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A person is catfishing when he sets up a dummy profile for luring another person into a romantic relationship, which is fraudulent. For instance, if someone acts like someone who doesn’t use Instagram or other platforms to create false identities, only to pursue online romantic relationships that are deceptive in nature.
Thus, the term ‘catfishing someone’ refers to setting up a fake social media profile with the aim of making someone fall for the phony persona. The good part about the Internet is that it lets us talk to people. However, what’s worse is that it has also made it easy for cyberbullying and other fraudulent activities. Let’s look into it to know more about the dangers of both.
Do catfishing and cyberbullying go hand in hand?
Yes. Catfishing and cyberbullying are related because a catfish impersonates another person intentionally. Like a cyberbully, even a catfish exploits a person’s feelings, and in most cases, it happens with emotionally vulnerable people. Victims often express their views and opinions on the Internet, which the catfishes notice.
Signs of catfishing
Here are the signs of catfishing, which will save you from getting duped by strangers on the Internet.
No personal communication
A catfish will not want to talk in person. They will also not want to talk on the phone or on the video call. Instead, they will be making excuses. Catfishes are highly friendly when they interact with you, and they will also try to build an intimate bond in very little time. Yet, they will avoid all ways of personal communication with you.
Very few friends on social media or a lot of friends of the opposite gender on social media
For example, a male catfish might have a lot of female friends online or vice-versa. Not only that, but a catfish can also keep very few or no friends at all on social media (except you in some cases). However, these practices are pretty unusual and obvious these days.
It is one of the best ways to find out. There are many grammatical mistakes in texts from a catfish. Thus, if you notice that the person is uncomfortable while texting you in their language, it will be best to gather more information about them. It might not be true all the time, but it is one of the most important signs to note.
Asking for money
One of the most significant aims of fraudsters on the Internet is to extract money from people. So, they might end up asking for money and state various excuses like family problems, health conditions, and other financial situations. It is indeed true that it is great to help those who need it. Yet, it will help if you are alert before any transactions for safety purposes. Thus, do not fall for people who have profile pictures of random characters asking for a lot of money. It will be best not to go back and remember the stories and news in the days of Facebook when these activities were at an all-time high.
How to avoid being catfished
When you are talking to somebody, you don’t know, and it is best to be cautious of their intentions and the way they approach you. It will help if you find out what they want by asking them sensibly. Also, if someone you know is trying to reach out to you from another account, and the behavior seems different, it will be best to confront them. If you have the person’s phone number, it will help if you call them to verify.
Search their image on Google Reverse
A catfish might take an image from the Internet because there are so many resources on Google or even other social media platforms. If there is confusion, you can cross-check their pictures with Google Reverse. Thus, you are a catfishing victim if you get the same photo and they are not who they say they are.
Don’t accept random friend requests, and don’t talk to strangers
Using the Internet is a blessing in a way because you can communicate with people. But, we must also make sure that the people with whom we build relationships online are not fraudsters. There is no particular way to completely confirm that, so the best thing to do is not to interact with strangers on the Internet.
Before building relationships with someone on the Internet or even before accepting their request, it is a must to run some background checks. Knowing the basic details of someone and thoroughly researching them is essential before sharing sensitive information with somebody on the Internet.
It is always a must to stay conscious on the Internet because of the rise of fraudulent activities. One of the best ways you can stay alert is by using Avosmart, a parental control software that can be your best friend at such times. With Avosmart, parents can see who their children talk to on social media.
They can check for themselves if the profile is legit, and if it is not, they can take the appropriate measures by blocking them. Parents can also block fraudulent websites. Using Avosmart will also provide you with insights into your child’s online activities, which is really helpful for a parent to ensure their child’s online safety.