Have you ever met someone online and thought they were too good to be true? If you ever have this feeling, you might be dealing with a scamming catfish. People assume a catfish persona for different reasons but they are all intended on deceiving people. Whether they’re looking to scam people off their money, affection, or attention, a catfish knows what to say and do to get what they want.
If you watch a few episodes of MTV’s Catfish you will notice several similarities in all the people that are featured on the show. Every Catfish episode feels eerily similar and it’s not by coincidence. Online scammers use the same tricks and lies as if they are reading from the same script. Though the show only follows one type of catfish known as romance scammers, you can still learn about the signs to look out for to avoid getting catfished.
Here are some signs of a scamming catfish.
They use professional pictures
Even though we live in the age of influencers and Instagram models, you should be careful if you get a match, follow, or friend request from an account that only has professional pictures. People normally upload casual pictures of themselves or their family and friends on social media. Therefore, a random person with very attractive pictures could be a sign of a scamming catfish. Such pictures are intended to capture people’s attention making it easy for them to have their way.
They love-bomb you
Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration such as excessive flattery comments and constant attention. It’s a common characteristic with narcissists who use it to manipulate their partners. However, an online scammer can also love-bomb you. They prey on people who are in search of love and give them exactly what they need. Such attention can feel good but it’s dangerous since you can be trapped in the person’s web.
Their story doesn’t add up
Catching someone in a lie is never a good sign. A catfish will tell you a well-rehearsed story to make you believe them. However, when you start questioning details about their story, the cracks start to show. For instance, they may tell you that they have a certain job but can’t answer basic questions about the profession when you ask them. This is a major red flag. Whenever you feel like something is not adding up about someone you’ve met online don’t dismiss it.
They avoid face to face interaction
A catfish avoids face-to-face interactions since they’re not using their real pictures. Some people who have fallen victim to a catfish say that they talked to the person for months and even years and never saw the person. When you try to video call them or meet them in person, they may give excuses for why they can’t do it. To confirm whether you’re talking to a catfish, ask them to send you a selfie at the moment. If they fail to do so, then they may be catfish.
They ask for money
Most scammers are after money so when someone asks you for money, it’s a clear-cut sign you’re being catfished. Some may flat out ask you to send them money but in some cases, you may not realize that they’re asking for money. Nowadays, a scamming catfish may use the pretense that he/she is in some kind of trouble and needs emergency funds. This is probably after promising you lots of money or even sending you some money. If you fall for this trick, you may end up sending them insane amounts of money believing that they will pay you back.
Your loved ones are suspicious
Sometimes, you may not be able to see the signs that you’re dealing with a scamming catfish but the people you trust can see it. If your loved ones warn you about someone you’re talking to online, it’s best to listen to them. They probably have a reason and it could save you from losing your money to an online scammer.
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