While the term “catfish” originally referred only to a type of real aquatic life, in the digital age, it has taken on a second meaning–namely, a catfish is someone who presents a false online persona in order to take advantage of others. Our team at Fragale Investigations – Charlotte Private Investigator, a personal investigation firm based in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, wants to help you avoid falling for such schemes, and our experience in digital investigations has helped us develop strategies for how to identify these bad actors. In this article, we’ll share three ways to spot a catfish so that you can avoid these types of tricks.
- Frequent, Long Absences- One sign that you are dealing with a catfish is frequent stretches of radio silence. While no one is available to chat 100% of the time, frequent vanishing acts are a cause for concern. If the person actually valued your relationship, they would put in an effort to let you know when they wouldn’t be available.
- No Video Calls- With today’s technology, it’s incredibly easy to communicate “face-to-face” online–virtually all phones, tablets, and computers sold today come equipped with a camera and video call capabilities. Because of this, you should be suspicious of anyone who refuses to use these capabilities, as there’s probably a reason they don’t want to show their face.
- Escalated Intimacy- A third way to spot a catfish, or a manipulator in general, is to pay attention to how intimate they attempt to make your connection, and how fast. A healthy relationship between equals will develop gradually as you learn more about each other and build trust. In contrast, a manipulator will often try to heighten the sense of intimacy very quickly in order to take advantage of that trust. Examples of this kind of behavior include constant messaging or sharing of highly personal secrets early on in your acquaintanceship.