Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Have You Been Catfished?

We're probably never more vulnerable than when we're lonely. Someone who longs for love, commitment, and companionship will do just about anything to find it. Most people still keep their BS reader finely tuned, or have friends who can help when they don't. Some are out there, willing to believe, and do, just about anything to find love.

A catfish scam is when a person creates a fake profile, for the purpose of stealing money from someone (or sometimes, a lot of someones). We're not talking about a woman lying about her weight, or a man about his height.

A catfish scam involves a completely fictional identity, used to establish a relationship. Once the relationship is formed, the scammer starts requesting money. Who among us wouldn't be willing to send money to our true love?

Thanks to Baking Suit for sending over this link to Daily Infographic on how to know if you have been Catfished. Click the link for the details; here are some highlights:
  • The 1995 merger of and created the first major internet dating site.
  • Today Americans spend an estimated $500 million annually in their search for love and romance.
  • Nearly 20 million people visit a dating site at least once a month.
  • Catfishing is the word used to describe scams involving "hooking" a target and "reeling" him in.
  • Catfish is the title of a 2010 movie about one man's story of meeting the love of his life online.
  • Catfish scams involve posing as a love interest, and eventually convincing the target to send money.
  • In 2011, the FBI received 5,600 complaints from victims of these scammers.
  • Victims reported collective losses of $50.4 million.
  • About 80% of online profiles contain some sort of "fib," usually involving weight, salary, or height.
  • Photographs are usually the most misleading part of an online profile.
  • Signs of a fake profile:
    • Pictures that appear fake
    • Facts that don't add up
    • Unnatural eagerness to establish intimacy
    • Poor grammar and spelling
    • Immediate request for personal info to communicate away from the site 
I believe I have "met" people who are scammers. I am certain I've talked with people online who were either looking for money, or a green card. I followed my instincts and stayed away from offline communication or in-person meetings.

Online dating requires common sense. Don't be afraid to take risks...but also don't be afraid to ask questions, or simply walk away from a situation that doesn't feel right.

1 comment:

  1. Scammers are everywhere.
    It stinks.

    I loathe people who think it is easier to USE someone rather than they putting in the effort themselves.

    Scammers on all levels bug the crud out of me.