How to Spot a Catfisher on an Online Dating Site or Dating App

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When Using Online Dating Sites or Apps, Beware of Catfishers

Seven Clues to Catch a Catfisher from Dating Experts Smart Dating Academy

Online dating can be tricky, especially for those who are new to the online dating scene. While there is certainly a lot to be gained from connecting with others who are on the search for love, there are a few warning signs to look out for as well. Your dating experts at Smart Dating Academy in Chicago have put together the top seven clues to spot a catfisher when using an online dating site or app. A “catfish” is a man or woman who creates a fake identity to bait people into romance and out of money. Lots of smart people, have been catfished or had a near miss with one. The more you know, the more successful you’ll be in navigating the dating waters – and here are the seven clues:

1. TOO good to be true -- Photos are STUNNING

If anyone looks like they are "too good looking" (like high fashion model good looking), it's something to take pause about. It's simple to steal someone else's photos and post them as their own (this has happened to a few people that I personally know). If the pics look too goo to be true - just use reverse image search to see where else those photos are, if anywhere.

2. Live Far Away from You / Out of State

Catfishers are trying to lure you into love, but cyberlove. It's much easier to come up with 100 reasons why you can't meet if you're out of state, right?

3. Want to get you off the dating site, ASAP.

They will ask right away or quickly to get off the site, and get onto a personal email account. Why? That way, the sites can't track the correspondence anymore.

4. Too Serious, Too Soon

When Romeo wants to become your boyfriend right away over email, pull his profile down when he hasn't met or even Skyped with you, that is a red flag. Catfishers like to know a LOT about you -- so they can appear to love you and know you super well. They also are able to glean information about your wants, needs, vulnerabilities -- so they can say just the right thing at the right time. Interestingly, they often reveal very little about themselves. They will come up with some dumb excuse -- like, oh, I'm just so boring / not interesting -- and I just can't get enough of you!! Or, they will again go for your sympathy and say, I've been hurt so badly in the past, that I'm very slow to trust and warm up.

5. Won't Webcam

If a person refuses to Skype or webcam after you've been talking for 1-2 weeks, this is an early potential warning sign that they are trying to avoid you finding out who they are.

6. Accidents and/or Illness

Catfishers don't actually want to meet -- or they will have to reveal their real identity. So they often make up crazy stories involving accidents, serious illnesses, deaths in the family. It often gets you to feel bad, and stay "off their back" about actually meeting up. They keep these stories up to make you feel guilty, and keep you in. At that point, they may even guilt you into sending money.

7. Asks You for Money!

Anyone that asks you for money online is a scammer. Whether it's $1 or $100,000 --run. Remember, they will try to guilt you into thinking that they NEED the money...and will give you a very detailed story as to why they need it RIGHT NOW.

Trust your gut when you're dealing with online romance. Not everyone that emails you from out of state is a catfisher -- take each situation on a case by case basis. If you see someone who hits many of these points, and your gut tells you something is wrong -- feel free to cut the catfish off of your line :)

Happy Dating!



Bela Gandhi