Some Reasons People Become Catfish

Posted on September 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

There can be all sorts of reasons why people become Catfish online [create fake profiles], but two I’ve read of this week are: one woman who did it to fool her employers and a man who did it to kill his girlfriend, by posing as an online stalker before he killed her.

One woman did it to humiliate her boyfriend and one man created 130 fake Facebook accounts to harass his sixteen year old girl friend. See link at end of article. **

While to many it can seem pretty harmless creating fake profiles and becoming a ‘Catfish’, and of course it can be just someone with low self esteem trying to live out a fantasy life online, to the victims it can cause pain and upset, even death in rare cases.

Other reasons I’ve heard of why people become Catfish is to check up on their partners or previous partners, to try to lure them to see if they take the bait or just to nose around on their Facebook page as someone else, if the person has blocked them. Sometimes they do it to appear anonymous on Facebook so that people they know won’t recognise them.

It’s a minefield as there are estimated to be around 83 million fake Facebook accounts. The best thing you can do as a social network user is to protect yourself by looking for the signs that someone is a fake. If you answer YES to any of these questions about your Facebook friend, then it should hold up a red flag:

1. Does your FB friend’s profile picture look too good to be true? Quite often they look like models or celebrities or just extremely attractive.

2. Do they have few photographs and none taken with friends and/or family?

3. Is there no tagging of photographs by themselves or friends?

4. Does the information they say about themselves sound too good to be true? For example, they are in the modelling business, a fashion designer, etc.

5. Do they have only a few friends listed on their page?

6. Are there few posts on their wall and lack of comments by friends?

7. Do you just ‘have a feeling’ that somehow they are too good to be true?

8. Are they always making excuses why you can’t see them on webcam or get to meet them?

9. Have you been asked for money by the suspect Catfish? If so, it could be a Nigerian Scammer behind that profile pic or some other con artist.

10. Has this person declared undying love or got keen far too soon? Another red flag.

Protect yourself by:

1. Dragging and dropping their ‘perfect image’ into Google image search, it might throw up photographs of that image elsewhere online and you might find they are posing as someone else to others.

2. If you are arranging to meet up, ensure you talk to them on webcam first so you can see they are the person in the photograph, or failing that, get them to take a photograph of themselves holding up that day’s newspaper clearly showing the date or a card with your name on it. Of course, if they are the person they say they are, it still doesn’t mean they’re not trying to con you in some way!

3. Google their full name. If they are supposed to be a successful model, designer or other, their name should show up somewhere online, if it doesn’t, see it as a probable red flag.

4. You can also contact a couple of their Facebook friends to ask what they know about the person, although you may need to be careful how you set about doing this. Chances are they might not know them either or it could be the suspected Catfish has other profiles they’ve added as friends.

5. Often if a person is a Catfish they will keep making excuses why they can’t send you a photograph, appear on webcam or keep breaking potential dates and they often have elaborate excuses, such as they were involved in a car accident, their parent was suddenly taken ill, so see anything like that as a potential red flag.

6. There are various websites where you can discover a person’s location from their email address or email header info. Here’s one:

http://www.ip2location.com/free/email-tracer

7. It’s possible to waste a lot of time with a Catfish online as they keep dangling that proverbial carrot, so give yourself a time limit and think if so and so hasn’t proved him or herself by such and such a date, they’re not worth bothering with. With today’s technology it’s not that difficult or expensive for someone to get a webcam or send a photograph to show they are the person on their profile pic. If they can’t do that, it’s the biggest red flag of all!

Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

** Article link: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20123755-504083/calif-man-creates-130-fake-facebook-profiles-to-harass-ex-girlfriend-pleads-no-contest/

Five Tips For The First Date

Posted on September 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

It’s difficult to make an authentic connection with a stranger unless you have a natural chemistry, but if it feels right for both of you, sparks can fly. Conversely, although it’s sometimes love at first sight, a gradually developing integration of sizzling banter and sparkling repartee might also win the day. For some, online dating websites are a tempting avenue packed with potential possibilities.

If you do try them, make sure that the dating service you employ gives you like-minded matches. Look for a site that matches all of your kooky personality quirks. If you decide on using something that only capitalizes on your all-day adoration for Hello Kitty, then you could paint yourself into a corner. Instead, share all of your interests in your online profile. Don’t have any misgivings. Be utterly misgivingless.

Oh, and do not misrepresent yourself online. If you state that you’re five years younger than you really are, or you purposefully use out-of-date photos from your “thinner era”, then you’re lying about yourself. No one wants to be on the receiving end of fraudulent trickery, or catfished by improper untruthiness. The same goes for your prospective date. If they pretend that they’ve got an awesome job or a crazy, celebrity-filed lifestyle and that’s really not the case, then you’re going to feel pretty cheated by their deceit. When creating your profile, be sincere, and trade in nothing but honesty. Tell it like it really is.

If you’ve tried a spot of online dating and are meeting up with a suitor for your first date, you might like to keep in mind these four instructional tips on first date etiquette.

