How to tell if you being baited by a catfish?

How to tell if you being baited by a catfish?

Definition of a catfish:

Catfishing is when someone uses a different identity in order to trick another person into believing that they’re that person online

Reasons they do it:

Catfish scammers are rarely looking for money. Mostly, it seems, they want your affection or sympathy.

Ways to spot one:

Do a reverse image Google search. This is a quick and easy background check. Right-click their photos, copy the URL, and paste in the box at images.google.com

Do you know what EXIF Data is? The average Internet user isn’t familiar with Exchangeable image file format (EXIF) data. But EXIF can be a powerful weapon in detecting fraud. In short, EXIF is meta-data embedded in common image file types which can provide, among other things, the GPS location the photo was taken, the date the image originated, if the photo has been edited (to remove a model’s watermark perhaps?) and other interesting information.

Let’s say that a stranger contacts you and, after some fumbling, sends you a gorgeous stunning photo and claims they are a model. Maybe you want to check the EXIF data to see the photo’s history. You don’t need fancy hacker software. Just go to http://regex.info/exif.cgi and either upload the photo or input the photo’s web URL.

When did they register their account? Almost every social network lets you check out how long someone’s been a member. If someone has created a fake account just for the purpose of misleading you then can easily tell how long ago they registered it. If they have an account that’s just a few weeks old but it’s loaded with a lifetime of pictures that should be a red flag.

Given the nature of Catfish Scammers they may suggest they had to delete or stop using their old profile because their life was in danger or because something traumatic happened.

Google it. There’s a lot to be said for Googling names other than your own. See if you can find any credible information about them. If there’s nothing, that should raise alarm bells.

Money. Lending a fiver to your best mate for lunch is one thing, but if your new online ‘buddy’ is already asking you for money

Check their check-ins. Everyone should have some sort of indication on their Facebook profile that they have a life outside their computer. We’ve all checked in somewhere on Facebook with friends or familym be it the local cinema or somewhere else.

Check their posts. Everyone gets a post from someone every now and then, even if it’s from your great aunty sharing a funny meme. If no one has posted on their wall to wish them a happy birthday or shared anything with them then this has got to be a cause for concern.

Check their photos. There’s nothing wrong with having photos of yourself on your profile (it is your profile after all), but if they don’t have any photos with their friends or family and it’s mostly photos of themselves at weird angles with bad lighting, then something’s up; are they even tagged in other friends’ photos?

Check their mates. Do you have any mutual friends? If so, can they vouch for them? If they only have a handful of random contacts, it’s usually a telltale sign.

Get real. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is (sorry to be bursting the bubble). Watch out, if it’s all getting a bit too serious, too soon and they’re making obscure promises, get the hint. They aren’t going to fly you to the Caribbean

Got the story straight? Make sure everything they’re telling you adds up (trust your gut instinct). Conflicting information is a sign their whole identity is built on lies, so it’s hard to always keep the story straight

Skype ‘em. If they don’t want to Skype, Facetime or even Snapchat, this is a big red flag. It’s an easy excuse to spot because they are hiding their true identity, so beware.

Watch out for elaborate stories e.g., lies. Catfishes tell outrageous lies which are often a dead give-a-way. A Catfish may well claim to be a model or work in the music industry.


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What Girls Said 18

  • Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm a catfish! They gonna get me :O

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  • I love this <3

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  • that was an awesome take!!! good job...

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  • Interesting Take. Didn't know people use kik to catfish too :o

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  • Don't do any of that stuff. Friendships can't be built online. Face 2 face, people, it's the only real thing.

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  • omg.. that's why @apexalpha doesn't Skype.. :o

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  • Actually a catfish is not just a person online with a fake identity their goal is to pursue a relationship with someone not everyone with a fake profile is a catfish. I personally think it should be common sense, confidence, and self esteem which people who have been catfished lack making them an easy target. People need to get smarter online.

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  • Nice! I always reverse image search the persons picture that way I can tell if they are fake or not. Trust me, there are sooo many out there! Be careful!

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  • True I always face timed my tumblr friend before we met up in Disney Land... but that's pretty much the safest place to meet lol I mean we are both girls but she could have been a man and I wouldn't know! She's awesome though if you can meet an online friend I'd recommend it just be safe! It was so cool being able to hug her and talk face to face after two years! So don't let catfish people scare you away from it completely!

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    • you have to take precautions

    • yeah that's what I said, I met in a public place, my family was there well my dad, aunt and cousins, we had chatted on face-time and sent snapchats often and I recognized her the moment I saw her and she recognized me!

  • Great Take!!

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  • Great take!!! Awesome and just saying I'm not a catfish

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  • Someone sound like Nev. That's good! Nice take bro:)

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  • Great take!

    It's really helpful. I think I was catfished on FB (I used to have an account). I wish I could know why. And I can't find a reason for that.

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  • Loved your Take! These are really simple steps to follow that many people don't think to do, even when they are suspicious of others.

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  • This is actually really helpful. I'll be sure to use these methods if I suspect something fishy in future! Thanks

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  • This is a really good take! People need to be so careful of what's on the internet and who they talk with. It really can happen to anyone.

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  • The best way to know if a person is to video chat with them. 9 months ago, many gagers posted their profile pic with them holding a piece of paper with their username written on it, to prove that they are not a catfish. That's another good way to know that a person is not a catfish. Next, comes invert image search on google.

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  • Thank you as much!! I'm glad you made a take about this, very helpful take. 👍 :)

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What Guys Said 11

  • no idea!

    Catifsh don't bait me, I bait catfish!

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  • Holy Shit that picture tripped me out for a sec.

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  • That picture is very disturbing breh.

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  • oh oh.

    I have been asked on here whether this is really me in my profile pic, and whether it is photoshopped or something.

    It is really me, and no photoshop or anything

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  • That's why I can't online..

    No fuckin facebook.

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  • DAMNIT I THOUGHT FOR ONCE THIS WAS A FISHING QUESTION

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  • If they don't have a Facebook or at least some form of social media, don't give out their phone numbers of some way to message them.

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  • Im always getting hooked!!

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  • I am happy, at least i am not a catfish!

    http://imgur.com/i2UqRdV.jpg

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  • About meta data. Some meta data can easily be seen just by right clicking the file and looking at properties. Then look at the summary tab. That stuff is basic meta data. But it doesn't show everything.

    I've used a tool called ExifTool to wipe meta data. It doesn't get everything either, but it does better than viewing the properties in Windows. I can't post links, but Wikipedia has a page for the tool so just look it up. There might be better tools, but that seemed like the easiest one to use when I researched it a few years ago. Things may have changed now.

    As for the general theme of catfishing, I'm just a natural skeptic. I tend to take what people say at face value unless something raises my suspicion. But I also take it almost everything with a grain of salt.

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    • Meta data can be erased and there is another tool which is better but can't remember the name
      But taking things with a pinch of salt is best way not to fall into traps

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