Catching a Catfish

In the digital age, it is more than common for women, of all ages and backgrounds, to be on dating apps, meeting a variety of different people. Some women have met long-term partners, others looking for a fun night out, and some just coming home with hilarious bad Tinder date stories. But there can be much more serious consequences of the online dating world. Catfishing. It’s not just a TV show with Neve, in fact, Her Campus Brandeis recently interviewed a woman who was catfished (who has chosen to remain anonymous) and through her story deduced several ways you can stay safe by making a list of ways to identify a catfish:

 

They’re vague about the details of their life...

Do they go to a school “in the Boston area” or work in “banking, consulting, or marketing”, yet they can never seem to give you a company or school name? In general, people like to share the details of their life with others, it’s how we make connections and share our accomplishments. It should always be suspicious when someone seems to be giving you a Mad Lib about their life where you have to fill in all the answers.  

 

They seem generally too good to be true…

Maybe it’s pessimistic to believe that someone just seems to put together or perfect. But especially in college, no one has their life completely figured out. If you’re being catfished it's likely that they’ll overcompensate by pretending to be of a higher income or lifestyle, or by just being over the top compatible with you.

 

The relationship becomes serious, very quickly…

The woman Her Campus Brandeis interviewed said her catfisher said “I love you” within a few weeks. If they’re already making plans about your future and giving heartfelt spontaneous confessions, when they don’t even know your cat's name, let alone met you in person,

 

 

They keep making up reasons why they can’t meet up, or crazy last minute excuses to cancel plans…

You have to help a family member move in New York this weekend? Oh, wait you have to go to England because of a sick mother? Your mother died? Sounds like fiction, but these were the actually excuses our source said her catfisher gave her for canceling plans to meet face to face. If it seems like there will always just be one more missed date or one more phone call where the cell service cuts out, might be time to re-evaluate.

 

They ask you for money…

After almost a month of corresponding with her catfisher, HCs source finally figured out what they were after when he asked her to open up an account and wire money to a third party. Luckily our lady knew from the beginning how to spot a scam and kept up correspondence so she could build evidence against him. But not everyone knows how to protect themselves online and red flags are often missed.

 

In the end, just trust your gut, don't give out personal information, especially financial, and maintain a healthy level of skepticism. Stay safe and swipe away.