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Catfishing is a term used to describe online identity fraud. This behavior aims to lure someone into a romantic relationship. In order not to be trapped in a romance full of fakes, let's get to know the characteristics of catfishing and how to deal with it
Online dating applications are now an option for many people to find a partner or just a friend to talk to. Even though it looks promising, you still have to be wary of fraudulent acts masquerading as serious relationships and one of them is catfishing.
People who do catfishing will usually pretend to be someone else by using fake names, profiles and photos. The term was first popularized in 2010, in a documentary that recounts the experience of someone being scammed online.
Anyone can be a victim of catfishing. The harm caused by this behavior is not only a matter of feeling, but also in the form of money or personal information. So, you should be more careful in using online dating apps or social media to find new friends or partners.
Why Someone is Catfishing
One can catfish for a variety of reasons. Here are some things that could be the cause:
- Feeling insecure
- Suffering from depression
- Feeling uncomfortable in solitude
- Doing fraud by asking for some money
- Has an intention to take revenge for being hurt in the past
- Seeking other people's attention
- Has a desire to harass his victim online
In addition, catfishing can also be done by those who feel confused about their sexual orientation and want to confirm their identity without having to reveal their real identity.
Recognizing the Characteristics of Catfishing
At the beginning of the introduction, it is not easy to realize that someone is catfishing you. However, before deciding to involve feelings or trust the person, be sure to recognize the following characteristics of catfishing:
Refusing to show face
If online they always refuse to video or phone chat, it could be that the person is catfishing. This refusal can be accompanied by classic reasons, such as being embarrassed to show your face or the camera is broken.
In addition, they are also reluctant to send photos of themselves and are only able to show photos that are on their account profiles or social media pages. They also avoid meeting or don't show up when you decide to meet.
Exaggerated in describing himself
Catfishers often seem too perfect to be real. They usually pack a very interesting personality and life story, which is even difficult to accept logically.
Besides that, they also often make up stories or life stories that make you empathize, because the story feels very sad. These stories are usually in the form of a bad past relationship or a messy family background.
However, behind a convincing past story, catfishers tend to be vague or seem to hide their future plans, family members, and current jobs.
Shows very romantic behavior
Getting more attention, especially from loved ones, does feel good. However, you should be careful when getting romantic behavior from people you just met online, because it could be catfishing behavior.
Catfishers will easily give loving words and try to get you to commit to a serious relationship even though they have never met.
Requesting money or valuable information
When feelings of love are passionate, logic is often neglected. You may agree to a request for money or valuable information from someone you just met because you already believe in it.
So, be sure to refrain from giving any money or valuable information you have, even if they continue to beg and accompany the request with dramatic stories.
How to Deal with Catfishing
When you notice signs of catfishing from someone you just met, you can deal with them in the following ways before they cause you any harm:
1. Don't share too much information
As previously explained, many catfishers want something from their victims, such as money or valuable information. Therefore, avoid sharing important information, including your birth mother's maiden name, your full name, and residential address.
Also, avoid sharing pornographic images or messages with people you just met. This can be abused and can certainly harm you.
2. Find out information about people you just met
If you suspect someone is catfishing, look up information about them online.Do a search for social media accounts using the name they gave you at the start of your introduction. If the name doesn't appear on any social media, it could be that the person is catfishing.
However, if their name appears on social media, pay attention to the number of friends they have and whether the friend list is a real or fake account. If there are too many fake accounts in it, you can suspect the person is catfishing.
You can also track the mobile number they give you using the app. That way, you can find out who the person behind the account is.
3. Feel free to ask
When you approach someone, of course, you want to know everything about them. So, make sure you ask as many questions as you can and be observant in capturing the answers the person gives.
If the answer he gives is not clear or seems long-winded, it could be that the person is doing catfishing.
4. Never give money to strangers
Even if the person tells a sad story that makes you empathize, never give money when he or she asks for it. You never know how true his story and purpose will be to you. Be careful in trusting someone and don't fall for his sweet seduction.
Although not everyone in online dating applications does catfishing, be careful when getting acquainted and approaching each other. You can still find happiness through online dating applications, as long as you always think realistically so you don't get caught in a fake relationship.
If you or someone close to you becomes a victim of catfishing that causes frustration, feelings of self-doubt, anxiety disorders, and depression, don't hesitate to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment.