re trying to get yet. Don’t waste another second attempting to determine what the scam is for. Instead, watch for these warning signs you’re being catfished and run the other way before you become a victim of catfishing. 

1. They refuse to video chat

When they’ve got an awesome online personality, and an amazing pic, they won’t want to video chat and ruin the image that you have of them. You’ll see who they really are, and they won’t have time to respond thoughtfully to your messages. 

A person that is catfishing you won’t tell you that. Instead, you’ll hear plenty of excuses as to why they can’t Facetime you. It’s because they want to keep the scam going as long as they can. 

Keep in mind that some people have very legitimate reasons for not wanting to Facetime. If they have a small child, the baby might actually be crying. A single parent might really be in the middle of cooking dinner. However, we all have at least a free second or two in the day or before we go to bed. 

2. They don’t like to talk on the phone

You can’t always depend on this sign, but it is a red flag to watch out for. Sometimes, a catfish will talk to you on the phone. However, if they refuse to speak on the phone, that’s a sign that they aren’t who they’re pretending to be. 

You’ll hear excuses for this too. One guy told me that he wasn’t allowed to have a cell phone because he was in the military. It was a believable excuse, but he had plenty of other red flags to let me know he was a catfish. 

This is commonly seen in people that are either from a different country than they say that they are, different sex than they claim to be, or they are faking an entire personality. A person might not be able to hide their accent or that they have a female voice on the phone. 

3. A catfish will seem too good to be true

These people are master manipulators. They’ll analyze your online profile and talk to you as they watch for signs. The main thing they look for is low self-esteem. Next, they keep an eye out for what you want and make sure to give it to you. 

They pay attention to everything about you so that they can give you the illusion that you have found your dream come true. Remember that things that seem too good to be true usually are. You can check for these other signs that a person is too good to be true, too.

This doesn’t apply to every aspect of them. Their looks might seem too good to be true. It’s not that you can’t pull someone attractive. (You obviously can!) Instead, it’s the fact that you’ll never be catfished by someone with an ugly picture. In fact, they’ll be model hot complete with a flawless physique. 

Their personality might not be perfect in the beginning. However, it will slowly change over time to coincide with what you’re looking for in a partner. If they change to be who you want them to be, they’re definitely fake, and you’re probably being catfished. 

4. You’ll never meet them in person

They might say that they want a relationship, but something will always come up when it’s time for that first date. Perhaps they have a sick relative. Maybe their car broke down. It’s typically an excuse that will make you feel bad. This is definitely a sign that you’re dealing with a catfish. 

5. Asking for money is a big sign

asking for money is a big sign

A catfish wants to use you for personal gain. Usually, they want everything in your bank account. They might ask for it for a personal reason, such as a financial crisis. Maybe they need money to come to see you. Another popular scam is that a relative is deathly sick. 

If they know you have a big heart, expect it to be about children or their family. Don’t send anyone you’re talking to online any money until you’ve met them in person to verify that they are real. 

6. They need your bank account information

One reason or another will come up for them to have your bank account information. This could be because they want to send you money. They might actually send you a little bit to keep the scam going on longer

They could also try to get information to make it possible for them to hack into your account, like your CashApp information. It’s all so that they can drain your bank account later. 

7. Sad stories pull on your heartstrings

Some catfish aren’t as bold as others. They won’t simply ask you for money. Instead, they’ll tell you all about their tragic financial situation. It’s never their fault. Instead, the catfish will convince you that they are a victim of circumstance. 

You’ll expect them to ask you for money, but they won’t. They’ll simply hint at it. They might even refuse it at first to make it look like they’re being genuine. Then, they’ll take you for everything they can. 

8. No selfies at the moment

One of the biggest signs that someone is catfishing you is that you won’t get selfies at the moment. It’s one of the easiest ways to tell if someone is using someone else’s pictures to fake an identity too. If they say they’re doing something, in particular, ask for a picture. 

You can ask for one of them to do something specific that most people don’t post online too, like holding up a peace sign or a fork. If they can’t produce the picture, they’re more than likely a catfish. 

9. They blow off online safety rules

This is one of the smaller signs that you’ll need to watch out for. They don’t seem to mind giving out their personal information. A catfish will even give you an address and say that it’s their real address. It’s how they convince their victims that it’s okay for them to blow off those same online safety rules. Once they get your personal information, they can steal your identity. 

10. Victims thought they were friends

victims thought they were friends

Most people that are talking to online catfish have no idea that they are being fooled. Most people think that they are friends with these people, They can talk to them as friends for months. Sometimes a relationship will last years. If you don’t watch for a red flag, you might have no idea that the online persona you’re talking to is completely fake. 

11. Friends and family are suspicious

We can all be blinded by love, even if it’s online love. Sometimes, they just seem so perfect that we can’t believe they aren’t the man that they say they are. Our friends and family members are looking at things from outside the box though, so they might pick up on things about the possible relationship that you don’t. 

If people that you’re close to are concerned about your safety or the person you’re talking to, that’s a big red flag. 

12. Their pictures show up in a reverse Google image search

We all remember the two guys from the show Catfish. They taught us quite a few things about the world of catfishing, and how to spot a catfish. One of the most common tools that they used was a reverse image search. 

Plug the pictures you’ve got into the search bar and see if they show up online anywhere else. If they are on other profiles, you’ll be able to find them. This can tell you who the person you’re thinking about a relationship with really is. 

13. Your gut says something is off

Your gut will try to let you know when something is off. The number one rule for online dating is to follow your intuition. If it says to stay home, then you need to stay home. When your gut says that someone is a catfish, there’s a good chance that they are. I usually don’t bother trying to find evidence. Instead, I simply don’t talk to them anymore. 

FAQs

What are three signs that you are being Catfished?

The three major signs that you’re about to become a victim of catfishing are that the other person won’t video chat, they won’t meet you in person, and they will want either money or personal information from you. It might take them a few weeks to work up to asking for money, but they will. 

What do I do if I think I'm being Catfished?

Ask them for a specific picture, such as them holding a fork up, or balancing a spoon on their nose. Even the most experienced at catfishing can’t find a fake picture of that online. If they can’t produce one, ask them for a video chat if you’re still not sure. When they come up with excuses to avoid doing that, you’ll know for sure. 

How do you confront a catfish?

You don’t. These people can be dangerous. They are manipulators that are trying to use you. On top of that, they have a million and one excuses that can make you doubt your own intuition. Instead, just walk away. If you insist on confronting them, tell them that you know they’re fake, but don’t tell them how you know. You don’t want to help them make their game better. 

How do you catch a catfish online?

Watch for red flags that you’re dealing with one. They’ll seem flawless in every way. Profile pictures will be the same on every profile, and they won’t have more pictures. They will want personal information, disregard your safety, and usually, a relationship will always be on their term. Watch for red flags that you’re dealing with one. They’ll seem flawless in every way. Profile pictures will be the same on every profile, and they won’t have more pictures. They will want personal information, disregard your safety, and usually, a relationship will always be on their term. 

What does catfishing someone mean?

Catfishing is when someone is pretending to be someone they are not. They might not look like the pictures on their profiles do, or they might be trying to scam you. Regardless of what their end goal is, this person is not who they say that they are. 

In Conclusion

If you’ve ever been catfished before, you know that there is nothing good that comes from these situationships. The relationship will be on their term. They’ll use you for everything that they can until you have nothing left. If you’ve been in this situation, how did you find out that you were dealing with a catfish?

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