Catfishing: 6 Signs Your Online Flame Is Conning You

Dating has changed a lot in the past few decades, for better and for worse. It’s great that meeting someone new is so easy now, but the rise of online dating has also opened the door for a peculiar new scam called ‘catfishing.’

1. No Friends Or Followers

f you meet someone on a dating website or on social media, scroll to their Facebook profile right away. Most scam artists have fake profiles that are doctored to look real. It can be hard to spot a fake, unless you know what you’re looking for. Check their friends list first. If they have fewer than 10 friends, that’s a major red flag that might indicate it’s just facade.

2. Avoids Meetings And Skype Sessions

If you’ve been chatting with an online flame for a while, it’s natural that you would eventually want to get together in person for drinks or coffee. At the very least, you might want to plan an online video chat to see each other in real time!

3. Their Picture Is Too Good To Be True

You could hardly believe your luck when you logged onto your dating app and saw this super-hottie pursuing you, but now you’re getting suspicious. After all, there is definitely such a thing as “too good to be true.”

4. They Claim You’re Neighbors

You might get a pop-up chat or email saying, “so-and-so lives 5 miles away,” or a more specific, targeted message saying something like “I think we went to high school together in [town!] What’s up?” It’s not unusual to respond, thinking you’re catching up with an old classmate or neighbor.

5. They Get Serious Way Too Fast

Maybe you meet someone on an online dating site and think that the two of you have hit it off, except, within a few days or weeks, your casual flirtation has gotten way too serious, way too quickly. You haven’t even gone out to dinner yet, but your new online friend is sending you undying declarations of love, passionate love letters or — yikes — proposals of marriage.

6. They Always Seem To Need Help

If you establish a back-and-forth with someone online, be very cautious of requests for money. It’s one thing to lend cash to a trusted friend, but it’s entirely another to send it to someone you have just met, especially if they just keep asking and trying to convince you.

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