Sex and Relationships

The Risks of Using Cat Fishing Dating Services

All That Glitters is Not Gold

By: Roseanne Cassar

The nightmare trend of cat fishing is stronger than ever. (Credit:

For people who do everything on the computer, from browsing websites to paying bills online, using social media and websites to look for love is a unique alternative to a real-life dating search. Well, now there is a new trend on the Internet that is out there circulating but it is not as new on the Internet world as you might think. This trend is called catfishing.

Catfishing on the Internet should not be taken too lightly. Catfishing can be found on online dating websites and it can happen in person too if you’re not careful in noticing the signs.  These online dating websites are a, “playground for identity thieves, hackers and other nasty people.”

What is a catfish?  “A catfish – or someone online who’s pretending to be someone they are not.” This is something to think about long and hard before anyone makes the decision of trusting these dating websites.

Mellissa Ferrari, who wrote the article called, “What Is Catfishing And How Can We Protect Ourselves” states, “Some catfish do so because they don’t wish to reveal something they see as potentially negative about themselves, and some do it just for the fun of it.” Ferrari mentions in her article, that catfishes are looking to, “coerce someone into doing something they wouldn’t normally do – like give money or send intimate photos – or are trying to gather enough information to commit fraud identity.”

In Ferrari’s article, she gives nine really good tips to follow if you’re ever in a situation of a catfish.  Here are some tips that can help you avoid being catfished. One is to, “never use the Internet for online dating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

“Block anyone suspicious. Do a background check – google a potential date if you have enough details. You can also use searches created for potential dates as well, thanks to the increase of online dating apps.”

“Look for red flags, such as spelling mistakes and bad grammar on a profile when someone has stated they’re college or university educated. One of the biggest indicators of catfishing is when a person makes excuses to not meet up, won’t do a video call, and even avoids all conversation about when to meet up. So, if they’re putting off a face-to-face date it could mean they have something to hide.”

“If a profile photo looks like a Hollywood movie star or model and appears too good to be true, use Google images to check the profile photo. If it comes up on another site that makes you feel suspicious, or it’s out rightly a magazine cover model, you are being potentially catfished. You can also use Catfish reverse image search apps.”

Ferrari gives us warning signs to look for while searching for love on these dating websites. She fills us in on all potential harm that a catfish could do to us without knowing.

Ferrari also mentions in her article that there is something else that we need to watch out for when exploring the dating websites online or the dating apps.  Have you ever heard of kitten fishing? Ms. Ferrari states that this is, “a much lighter version of catfishing, it’s when someone embellishes or improves their profile to make themselves more appealing online – such as using a photo from ten years ago, adjusting their age, or lying about their education or profession.”

In other words, while looking for love just be careful and mindful of who you pick and choose to become friendly with.  Pay close attention to all the warning signs that were mentioned previously in the article. If you do, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy wasted on a person who might be a potential predator.

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