How can you tell if someone’s a catfish?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Identifying a catfish can be challenging, but there are several signs you can look out for to determine if someone is not who they claim to be online. Here are some key indicators that can help you identify a catfish:

1. Limited or Fake Photos: One of the most common signs of a catfish is their reluctance to send you any candid or recent photos. If the person can only provide pictures from their dating profile or social media page, it could be a red flag. Catfish often use stolen or fake photos to create their online persona, so be cautious if their photo collection seems limited or suspicious.

2. Avoidance of Video Calls: Catfish typically avoid any form of real-time communication, such as video calls. They may come up with various excuses for not video chatting, such as claiming a broken camera or poor internet connection. If someone consistently avoids video calls or any other face-to-face interaction, it raises suspicions about their true identity.

3. Inconsistent or Vague Information: Pay attention to inconsistencies in the information they provide. Catfish tend to be evasive when it comes to sharing personal details or specifics about their life. They may provide vague answers to your questions or avoid discussing certain topics altogether. If their stories don’t add up or something feels off, it’s a potential warning sign.

4. Unwillingness to Meet in Person: A significant characteristic of a catfish is their reluctance to meet up in person. They may continuously postpone or make excuses for not being able to meet face-to-face. While some legitimate reasons may arise, a consistent avoidance of meeting could indicate that they are not who they claim to be.

5. Unusual Behavior or Requests: Be cautious if the person exhibits strange or manipulative behavior. Catfish may try to gain your sympathy, ask for money, or make unusual requests. They may also try to rush into a relationship or profess their love prematurely. If their behavior seems unusual or manipulative, it’s essential to trust your instincts and proceed with caution.

6. Reverse Image Search: If you have doubts about someone’s authenticity, consider conducting a reverse image search on their profile pictures. This can help you identify if the images are stolen from someone else’s online presence. Several websites, like Google Images, allow you to upload an image and find similar or identical matches across the web.

7. Limited Social Media Presence: While having a limited social media presence doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a catfish, it can be a red flag if there is a lack of online presence altogether. Catfish often create fake profiles with minimal information and few connections. If their social media accounts appear suspicious or incomplete, it’s worth investigating further.

Remember that these signs are not foolproof, and it’s essential to approach every online interaction with caution. If you suspect someone might be a catfish, consider discussing your concerns with friends or family members for a fresh perspective. Additionally, trust your instincts and prioritize your safety when engaging with others online.