internet investigators

Am I Being Catfished?

Among the many things that the internet and social media have changed in our daily lives, the dating scene has completely evolved to exist in a digital landscape. Dating websites have developed into dating apps, allowing people to meet other interested individuals from anywhere in the world with a simple swipe of their finger. Gone are the days where proximity mattered and people actually had to get off of their couch and out their door to meet their partner.

Unfortunately, with the evolution of dating apps comes the dangers of catfishing. What is catfishing you may ask? Catfishing occurs when you are interacting with someone online who has created a fake persona to form relationships with others, typically for personal or financial gain. Whether they’ve created a fake persona to avoid feelings of loneliness, to solicit money or just for the thrill of it, being the victim of catfishing can be embarrassing and can cause intense feelings of betrayal.

A growing number of women have reported being the victims of catfishing at some point during their dating career. Many of these women have shared stories of similar experiences with an overlap of signs and red flags that they were being catfished. 

Here at Investigation Hotline, we have received many calls from victims of catfishing and we have helped them avoid getting ripped off or ripped off further. 

Here are a few to keep an eye out for or to share with the women in your lives:

1) He has very few pictures of himself (specifically of his face).

2) He doesn’t want to connect with you on other social media accounts. If this is a fake persona, he would be more likely to keep you in the dark than to create the fake persona across multiple social media platforms.

3) He refuses to video chat with you, send you an impromptu selfie or even to meet you in person. If he looks nothing like his photos, he will avoid you seeing him at all costs, regardless of how often he says he would love to meet up with you. If he has used the photos of another person, he will be less likely to be able to generate unique or spontaneous selfies.

4) Sometimes if he is catfishing you, he won’t even agree to talk to you over the phone. If he is pretending to be 30-year-old John the software developer but sounds nothing like a young man (perhaps they are an older woman), he will avoid you hearing his voice at all costs.

5) There are gaps in his story or his stories contradict themselves. If he is making up a fake backstory, chances are he will have a difficult time keeping all of the facts straight. Keep an eye out for inconsistencies.

6) He asks for money. This is the golden rule of catfishing. Never give money to anyone you meet online under any circumstance. Additionally, never give out any of your banking information or other sensitive personal identification information.

7) Something feels off. Follow your gut! Trust your intuition!

Is he sending you red flags about his actual identification? Does he seem a little too good to be true? If you’re worried you’re being catfished, schedule a chat with a private investigator at Investigation Hotline to get the advice you need. It’s better to be safe than sorry.