Am I being catfished? 9 ways to spot fakers online
It’s no secret that there are fakers on the internet.
People set-up fake online profiles to try and masquerade as someone else, to get money, to get simple sexual pleasures online or just because they get a thrill from the act of fakery itself.
Catfish is usually the word that refers to the fakers – people who use a different identity in order to trick you into thinking they’re something that they’re not actually.
It’s important to take online safety seriously, so here’s some PinkNews tips to looking after yourself online, and avoiding the catfish.
1 Google reverse image search.
This is probably the most valuable tool for catching out a catfish.
If you think someone’s photo could be fake, then there is a way to check if they’ve copied it from elsewhere.
Right-click their photos, copy the URL, and paste it into the box at images.google.com.
Google then searches to see if the image has cropped up anywhere else.
If it hasn’t, put some of their other photos through the search to be careful.
Also keep in mind that Instagram images are not indexed by Google, so try asking for photos that don’t appear to be from Instagram in case.
2 Get this app: Veracity.
Veracity is great for checking images off the likes of Tinder, Grindr and other dating apps.
It lets you choose images from Camera Roll, Photo Library or Dropbox.
Once you choose the image to be searched, tap on it and it’ll show you the matching results. Simple as that!
3 Check their Facebook
Anyone with a Tinder has a Facebook. And the chances someone perusing other dating apps or Twitter don’t are pretty small – not having Facebook should be a sign of concern.
Check their profile or ask if you can add them. That way you can check their posts and where they’ve been – this generally makes it much easier to identify if they’re real.
If it feels weird adding them as a friend at such an early stage, look at things like how many Facebook friends they have and their viewable profile pictures.
4 Google it
If they don’t come up on Google, are they real?
In this day and age it’s quite unusual that someone would have nothing on Google.
Have a search through for them or their relatives, things they’ve said or posted in the past. If there’s nothing, that should raise alarm bells.
Skype is a real must if you’re getting serious, especially if you’re thinking of meeting up with them for a date.
Facetime is a good option. Or Snapchat, which makes it easy and less serious than Skype to check what they look like.
Not only is live Skype a pretty clear way to rule out fakers, it also allows you to feel a bit more comfortable with them before meeting up in real life, if you’re nervous.
Do they speak English, and does it make sense?
There are people online who set up fake profiles and try to find their way around GPS programmes, and anything else they can overcome, to trick you.
If they speak the sort of English that make your school teachers concerned, then they might not really be from where they say you are.
Don’t be judgemental of someone’s use of language, but do bare in mind it could be indicative that they’re story of who they are isn’t actually true.
If they ask for money, be concerned.
There should be no need to send money to someone online who you haven’t met – you’re not a bank.
If they’re asking for money – any amount – then you would probably be best to take a step back.
8 Is everything straight?
They might not be straight, but their story should be.
Check that everything they’re saying adds up, and if you’re not sure, just ask.
Asking about everything and anything is one of the best parts of getting to know someone, and it’s also a decent way to check catfishing online.
9 You’re not Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie
If they seem to good to be true, then maybe consider that they are.
Of course, them being your idea of gorgeous and interesting and clever and everything else you dream of in a partner doesn’t mean they aren’t real, but it’s worth considering if there are gaps in their claims when they seem that way.
If you don’t think they’d ever consider you in real life, that this unimaginably beautiful person on the internet is probably too good to be true.
Follow the other tips in this guide if that’s the case – it’s best to check.
More from PinkNews
If you’ve taken these tips and think you could be catfished, then cut it off or seek advice from a friend.
It’s probably not worth the risk, and people do get into real danger when catfished, so take the situation seriously.
If you’ve found that they definitely are catfish, then report it.
If you just block and ignore them, then you might get away, but they could go on to catfish other people.