The TV show Catfish is obviously an exaggerated version of the way catfishing goes down in real life. There are very few people who would actually believe they're dating Bow Wow etc. In the real world, catfishing consists of creeps who use fake profiles on dating sites in an attempt to try and get you to maybe send them naughty photos or creeps who are probably just bored and find a twisted form of entertainment in leading you on.
I'd like to think that for most of us there's a time limit on these things. After a little while you realise that this person isn't who they claim to be and isn't going to engage in a real-life relationship with you. But sometimes people do get caught out. I'm not saying you end up in a twelve year relationship with a person you have never even met like on the TV show. But more likely you will end up spending your time chatting to somebody who never materializes and it's annoying. Or worst case scenario you end up getting stood up at some point.
It seems mortifying, but it's actually quite easy to do. If you're serious about finding an s/o then you might ignore the little red flags that pop up telling you to leave this person well alone. Plus, it's really not your fault that there are so many horrible creeps out there. So, you do need to look out for the signs that the person you're chatting to on Tinder is actually a catfish.
11 They Won't Add You On Social Media
“Sorry, I don't have Facebook.” Yeah right... I don't know about you, but out of all my friends, only one person doesn't have Facebook. It's so unlikely in this day and age that a person you're speaking to wouldn't have at least one social media account. Yes there are a few hipsters that don't, but if somebody tells you that they aren't on social media then it's very (cat)fishy and maybe not worth the risk. There are surely lots of potential dates who do have social media which you can use to verify that they're a real person. Talk to them instead.
10 Their FB Page Seems Fake
Even if you do manage to get the person you're chatting to on Facebook, there's still the chance that their Facebook profile is fake too. If they're a pro catfish then they can whip up a fake profile for sure. So make sure you snoop around their page. One sure-fire way to spot a catfish on Facebook is if they don't seem to interact with people they know IRL. You know that if you put a picture up of you and your squad from a night out your friends will like and comment on the photo. Another way to find out if they're a faker or not is to look at their friends list. If it's mainly cute chicks like yourself that they've added recently then you know it's all a load of bull. Do they have their job and education listed? Do they regularly have posts on their wall? Just see if it resembles a normal Facebook page that you or one of the many real-life people you know might have.
9 They Won't Speak To You On The Phone
Some people can be shy when it comes to talking to somebody they don't really know yet on the phone or via Skype. Sending messages is obviously a lot easier because you have time to think your answers through. So you can't always expect that the person you're chatting to on an online dating site will be willing to call you up. However, if you've been speaking for a little while and it looks like you're going to meet up soon, then one way to check that they aren't a catfish is to speak to them on Skype or even on the phone. Whether they're shy or not, they will be willing to do this if they want to meet up with you.
8 They Ask For Explicit Pics
Let's be honest, when you've been single for a while you get pretty lonely and very horny. Don't let a catfish take advantage of that fact. A saucy chat with a potential date might seem very exciting. But if they start asking for nudes know that they might be a catfish. Do not send this person nudes. You don't know what they're going to do with those pictures! It's unlikely that a real person, or a person that has the intention of dating you will make such a request. If you're both just looking for a hook-up then there is the possibility that they will ask for naughty pics. In this case, before you send over a picture of your boobs make sure you know for sure that they're not a catfish.
7 They're Too Good To Be True
This is a difficult one. You shouldn't avoid chatting to potential dates just because they're really gorgeous and have a good job. There are people who exist that are really gorgeous and have good jobs and whether you believe it or not they might just think you're really gorgeous too and want to speak to you! However, in some instances you want to be cautious. If you're talking to someone who seems amazing don't get sucked in straight away, make sure you find out they're not a catfish first.
6 They're Reluctant To Meet IRL
You chat to someone for a while and they seem really great. But as you're just about to set up a date they bail. This might not necessarily mean they're a catfish. They might be very busy at the moment, or so they say. Either way you need to bin off the people that aren't willing to actually meet up. The whole reason you go on a dating site is to go on dates. If somebody is too busy, or has so much stuff going on that they always seem to find excuses not to meet up then they should not be on a dating site in the first place. Move on to the next one.
5 They Won't Give You Proof
There are some really good tricks you can use to get somebody to prove that they're real. Obviously you don't want to be super aggressive about it, because they might be a real person and you don't want to put them off with your incessant accusations that they're a catfish. After you've been chatting for a little bit it's cool to ask them to prove that they're real. They should want to know that you're real too as things progress. Plus you can ask them in a playful way and it can actually be fun. There are certain kinds of photos that are hard to fake. For example if you ask them to take a picture of them holding a sheet of paper that says a your name or a phrase of your choosing. But the one I like to go with is to ask them to take a picture while holding a particular foodstuff. It shows they're real which is the most important thing, but also that they don't take themselves too seriously. If they did they wouldn't send you a picture holding up a tomato.
4 An Image Search Reveals The Truth
The guys that do the TV show Catfish aren't super detectives. They help people find out if they're chatting to a real person or a catfish by doing simple searches that anyone can do. One of the tricks they use which is super easy is to do a reverse image search. All you need to do is drag the photos from their profile or Facebook page into the Google search bar. Google then comes up with a list of of the places where this photo is featured on the web. I've used this technique before and found a catfish. The Facebook profile of the real person who the photos belonged to popped up. It's definitely worth doing.
3 They Are Clearly Telling Lies
Trust your instincts ladies. Even if you're a pretty naïve person you should at some point be able to tell if this person is feeding you a pack of lies. I'm not saying you have to be suspicious of everything they say. But you will notice if they tell you something that doesn't quite add up with what they've said previously. Don't just skip over the lie, register it and look out for more things they're telling you that might not be true. The same goes if they're telling you fantastical stories that just wouldn't happen. Your gut will tell you that they can't be real.
2 They're Way Too Eager
If you've only sent a couple of messages but the other person seems really into it already then the chances are they want something from you. You should be wary of people who are obviously trying to reel you in from the get-go. There are scammers out there who try to get money from people. But not many people would fall for that. The thing they're trying to get from you might be your attention so they can have a little fun at your expense.
1 They Get Super Defensive
I have been catfished before. I went to meet with somebody and they didn't show up. I spoke to that somebody later and they admitted to me that they were a catfish. This was an abhorrent person. Now I make sure I find out if the person I'm speaking to is real or not before I venture out on a date. If the person you're speaking to is a normal person who is actually interested in meeting up with you they will happily prove to you that they aren't a catfish. They have nothing to hide and it's really not a big deal. However, if you ask them to say speak on Skype or send you a photo that's impossible to fake and they start getting all defensive about it then they probably are a catfish. Somebody has told me in the past that I was “playing games” and that I should just trust them. That is very defensive indeed and obviously a load of rubbish. Why on earth should I just trust a stranger from the internet? That would be foolish.