Catfishing 101

Courtesy of mynorthwest.com

Courtesy of mynorthwest.com

Penny met Jake two weeks before she broke up with her boyfriend, Simon. Penny was constantly on a social media site, when she noticed that the username “Jakhotti356” liked all of her statuses, links, pictures, etc, and he even requested to follow her. Penny, excited about all of the attention, followed him back, and before they knew it, they were messaging each other nonstop. Penny started to like Jake so much that it led to her breaking up with her boyfriend Simon.

Soon after, Jake and Penny started to date. Penny started to realize that they had everything in common, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that this relationship was too good to be true; even if they still hadn’t met in person.   Their relationship had turned into sending pictures to one another. Penny started to fall hard for Jake, and thought he could possibly be “Mr. Right.”

Penny, anxious to meet in person, was beyond excited when Jake finally set up a date to meet up. They agreed to go and have a picnic in the woods. The day came, and she showed up at the picnic site, but it turned out that there was no such thing as Jake. Jake turned out to be a 27-year-old creep, who used his cousin’s picture to look younger. He had entertained and agreed to all that Penny had said online, just to “catfish” her. Luckily, one of Penny’s friends didn’t like the idea of this “Jake” guy, and followed Penny to the woods. He was able to save her before anything bad could happen. Penny got lucky. Others don’t.

What is a Catfish?

A Catfish is often referred to as- “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

What is Catfishing?

The term Catfishing is commonly defined as – “The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).”

Catfishing is becoming more and more common in today’s society, and many incidents are leading to abductions, rapes, murders, and broken hearts. Do not disregard the old saying, ” If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Common signs of “Catfishing” include:

Posing as a “Model” -it means that they are recognized as an attractive person, and it is easy to fall for looks

Incomplete Facebook Profiles- if they don’t have very many friends, or if there are pictures with other people who aren’t tagged – beware!

Sob Stories: if this person has experienced a traumatic tear-jerking story, watch out because sympathy is a strong emotion

No Pictures: if they are incapable of sending immediate pictures or can’t video chat, watch out because there must be a reason for that. ( be careful though, because in Penny’s situation Jake found a way to still video chat).

Constantly “Too busy”: if it is a constant struggle to try to meet up in person, it is probably because they don’t want you to see who they actually are!

Pattern of Lies: if you ever catch them in a lie, it is time to leave. Sure, people want to make an impression, but if you don’t know them personally, do not give the relationship second chance!

Going Against One’s Intuition: If your gut says that something isn’t right, listen to it! It is better to be safe than sorry.

As technology increases it is easier to be fooled and deceived than ever before, but you can stay safe as long as you have a cautious mindset, you can remain safe. If you, one of your friends, or if you have heard of a “catfishing” story, leave a comment below to tell us all about it!

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Posted on June 14, 2014, in Lifestyle, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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