5 Ways to Avoid Getting Catfished

Online dating is now a staple for singles all over the world. If you’re single, chances are you’ve engaged in online dating whether it be in the form of an app, website or through social media. Online dating makes meeting like-minded people easier than ever before. But it’s not all butterflies and rainbows; online dating has presented a whole new set of problems unique to this form of dating. One of the biggest concerns in dater’s minds is the problem of catfishing. If you’ve never heard of catfishing, it’s when a person creates an online persona using someone else’s pictures and enters into romantic online relationships with this fake persona. People who catfish often make up other lies about their life such as illnesses or accidents to gain sympathy from their love interests. If you’re concerned with catfishing, take a look at our list of five ways to avoid being catfished. 


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1. Do a Google search

First things first, if you’re talking to someone online and you haven’t met each other in person yet, it’s time to do a Google search. Use Google to your advantage by Googling their name to see what information you can find. If you can verify some of the information they’ve given you, it’s less likely you’re being catfished. If you have their phone number, put that into the search engine as well. This will tell you what area they are most likely living in based on their area code. If you Google them and there is no information available or you can’t confirm the information they’ve given you, it’s possible they’re not giving you the full truth. 


2. Reverse search images

Google’s search engine can offer you something invaluable when it comes to busting a catfish and that is the reverse image search. Reverse searching some of the images of your online love interest can be a surefire way to see if they are who they claim to be. If you’re getting suspicious that you may be getting catfished you definitely need to use this tool. In order to do a reverse image search, you need to first download or screenshot several pictures of this person. The next step is to go to images.google.com. Once you get to this page, you should see a camera icon in the search bar. Click the camera icon and upload the image into the search bar. The results may not reveal too much information, but in some cases, they may lead you to a social media page that does not belong to the person in question. If this happens, it’s safe to say you are being catfished. 


3. Video chat

 Before we get into video chat, it should be said that phone conversations are also important to confirm the identity of your online interest. If your person refuses to have a conversation on the phone with you this is a huge red flag and you can pretty much forget about video chat. Refusing to talk on the phone is a sign that this person is not who they say they are and may possibly be of a different gender. However, if you guys do talk on the phone, the next logical step is to make a date on video chat. If you are developing serious feelings for a person online and you are not able to meet up in real life, the next best thing is going to be video chat.

Use Facetime, or Skype and set up a video date. This is the quickest and simplest way to confirm that they are who they claim to be in their pictures. However, if they refuse to video chat, or make excuses over a long period of time, they may be deceiving you. Avoid being catfished by scheduling a time to video chat and setting your mind at ease. Keep in mind, that if you video chat and the person is in a dark room and you can’t clearly see their face, this does not count as a confirmation of their identity. Make sure that the lighting is bright and you guys can really see each other. 

4. Check out their social media

A little social media stalking never hurts when it comes to online dating. How do their pictures look? Do they have pictures with friends or all they all selfies? Do all of their pictures look like professional photoshoots? Are they exceptionally attractive? These are all questions you are going to want to think about when looking at their social media pictures. Another thing to check out is their Facebook wall. Has anyone posted on their wall? Does it seem like they hang out with any of their Facebook friends in real life? The last thing to look at is their friend list on Facebook. Are their friends from all over the world? Are they overwhelmingly one gender? These are signs of a possible catfish. Use social media to your advantage and use your common sense to assess how realistic their profiles are. 


5. Meet in person

It may sound obvious but the best way to find out if you’re being catfished is to meet the other person in real life. If you guys are interested in each other romantically, schedule a time to go out on a date. Of course, if you guys live far apart from each other, this may be a challenge, but remember you can always do a video date. If the person refuses to meet in person or is extremely reluctant, it doesn’t automatically mean they are a catfish, but regardless, it’s not sustainable to date a person who doesn’t want to meet up. If they don’t want to date in real life, it’s probably best to let it go and move on from this as a romantic possibility. On the flip side, if they do agree to a date, you’re in the clear and you know there is no catfishing going on.

Now that you have these tips, you can look out for signs of catfishing and avoid being the victim of this unfortunate trend. The best thing to do is to meet in person but if you live too far away, have several phone conversations as well as video chat dates. Make sure you verify their information using Google search as well as a reverse image search. With these tips, you should be able to ensure you have the best time with your online dating endeavors. 

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