One of the many perils of being on a dating app is to be exposed to an unknown set of people, who could be potential catfish trying to feed off of your emotions. While the digital world is full of fake bios and imposters, it is very important to verify the person before you share your personal information or arrange a meeting. As a cardinal rule, you must never ever share your financial details, location, or any other private information with someone you’ve just met online. As you sift through the dating pool online, look out for these basic tell-all signs that could save you from a lot of trouble and being catfished by criminal minds.
1. Digital footprints: In this day and age, if you match with someone who is on a dating app but claims to be off social media, what would be your normal response to that? Unbelievable. That’s your first clue to be suspicious about them, and no matter what lame excuse they give to be off the grid it is humanly not possible to have no digital footprints in 2020. Hence, could be a possible catfish.
2. Research them thoroughly: If you have been talking to someone online, make sure to verify the factual pointers with common friends or via Google. It’s not stalking when you research about a person of interest online, simple things like their school, college information, or common friends and workplace information can be verified online if you dig a little bit.
3. Pictures don’t match: While an imposter might try to lure you with tricked social media accounts and lead you to believe that they are not active online, you can easily spot if someone is a catfish or not by looking at their followers/friends and figure out the rest. Anyone with zero posts, friends, or social contacts is definitely hiding something and could be a possible catfish.
4. Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask direct questions and if they are not keen on replying with honest answers, it is a sign that the person you are speaking with does not have the best intentions for you. You don’t have to pry on private information, but basic information like full name, city, education, and age, etc. needs to be shared mutually. Before you exchange numbers, emails, or any contact information, make sure you have checked on these details carefully.
5. Off-camera at all times: One of the biggest scams online is to trick people into sending their pictures or forcing them to be on a video call. A lot of frauds ask to send money in exchange for private pictures via pay wallets or blackmail you by recording you on a video call, so never agree to do anything you might regret later on camera for anyone. Always prefer to meet them in a public place if you are really tempted to take it forward with someone you have met online.
Also read “How to date when you are a feminist”