Wtf is catfishing and how can we protect ourselves?

Wtf is catfishing and how can we protect ourselves? | Beanstalk Mums

Wtf is catfishing and how can we protect ourselves?

The rise of online dating has significantly opened up the amount of opportunities to meet future partners. This is particularly true for single mums who may not be able to get out much because of caring for young children.

Incredibly convenient and simple, there are endless different dating website and apps to try your luck with. However, in all the fun and excitement it’s easy to get carried away and forget that there are some potential dangers to look out for too.

Wtf is catfishing and how can we protect ourselves?

What is catfishing on the internet

The term ‘catfishing’ is used to describe when someone has created a fake online identity with the intent to pursue someone romantically under false pretences.

Why do people catfish?

Some catfish because they don’t wish to reveal something they see as potentially negative about themselves, and some do it just for the fun of it.

Unfortunately, others have more alarming agendas, such as wanting to coerce someone into doing something they wouldn’t normally do. For example, to give money, send intimate photos, or are trying to gather enough information to commit fraud identity.

How can catfishing make you feel?

Even if the catfishing is not particularly sinister, it can still be extremely hurtful and frustrating when you’ve invested time in someone online, only for them not to be who you thought they were. It can also make some women feel very vulnerable and impact their ability to trust anyone again, especially if they have already suffered a traumatic break up.

Catfishing is a somewhat scary concept, however don’t let it stop you from using dating apps and sites. You just need to protect yourself.

Tips to avoid being a victim of catfishing

  • Never use the Internet for online dating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Block anyone suspicious.
  • Don’t leave it weeks, but take time to get to know someone and check that things ‘add up’ before meeting-up in real life.
  • Do a background check – Google a potential date if you have enough details. You can also use searches created for potential dates as well, thanks to the increase of online dating apps.
  • Look for red flags, such as spelling mistakes and bad grammar on a profile when someone has stated they are college or university educated.
  • Be wary if they mention recent traumatic life events (such as the death of a partner or child) as many will fake stories such as these to make you feel you feel sorry for them and therefore be more trusting.
  • One of the biggest indicators of catfishing is when a person makes excuses to not meet you, won’t do a video call and even avoids all conversation about when to meet up. If they’re putting off a face-to face-date it could mean they have something to hide.
  • If a profile photo looks like a Hollywood movie star or model and appears too good to be true, use Google images to check the profile photo. If it comes up on another site that makes you feel suspicious, or it’s out rightly a magazine cover model, you are potentially being catfished. You can also use Catfish reverse image search apps.
  • Always remember, if it’s too good to be true it probably is.

And then there’s kittenfishing

Another thing to be mindful of is kittenfishing. It’s quite likely you’re even guilty of this yourself!

A much lighter version of catfishing, it is when someone embellishes or improves their profile to make themselves more appealing online – such as using a photo from ten years ago, adjusting their age or lying about their education or profession.

Generally, people who kittenfish aren’t meaning to be harmful. The reason for it is to present the best version of themselves they possibly can to increase their odds of meeting someone. This doesn’t make it any less annoying though when you meet them in person.

And if you are tempted to kittenfish yourself, just remember that at some point potential dates and future partners will uncover the ‘real you’. Therefore, a true reflection of who you really are is always best.

Wtf is catfishing and how can we protect ourselves? | Beanstalk Single Mums Pinterest

Melissa Ferrari

Melissa Ferrari

Melissa Ferrari is a psychotherapist and relationship specialist. Through her private counselling sessions, seminars and couples retreats, Melissa has helped thousands of individuals and couples gain insight into their relationship problems.

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