Knowing how to spot a catfish online is an absolute necessity in the modern dating world. A catfish refers to a person engaging in an online relationship while posing as someone else. If you haven't yet seen Catfish, I suggest you go view an episode! As you will see, not knowing how to spot a catfish online can mean you spend weeks, months, or even years falling in love with someone who isn't what they say they are. Once acquainted, it is time for you to learn how to prevent yourself ending up on MTV yourself:
If you can nail this one, you don't really need to know how to spot a catfish online. Once you have Skyped someone, you can be sure that they are the right gender for you! Even better, you can find out if they're the right age. Skype also allows you to assess your chemistry. Let's face it, IMs and texts create chemistry in your head--not the real world.
I watched my first ever catfish with a friend. During this episode, the man claimed to be a model who was training to be an anaesthetist online. Now I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure anesthetists don't train online while flying around the world. If their story doesn't seem plausible, it probably isn't. Trust your instincts.
3. Calls, Calls, Calls
Even if you Skype someone, you can't be sure that their lifestyle is what they say it is. Now you can't expect to call someone whenever you want. However, if they spend more time making excuses for why you can't call them, there is a reason. Maybe they have a partner already? Maybe they have kids and feel you would be put off by that? The latter isn't the worst issue in the world, but for your own sanity, you need to raise why they are consistently unavailable.
4. Facebook Photo Consistency
Facebook is great, isn't it? You get to learn all about someone's life, without so much as a phone call. However, it does let you create an illusion for others to work off. I pick my Facebook pics carefully, because I rarely take a good photo. However, if your potential catfish looks different in a lot of their photos, question their legitimacy. Even better, do a reverse image search!
5. They Go Quiet for Days at a Time
This sort of ties in with point 3. If someone goes quiet for days at a time, the chances are they have commitments elsewhere. This could mean a partner or someone they are in an on-off relationship with, which means the chances are your relationship won't go anywhere. If someone goes quiet for days at a time, give them some breathing space. When they start questioning why you are doing this, gently let them know why.
6. Their Facebook Profile Isn't Social
Okay, not all of us live through Facebook, however, many people will check in, get tagged in photos, attend events...you get the picture. If your online date isn't doing this, ask yourself why. You especially need to ask this question if they claim to have a social life. Don't base your decision on this alone though, there needs to be other factors at play.
7. They Just Won't Meet
Finally, the absolute deciding factor! If someone consistently makes plans with you and bails, the chances are they are a catfish. The absolute optimist in me would think 'Maybe they suffer from social anxieties?' And hey, some people do. However, those people are in a minority. If they're not meeting up with you, especially after months and with NO Skyping...I think you've got yourself a catfish!
If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a catfish's attention, don't get mad. Hurt people tend to hurt people. Some have genuine intent, but lack the self-confidence they need to move ahead as themselves. Instead, acknowledge the situation, be open with them, and go your separate ways or be friends. If you have any catfish spotting tips, what are they?