If you’ve been in the online dating game for a while, you know that there are plenty of great women out there but there are also plenty out there who just want to play with you or who want to use you for some reason. These folks are called catfish (do you watch the show on MTV?). Sometimes it seems like dating sites have more catfish than real women looking for real relationships.
Want to start weeding out the catfish? Or maybe you’ve been chatting with a woman for a while and something isn’t quite right and you’re getting suspicious.
Let’s get right to it, no b.s. Here are three quick tips you can use right now to help you figure out if she’s for real.
Quick Tip 1: Social Media
Check that social media! Catfish often uses multiple outlets to catch their bait. You may have met her on a dating site but chances are that she’s reeling in women in other places too.
Put her name into Facebook, for example. If you think you’ve found her, check how many friends she has, how many photos posted. Does her account look used or is it pretty bare?
Search her profile for other social media handles, like a Twitter account, and do the same. If no other social media handles are on the Facebook page, try what she uses on the dating site where you met her. People tend to use versions of the same name over and over again.
Doing this will help you figure out if has an honest active social media life or if she has maybe quickly created one to help fool people like you!
Quick Tip 2: Use the Tools at Hand
Google to the rescue for all things! (Ok, just for most things). This might seem like an obvious step but people often don’t use Google to the best of its searching abilities.
Google her handle on the dating site or wherever you met her. Again, people often use the same handles across platforms, with often little to no changes in the name. If you have her actual name (or what you think is her name), you can google that too – be sure to enclose the name in quotes so that it is an exact search.
Zabasearch is an online search engine that allows you to search for someone by name and state in which they live. You can even narrow the results by age.
Google those photos! This is especially important if the photos you’ve received are all model-type photos. You know, she’s posed and she’s the only one in all of the photos. Lack of “life in action” photos is a real red flag.
Many catfish are fairly lazy. They don’t work too hard. They grab some photos from the web and stick them on their profiles and they don’t take the time to build an actual social media presence. They’re counting on you to likewise not work too hard to find them.
Quick Tip 3: Put some money into it
Ok, so not everyone wants to go this route but if you’re determined to check her out, there are some things you can pay for that will help you get closer to the truth. No, I’m not talking about hiring a private detective.
Maybe you’ve gotten to the point where you’re talking to her on the phone, so you have a number (if she blocks her number – HUGE red flag). Googling her number will likely only bring you to sites where you have to pay to get the additional information on the number (who owns it, location, etc). But that’s what we’re talking about here, right? So you might want to pay for the report.
Lots of catfish use internet numbers – these are numbers that are generated online and where you can choose a number with an area code in any city that you choose. So that catfish from San Diego who is really in Anchorage can just choose a number with a San Diego area code. These reports will often let you know if this is an internet number. If it is, be wary.
So there you go!
3 quick tips to help you spot a catfish!
I have seen all of these help people get to the bottom of suspicious people they meet online.
Next week, we’ll talk about how you can protect yourself from catfish!
For now, go forth and catch those catfish!