How to Catch a Catfish When You’re Dating Them

Catfish come from every corner of the internet.

They are con artists that, if you’re not careful, can scam you anywhere at any time.

Most people think that these types of con artists only are on shady websites.

However, that is a misconception.

A catfish can also come from reputable sites, including dating sites.

Some of the most popular dating sites that catfish are on are:

  • Tinder
  • Plenty Of Fish
  • eHarmony

Read The Complete Search Guides:
How to find someone's profile on Tinder
How to locate a profile on eHarmony

What Is A Catfish?

We aren’t talking about the fish with whiskers (even though they can be downright dangerous as well).

We are referring to the online predator that takes advantage of people when they are most vulnerable by pretending to be someone that they are not.

They use fake images to pass off as their own and use their imagination in other ways as well to play pretend with their victims.

catfish fake pictures

Examples of this:

A profile picture on a dating website that is a picture of someone else

A life story that is not their own

Pictures from vacations that they did not go on

A fake job position

Even a fake address

Wait, this really happens?

Wait, this really happens?

Yes, and are you surprised?

Why Would Anyone Use A Dating Website To Catfish?

Good question.

The dangers of online dating include the con-artists that prey on vulnerable people that they find on dating websites. Of course, there are reasons why con-artists choose online daters to manipulate (they don't select their victims at random).

catfish vulnerable person

Catfish know that most people who are actively on a dating website are in a vulnerable state in their life.

They are lonely and want a companion. Some people even use dating sites just to make friends.

Scammers know that the more vulnerable a person is, the more desperate they will be to look the other way.

It’s much easier to lure victims in that are desperate to make new connections.

If someone really wants to get married, make new friends or is just lonely and is eager to just simply talk to anyone, they will be vulnerable to an immense degree.

To be fair, there are a small number of people that lie about themselves because they may not be confident about their appearance.

However, lying about your height or weight is completely different than actually claiming that you are someone that you are not.

This is deceptive behavior no matter what the reason is.

Dating Tip: Research Someone You Meet Online

Online Scamming Is Dark, Dirty And Downright Dangerous

Not only can scammers manipulate people into practically throwing money at them, but they can also emotionally hurt people and even break marriages apart with their lies and well-placed words of discouragement against family members and people close to the victim.

catfish break marriages

Online Catfish Are Very Manipulative

If you feel that you are too smart to be fooled by a catfish, you assumed wrong. Anyone Can Be Catfished

You think to yourself “No, I’m A Smart Person” or “I’m only looking for one type of man/woman” when you’re on a dating site.

You know that a catfish couldn’t take you away from your beliefs or trick you into believing you're someone that you are not.

catfish manipulate

Trust me; it’s easier than you think for these scammers to get to you.

For example, sister wife Meri Brown was catfished at a vulnerable time in her life. Meri Brown is on the hit show “Sister Wives” and lives a polygamist lifestyle.

She is a Christian and a devoted wife, but through online catfishing, she got manipulated into believing things that she never believed before because she was in a vulnerable state. Meri got catfished by a woman who pretended to be an attractive and kind man that fed her everything that she wanted to hear.

Being a victim of a catfish can have an emotional toll on the victim and their family…

Furthermore, men can be targeted by catfish too. Josh Dommett, comedian and actor, got tricked into filming an adult video by a catfish on Skype.

While this may not seem smart, if you have never been in that situation you yourself don’t know how you would handle it.

Now at this point, you may be asking “How do I avoid this?”. You may also feel fear if you are entering or currently a part of the online dating world.

Breathe a sigh of relief, because there are ways to tell if you are being catfished.

Here are some of the signs to spot a catfish

They may try to get serious with you within a short period of time. Unless you have seen them in person or on a live video chat, this is a BIG red flag.

catfish red flag

If they won’t let you see their face in real life, they are more than likely using a fake profile picture.

If they ask you for money, they are a scammer.

A person is more than likely a scammer if everything they say is perfect. They always agree with you and have no problems outside of wanting something from you like money, or they manipulate you into doing something that you don’t want to.

The focus is mainly on your life to distract you from the realization that you actually know very little about this person.

They aren’t on any social media websites. Or, if they are, there is very little information about them on their profile and they have only a few friends.

If all of their photos are perfect, unless they hire a professional photographer to take all of their pictures its more than likely that they are a catfish.

How To Investigate If You Think That You Are Being Catfished

Check to see if they have any sort of digital footprint. Start with the easy stuff. Perform a Google search on their name and see what pops up.

Then check them out on social media.

catfish fake pictures

If they aren’t on any social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. this is a red flag.

If they are on an online dating site, the chances are that they are social media savvy and therefore they should be part of the social media world.

If they are on social media, check who their friends or followers are and what they are posting. If the person in question has no or very little interaction with these friends or followers, steer clear. They should be tagged in some sort of photos.

Use Google’s Reverse Image Search to find out if the person in question got their profile picture somewhere online. You can look up the image in question by either pasting the URL of the image, uploading the image, or dragging the image from another opened browser window.

If all else fails and you feel trapped, try using a people search website and do a search by name report. Make sure to ask the person in question basic information like where they are from and how old they are before searching on a people search website. That way you can match the information that they gave you with the results that were pulled up with the report.

If the results don’t match their description, you are more than likely being lied to.

Taking Everything Into Account

Anyone can be catfished.

Predators are now roaming online looking for their next meal ticket. Catfish will paint the image of the perfect person and manipulate you for their own selfish reasons.

Dating websites are the perfect breeding grounds for catfishers because of the vulnerable state that many of its users are experiencing.

Make sure that if you think you are being catfished to watch for the signs above. Additionally, try some of the investigative tactics described in this article to see if you can catch your catfish in the act.