ReD 013: How to Catch a Catfish

Mary Beth Rosebrough, Catfishing

When it comes to online dating, there are times when a guy just seems too good to be true. And sometimes, that’s exactly the case. In today’s episode of RediscovHer, Mary Beth talks about a topic every woman should be aware of when online dating – catfishing. 

What is catfishing?

  • Catfishing is when someone assumes another person’s identity on the internet by using fake pictures or names.
  • It could also be lying about your wealth, job, or other aspects of your life that would change the way others perceive you.

Mary Beth has experienced catfishing.

  • When Mary Beth first started online dating, she didn’t know the warning signs of a catfish.
  • The man was good-looking, but there were only two pictures. He claimed to be from a European country and had a couple of red flags that Mary Beth didn’t yet know to look for.

Signs you’re talking to a Catfish:

  • He is difficult to meet, always out of town, or about to go out of town. 
  • Catfish profiles tend to claim they work in only a few different professions: construction, engineering, medical, or military.
  • Catfish profiles are often from a European country or went to a European school.
  • Pay attention to pictures. They might be grainy, but because scammers often steal photos from actual men to appear more authentic, his photographs might look normal.
  • When you talk to a man for the first time, see if he has an accent. If that accent doesn’t match the country he lives in or is from, that’s a red flag.
  • Scammers will send pre-written paragraphs about themselves when you first start talking. If the conversation sounds oddly formulated, he might be a catfish.

Mary Beth’s advice to avoid a catfish:

  • Ask the man to take a picture of himself with a newspaper.
  • Watch for repetitive phrases.  For Mary Beth, it was “I want an honest, caring woman.”
  • If you’re a victim of catfishing, check out SCARS – The Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, for advice and support.
  • Visit thewomanbehindthesmile.com to read the story of Mary Beth’s friend, who lost over one million dollars to a scammer.
  • Don’t give money or your personal information to anybody, no matter what.
  • Try to meet a guy within the first week or two, and have a phone call before the meeting.
  • Never trust a guy whose name isn’t correct. If they say, “oh, my name is actually something else” you should be wary.

Mary Beth’s parting advice for this episode? Be careful and protect yourself – there are dangerous people in the world who prey on others through dating apps. You can get in touch with host Mary Beth Rosebrough on Instagram @rediscov.her.

MUSIC CREDIT: AudioJungle

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