The term Catfishing originated in a 2010 documentary about online misrepresentation titled 'Catfish'. The term broadly means that 'there are people in life who keep us on our toes' and comes from the fact that fishermen used to put a catfish in the same tank as cod when transporting them long distances to keep them active.

Pay careful attention to their photos

Pay careful attention to their photos

Dating apps can be a great way to meet new people, but always be careful about what information you give to someone before you really know them, despite what they may seem.

If you notice any of these signs while chatting to someone you've matched with on a dating app and they don't have a verified profile, there's a chance you're being catfished.

Profile Verification

Taking a relationship to the next level in the world of online dating can be as easy as swapping Instagram accounts. But remember, someone could easily populate an Instagram account with fake images to continue their deception. Viewing someone's Instagram, Twitter or Facebook profile in addition to their dating profile is a good step towards verifying that they're not a catfish, but it isn't totally foolproof. The Badoo dating app has just launched a feature that allows users to verify their profiles by striking a unique pose and submitting a selfie to a team of moderators for assessment within minutes. With over 300m registered users, this could make it not only the largest dating network in the world, but now the safest.

Photos

If someone's photos look too good to be true, they just might be. People trying to present themselves as someone they're not will often use the identity of an attractive model to get your attention. If someone doesn't have many photos on their profile or no consistent pictures with people that they're friends with, you should be a tad suspicious.

Interests

If someone you connect with on a dating app has broad interests that could relate to just about anyone, that's an early sign they may not be quite what they seem. Always try to ask people something specific about a mutual friend, event or location if you can.

Conversation

If someone seems unusually direct, or often steers the conversation towards uncomfortable topics, such as the amount of money they need for something, it's a sign something isn't right. If conversations change pace rapidly, or someone repeatedly requests things from you, you should be wary. Keep conversations casual, light-hearted and fun to make the most of the early stages in an online relationship.

Location

Dating sites that present you with real-time geo-located profiles of people are less likely to be used for catfishing. Apps that reveal the approximate location of someone, such as showing that they are currently in a certain town, or 12km away from you, are useful for checking if a user is actually where they say they are.


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