The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to go online, whether it was to work from home (WFH) or to meet people online. Cybercriminals and their ever-increasing sophistication in duping unsuspecting victims into scams are another pandemic that is rarely addressed among users.
Unfortunately, every platform, from social media to online dating websites and apps, is riddled with fraudulent profiles and crooks looking to take advantage of vulnerable people, especially when it comes to online dating.
Catfish is another name for these. While it’s never been easier to find “love” online, and in some cases, it only takes a few clicks on a screen, we can be pretty much anyone we want to be.
This means you must keep your wits about you, and if something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is!
If you’ve been fortunate enough to find a match and have begun conversing, alarm bells may begin to ring.
Here are some ways to tell if a date is catfishing you, based on their photos, what they say they do for work, or the lifestyle they lead.
Conduct a Background Investigation
An online background check is one of the best ways to ensure that a date isn’t catfishing you. Sure, this may appear to be overkill, but if you have reason to doubt their veracity, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Unfortunately, online dating scams can and do occur, so don’t be afraid to take this step.
Perform an online reverse image search
When you first meet someone online, you were probably drawn to them because of their photos.
However, if their photos don’t appear to be genuine or you suspect they belong to someone else, now is the time to conduct an online reverse image search. All you have to do is take a picture of the person you’re speaking with, copy it, and paste it into Google.
The database will compare the photo to millions of others on the internet in seconds. If you find a match, it will appear immediately.
When it comes to reverse image search, Russia’s Yandex image search produces the most accurate results.
Googling Their Name
In addition to conducting an online reverse image search, simply typing their name into Google may yield unexpected results.
Of course, if you’re talking to a John Smith, the possibilities are limitless, but if they have an unusual name, you’ll have an easier time verifying their identity.
Go to Social Media
With over 4 billion people using social media worldwide, there’s a good chance the person you’ve been speaking with uses at least one social media site as well.
Searching for their name on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, can help put your mind at ease and determine whether you’re being catfished or not.
Request a Video Chat
In 2022, nearly everyone owns a smartphone, which includes a camera. This means that if you suspect you’re being catfished, it’s time to request a video chat.
If the person on the other end of the screen is honest and genuine, they should have no problem chatting with you on video.
Consult with Friends and Family
When you chat with someone online, you might fall in love with them even if you’ve never met them! Unfortunately, this may cause you to see things through rose-colored glasses. As a result, it is prudent to seek advice from family and friends.
To read our blog on “To guard against online exploit, PTA released a digital safety guide,” click here