Are you being CATFISHED on dating sites? If you have a profile on dating sites then you’re probably way too familiar with scams, people using fake pictures, creating fake profiles, and chatting or building a rapport and pretending to be someone they’re not, for whatever reason. Who knows, who cares. Just don’t let them do it at your expense. Let’s talk about signs to know you’re being catfished, steps to take, and how to not waste time falling prey to their games.
CATFISHED: A fake persona, false personality, someone pretending to be someone else on dating sites.
As a former escort, catfishing was not uncommon. We called them timewasters. Someone sends an email, a date request, nothing stands out as being fake or fishing …. So we take the time to respond, pencil in a date, maybe even do some initial ‘check the guy out to make sure he’s not a psycho’
Then there’s a string of responses…
Which take more time….
But its going no where or it dead ends. And we throw them in the Catfished pile
If you’re on dating sites, you have your own war stories. This is who you think you’re writing, because that’s who their profile says, they sound nice
But in the back of your mind, you’re thinking this sounds too good to be true, are they who they say they are?
AM I BEING SCAMMED?
√ Are you being catfished on dating sites?
√ Some tried and true ways to know you’re being catfished on dating sites
√ Some steps you can take
These are signs that gave me red flags
🔺 Red Flag #1
Their emails come back right away every time and if they’re long and drawn out, they’re increasingly long and drawn out, they over explain things. No one has time for that except for someone sitting at their computer doing nothing. Even if they were a real person. Do you want THAT.. a big no.
🔺 Red Flag #2
They ask to move the chat off the site platform right away.
🔺 Red Flag #3
When you do move off the site platform to communicate, their email is a ‘real name’. This is a red flag to me its a fake name. Why? They’re going an extra step to hide it. Think about it, if you use your ‘real name’ then you’re asking for trouble. If someone is using their real name they’re either really out of practice and naive, or they have nothing to lose. If they have nothing to lose then it is likely they aren’t using their real name.
🔺 Red Flag #4
They talk about subjects other than mundane real life. Lets face it – convos on dating sites is sort of annoying, stilted and awkward, it’s like chatting in line at the grocery store. Real people talk through email chats just like they’d talk at the grocery store, they make small talk. Things like the weather, weekend plans, some filler grandiose ‘dream’ aka what advice blogs say they’re supposed to talk about, those are signs they’re more real than fake.
Steps You Can Take
✅ Step #5
Initiate conversation, that prompts a more ‘real response’.
1- Find something going on next weekend, like a beer garden, wine tasting, a festival.
2- Write to them: “I’m thinking of going, what are the chances I’ll run into you there?”
If they respond with a confirmation or a decline then they seem more real to me. If they respond with some big fantasy, it’s a red flag to me.
✅ Step #6
In fact any kind of fantasy is one huge red flag.
Really, before you even meet someone, fantasies is something that happens in the movies. I mean, sure, a big fantasy seems exciting but in most likelihood it’s not real life. Unless you’re on a platform that specifically is all about fantasies, like Fetlife.com, adultfriendfinder.com, or doublelist.com. Even then, catfishing is MUCH more likely to happen.
A bit more sleuthing
If you want to put a little more effort into it, or you have a bit more information
👉 Step #7
Reverse image search on their profile images. Tineye or Google Image Search. See where else their pictures show up. If they’re on a FaceBook account, LinkedIn, any kind of social media, they’re more likely to be real. If they pop up many times on various sites, like advertising, promotion, marketing, it’s more likely they stole those pics.
👉 Step #8
Got their number? Google it.
👉 Step #9
Got their email?
Do an IP address search on a site like WhatIsMyIPAddress or NordNPV. It used to be as easy as opening an email in source view and pulling it from the top, but changing privacy laws make it trickier. This article 11 Ways People Can Spy On Your IP Address might help.
If it says they’re somewhere they’re not (image of California vs image of Midwest) … they could be using a vpn, but it would give me pause.
For a podcast interview further explaining this, check out an interview on The Easy Prey.
Don’t waste anymore time
⭐️ Step #10
Ask to FaceTime.
⭐️ Step #11
Meet for a coffee not a drink or dinner, this gives you all the information you need to know if you want a second date.
Burnout happens fast on dating sites. You have to give someone a chance which means engaging with them, but no one wants to be taken for a ride. After it happens once or twice, it’s natural to hesitate. By taking a few extra steps like those mentioned in this article, you’ll be less likely to be catfished and well on your way to making the dating sites work for you.