While online dating is a very practical means of meeting people in your local area and beyond, deception does sometimes still run rampant. If someone seems like they’re a little too good to be true, it’s wise that you’re cautious. You could be getting catfished, which is what happens when the person you’re talking to pretends to be someone else through pictures, text messages, or social media posts. If you’ve experienced any of these situations, you may be talking to a catfish.
10. Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right
That nagging feeling in the back of your head is called your intuition. It can often pick up on small hints and red flags that you miss or pretend not to see. It’s totally fine to not date someone because you sense something could be off.
9. They Have a Super Vague Profile
If your current love interest doesn’t seem to have very specific hobbies or interests, be aware. While this person may have just lazily filled out their dating site profile or social media accounts, they also could not be who they seem.
8. They Move Too Fast
This isn’t an exclusive sign of a catfish, but trying to get you to commit too soon or dropping the L-bomb (love) right away isn’t good. Even if you’re not being catfished, you’re dealing with someone that doesn’t know how to put on the brakes.
7. They Ask for Money or Material Goods
If you’re in a committed relationship, you will of course pay for meals, trips, and gifts sometimes. This is expected on both sides. However, if you have yet to meet someone and they’re already asking you for large sums of cash, you’re definitely being scammed, and it may be by a catfish.
6. Their Social Media Accounts Seem Fishy
It’s possible to sniff out a catfish through social media alone. Old profile pictures, those that look like they were taken by a professional photographer, and a lack of pictures with friends and family are all pretty big signs that this person may be using pictures of someone else online.
5. They Look a Little Too Attractive
Something else that you should look out for is how attractive this person claims to be. If your current love interest looks like a model or even that extra you saw in a movie, it’s not likely that that’s the person you’re talking to. Instead, the catfish is likely a regular person hiding behind a famous face to attract you and others.
4. You Can Never Video Chat with Them
Every time you offer to Skype or FaceTime, they have issues with their phone or webcam. No matter how patient you are and how long you wait, this same scenario plays out again and again. A catfish knows that if they video chat with you that you’ll see who they truly are, so they avoid this.
3. They Won’t Talk on the Phone
Some catfishes do talk on the phone with you. However, sometimes a man posing as a woman or vice-versa will adamantly refuse to chat. They will text you 24/7, but you won’t ever be able to hear their voice since it would give away their identity.
2. They Always Cancel Dates
Perhaps you got your love interest to agree to a date with you. Before you celebrate, wait and make sure that they follow through with it. Some catfishes will agree to meet you just to placate you, then come up with an excuse at the last-minute. Let this slide if it happens once, but if it becomes a routine, be wary.
1. They Refuse to Meet
Similarly, some catfish may just outright shut down your requests to see them. They know that they’re not who they say they are, and if you find out, the jig will be up and you two will lose whatever bond you have. If you talk for a month or so without meeting, it’s time to end it.