Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.
A guy named Spencer from Tennessee thought he was dating Katy Perry online for six years. “Katy” turned about to be a Canadian woman named Harriet living in London.
Hosts Nev and Max from MTV’s Catfish discovered the truth, but Spencer was so in love he refused to believe it. He eventually came around and accepted the truth that he was never really talking to the real Katy Perry.
You’re probably thinking, “How could he be so gullible?”
But the thing is – it could happen to you too.
So you might not fall for celebrity catfish, but that doesn’t mean the true identity of the person you’re chatting with is really who they say it is.
Here are some common signs you’re being catfished:
1. They sound too good to be true
Catfish make up extraordinary lives because they can. No one is stopping them from creating their own story. If you can’t verify the information, you’re just caught in someone’s sick game.
2. They have broad interests
Online scammers and catfish create profiles with broad interests in order to appeal to as many people as they can.
3. They’re moving too fast
If someone you meet online is expressing love and care for you too soon, or they’re wanting to push the relationship forward without talking to you, they’re likely a catfish.
4. They avoid talking on the phone or on Skype
Catfish will stick to chat and email communication and use excuses to avoid talking on the phone, meeting in real life or talking on Skype. If you do speak to someone on the phone, be careful if their voice starts to change. They were probably pretending.
5. They have a “job” that takes them overseas
Most scammers live overseas and create the lie that their “job” takes them around the world.
6. They ask for money
There is an extremely high risk this person is a scammer. Never send money to anyone you meet online. Never give out your information. Like, ever.
7. They live in the U.S. but have terrible grammar
Ask them why. Don’t start a relationship with anyone until you have a clear answer.
8. Their online identity looks fake
Real people have friends and family as contacts on their social media accounts. They have real photos of real interactions. Someone with a fake account has something to hide therefore won’t likely have anything real to show. Use your best judgment.
9. They try to (overly) look attractive
Catfish want to appear to be attractive to lure others so they’ll steal images of attractive people, models and celebrities. Don’t fall for it.
10. They’ll tell you lies to make you feel sorry for them
They’ll bait you with a sob story…then ask for money.
Remember: Catfish will try their hardest to fool you. Remember these warning signs to avoid getting caught in a catfish scam.