Reading the title, you could be easily misled to believe that we secretly switched gears to writing about sports activities instead of matchmaking. Even though fishing is soothing for the nerves, being a victim of a catfishing scheme has the exact opposite effect. The term comes from a (possibly fictional) story where fishermen from Alaska discovered that the cog they caught got “bored” in its tank during the long sail back to the coast, and it became stale and tasteless. But one of the fishermen had the bright idea of putting a catfish next to the cog. Even though the two species never met each other in natural circumstances (the catfish lives in fresh water), the myth claimed the cog was constantly chased, thus it remained fresh and tasty. But what does any of this have to do with online dating, you may ask. Well, there are quite a few singles imagining themselves as “catfishes” , with the sole purpose of “spicing up” other people’s life by pretending to be someone else.
The Secret Life of Catfish Daters
So a typical catfish scheme goes like this: you find someone attractive of your chosen gender on a dating site. You share the same hobbies; love the same kind of films etc. It seems like a match made in heaven, you just found your perfect soulmate. The messages become more passionate, you are madly in love, until your first real life date, where you discover that the person was lying all along. The pictures were fake, all the fun stories about the family and work are made up, he/she even created a set of profiles on Facebook and Twitter just to further convince you. In broad terms, every scam belongs to catfishing that relies on impersonating a made up profile, including cons for money, but in this case we restrict it to people whose motivation isn’t primarily financial gains. But then why are they doing? Well, most catfishes are either loners or extroverts looking for attention. They revel in the process of bewildering someone else, and enjoy being pampered by a poor misguided soul. There are also cases where catfishing was a mean of revenge. Others are victims of catfish scams themselves, but they decided to vent their frustration on a stranger, effectively continuing the tradition.
Advanced Tactics to Avoid Catfishes
Spotting a catfish is by all means no easy task. They believe their acts are justified, because they make the victim’s life interesting. “Instead of suffering from loneliness, you were blissfully happy for a short time. You should really thank me” goes the reasoning. Sadly most people do indeed remain unsuspecting until the very end. Falling in love draws a purple cloud to you vision, and you shoo off the little annoyances. Even checking out the social media presence of a catfish couldn’t blow off their cover, since they spend hours creating decoy pages. What you need is a deep background check. Using a profiling algorithm or service will reveal that your partner has little to no past life before you met. Asking cross-questions to your date is also a good way to check the integrity of their identity. But by any means, don’t let yourself fooled.
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