Tip 1:

On a first date, choose a neat balance of seriousness and fun. Don’t be too humorless but, equally, don’t come across exclusively interested in lightweight, throwaway subjects. It’s important to keep conversation positive and enjoyable. An upbeat natter about your personal passions will ALWAYS be preferable to The Big Three Taboos, e.g. religion, politics and past relationships (the latter is the biggest no-no, because it signals to your date that you’ve not got over the previous partner).

Tip 2:

Don’t be afraid to start up a meaningful conversation. If you’ve met on a serious dating website, the chances are that the pair of you are looking for something real. Compelling questions about your career, the most important things in your life or plans for the future, are a necessary part of getting to know someone better. Let the chatting flow naturally, and don’t forget to listen. Busying yourself by continually thinking of the next conversation topic makes you seem either rude, easily distracted, or scarcely interested in what they have to say. If possible, keep the talking/listening ratio to a symmetrical 50/50 split if possible.

Tip 3:

General modern etiquette proclaims that whoever proposes the date will pay, but this should probably be talked about beforehand, so as to cease any potential faux pas blunderings. Men traditionally pay for dinner, but won’t mind if the girl wants to pay for the second meet-up: If you make him feel at ease on the first date, he’ll be open to letting you pay the next time.

Tip 4:

Act confident and self-assured, and display positive and encouraging body language. Make eye contact, smile, and lean in when talking. If there’s an attraction and you want to meet up again, don’t be shy and play hard to get. Playing pretend-uninterested is genuinely tiresome, so go ahead and ask for a second date. Something bold but controlled like “I had a really nice time with you tonight, and I’d like to see you again” is entirely appropriate. If you get rejected, take it like an adult and move on; there’s no use dwelling, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Tip 5:

DO NOT get drunk. Most people know that drinking too much can lead to awkward displays of idiocy. An anxious or worried mind can become a weak mush, and a few alcoholic beverages can appear to be a good idea at the time. However, getting wasted is an impractical quick-fix that might combat the nervous nerves, but you won’t emerge funnier or more charismatic; you’ll appear insecure and boorish. Don’t hide behind a flurry of hastily-ordered glasses of wine or a few beers that encourage such mortifyingly humiliating behavior. Avoiding that will avoid that.

Hopefully some of these words of wisdom might help some readers!

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How To Spot an Online Dating Fraudster (Catfish)

Posted on September 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

I must admit I hadn’t heard of the term Online Dating ‘Catfish’ until I started to research modern methods of dating to offer women advice on the new rules of 21st century dating and relationships.

If you’ve never heard of a Catfish either then let me put you in the picture… and this is VERY important if you’re searching for love through online dating sites, or considering joining one.

Now, I don’t want to scare the living daylights out of you but I think it’s my duty as an educator and a coach to make you aware of these rotten, dishonest fraudsters so you can be on the look out. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

The majority of these predators are based in Africa, mainly in Nigeria and Ghana. But when they create profiles on online dating sites and social media sites they look like white Western-looking guys just looking for love.

They often go hunting around the Net and steal other people’s photos from their social media sites and invent a great profile and story that pulls their victims in.

They are VERY CLEVER and know the power of the emotional energy people put into online dating – sadly sometimes the rational part of the users brain is somehow overruled by the need to be loved, and this is where the vulnerability takes place.

Here are a few tips to help you spot the Catfish right away

Their photo seems too good to be true – almost like a model. Let’s face it, if they were that good looking would they need to be looking for love online?

One very clever way to catch them out is to do a search on the website TinEye to check and see if the photo has been uploaded somewhere else online. If the photo shows up in other places then they are not genuine

No photos on their profile – on some of the online dating sites you can’t register until you upload a photo – but on some you can. No photo usually means they have something so hide, so be warned.

They have a perfect life as a pilot, brain surgeon or industrialist – again use your common sense – would they be looking for love online? Maybe, but just be on your guard until you know more about them.

False social media accounts with very few friends or followers. Catfish are being very clever and set up false social media accounts so you think you’re actually checking out a genuine person – but the whole thing is a SCAM, especially if they have very few friends on Facebook.

Be especially wary if they try to get you off the dating site to communicate with you by email or phone.

Most of these fraudsters will invent a hard luck story to pull at your heart strings for example, a relative needs urgent medical treatment, or they’ve had a car accident – then they ask you to give them money to help them out.

Asking you for money – you should NEVER part with any money and if you have any suspicions then contact the National Crime Agency or the equivalent authority in your part of the world.

Don’t be drawn into their hard luck stories – they are playing on your emotional state of mind. Also pay attention if they never use your name and also call you ‘Darling’ or ‘Baby’, this is a sure sign they are also contacting other women with the same story.

By always addressing you by a pet name they’re making sure they don’t get mixed up, calling you by the wrong name could alert you something was amiss.

They are especially good at targeting the very vulnerable by looking for clues in their online dating profiles. Are you coming across as too desperate in your profile? Unfortunately, some women tend to pour out their heart felt pleas when looking for their soul-mate online.

You just have to take a look at some of your friends Facebook updates to get what I mean, right?If you think you’re coming across as a bit vulnerable then ask a friend to take a look at your online dating profile and make sure you are not sending out the wrong messages.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this rather long article, I don’t want to worry you unnecessary about online dating and I do want you to have fun… but just look out for these ‘red flags’ of the Catfish and enjoy the adventure!

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