So, imagine this. You’ve been talking to a guy for a couple of months, he seems sweet, he’s really cute and he actually seems like a good guy. You wonder how did you find someone so perfect. You’ve spent every day texting, exchanging photos on Snapchat and every minute is taken up by them. You think it’s going to be great.
You decide to go on a date. You tell your friends, and they joke he’s a catfish. But, you know he can’t be, you’ve seen pictures of him.
You arrive at the place of the date, ready to meet the guy of your dreams. However, you can’t see him there. Someone in the background waves at you, they shout your name- you realise this is the person you were talking to all along. In fact, his name is Greg, he’s 20 years older than he said, and nothing about him resembles the 20 year old football player who looked like a model. In fact, the only thing about him that is actually truthful is the fact he’s a man- but not the man you were expecting.
I’m not about to lay out the typical image we have of a catfish being a 30 year old man who sits in his mothers basement, eating his life away and tricking 17 year old girls on the internet. That’s not exactly what every catfish is like. Maybe it turns out to be a girl, someone who wants revenge on you, or that guy who always had a crush on you but you never took him on because you didn’t like him back- and that’s fine.
Catfishing is becoming more popular now, due to the fact more people know what it is, and the ways that catfish can hide behind various social media. However, people are still being catfished and have no idea how to prevent this from even happening in the first place.
I was catfished about 8 years ago now, and it was the worst thing that happened to me. It made me feel shitty about myself, it made me feel so stupid, and I didn’t want to talk about it. This was before Catfish the TV show was popular, and no one really talked about this being a thing. It was stupid, and thankfully I never met this person or even tried to meet them, they were just an ‘internet friend’. My catfish story is one that is really quite ridiculous- cue the catfish pretending they were at least 5 diff people (good effort really), acting like one had been in a car crash, one was going to jump off a building and shot someone in the head leaving them in a coma… and I believed it all!
We look at these people on catfish and think that they’re stupid for falling for this, but I did, and many people still do to this day. So, today, I am going to lay down how to spot, or how to even, catch a catfish, because they are the secret people that live among us. And this is going to be a new series on my blog. So, for now, here are some basic ways that you can find out if you’re being catfished.
Do they talk on the phone…
This is a super easy way to tell if you’re being catfished! Most people own a phone that they can talk on, or have access to one. If they always avoid talking on the phone, or facetiming, then start to have your suspicions. Maybe, they are naturally anxious about talking on the phone or skyping, but if they give lame excuses or super dramatic ones, then they are most likely hiding something.
The examples of ‘my car broke down’ ‘my cat died’ ‘i don’t even have a phone number’ are not acceptable. If they are talking to you, they have access to the internet or a phone, think about this!
Do they send photos that look different to each other…
Let’s use an example I encountered a couple of weeks ago. I received a photo that didn’t look like the photo of them I’d seen. I called them a catfish, and was automatically removed.
If they send you one photo and then one that looks a bit different, question them on it. Sometimes, there is a reasonable excuse, but it’s a good way to catch a catfish out.
Are their photos too good to be true?
We know where I’m going here. Are their photos model like? Are they constantly posing in what seems to be a brilliantly edited version of themselves?
Maybe, once in a blue moon, you’re talking to one of these models. Though, most of the time, you’re not.
There is a really simple way to check this. Google offers a brilliant reverse image search.
Let’s take this step by step.
- Here I decided to search ‘model man photo’. A great one to also try is ‘teen boy emo’ if they’re going for that vibe. Those types of photos get used A LOT.
2. I then saved the photo and decided to reverse search it. You can find this easily by searching ‘google reverse image search’. All you do then is pop in the image and give it a quick search.
3. Wait for the results. It was kind of obvious I was going to get a result back for it, but then you can find all the search results that also contain this same picture. There are 25 billion results for this one picture!!
4. Maybe this technique might not work and you might not find anything, but don’t be disheartened. There are other ways to catch a catfish!
Are the Snapchats they send actual Snapchats or photos from camera roll?
It gets a bit weird if someone starts to send you selfies on snapchat from their camera roll, or videos from their camera roll. Sure, it could be a video of the person you think you’re talking to, but with screen recording now, this could just be a screen record of the person you think you’re talking to. Always look out for the bit in the corner that says the picture or video is from camera roll or for pictures that appear in the chat rather than as an actual snapchat.
Ask them to send a real time snapchat, and see what they do.
Have they ever disappeared for a while and then come back with some weird excuse?
I.E. Did they try to ghost you, and thought they could but then realised they’re addicted to the catfishing game and just couldn’t stop…
A catfish may try to stop what they are doing, and attempt to ghost you. Believe me, this happened to me, but then more characters were added to their list of ‘friends’. It was just them, all along, I still think how much effort it must have taken.
Everyone can drop you a quick text of ‘hey, I was busy and sorry about that’, but the dramatic stories are the ones to look out for. Elaborate tales of car crashes, relatives dying, houses burning down, phones blowing up, aliens invading the earth are to be QUESTIONED.
Maybe, sometimes they’re true, but Sam did not almost die from a car crash, almost die from cancer, almost die from being bitten by a snake and then his phone exploded. Pls, let’s think about THIS.
Do they not want to meet with you?
Have they stood you up a few times? Have they told you that you’ll meet but they always avoid this?
Chances are, if someone doesn’t want to meet with you, sometimes after like 10 years of talking, then they’re probably a catfish!! They dread having to meet you in person and you seeing that they have been lying to you the whole time.
Call them out on it- tell them you’ll even come to them if that’s the problem.
Don’t stick around for someone who constantly has excuses not to see you. You don’t want that negativity in your life.
So, here is the start of how to catch a catfish, but this will be continued next time.
Tune in next time for more ways to catch a catfish, a catfish story and how do you deal with a catfish…