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5 Five Ways To Avoid Being Catfished While Online "Dating" - Staked in the Heart
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Not A Safe Space

5 Five Ways To Avoid Being Catfished While Online “Dating”

Catfish are a serious problem in online dating. Catfish are people who pretend to be someone they are not online. They create false IDs in social media and dating sites in order to pursue deceptive online romances. They can string people on for years and apparently, have no remorse for their actions. They steal other people’s photos, even fake their gender. They go to great lengths to hide their real identity. Catfish can and do lie about everything.

Getting catfished is when someone is tricked by a catfish. This is such a common problem nowadays that filmmaker Nev Schulman made a documentary called Catfish about his own experiences getting duped by a girl he met on Facebook. In the film, he goes on a journey to meet his gorgeous online love in real life. Of course, Nev discovers she wasn’t what she presented herself to be.  If you haven’t seen the film I recommend it. It’s a great cautionary tale with a shocking ending.

There is also Nev’s series Catfish: TV Show on MTV. Each week he features a different person and the online love interest they haven’t met in person. Nev tracks down the mystery online love and arranges a meeting between them. There is always an interesting twist. Sometimes the mystery love turns out to be the opposite gender. Rarely does it turn out they are who they said they were.


This is who Nev thought he was sexting

This is who Nev was really sexting








Another riveting documentary about being catfished is TalHotBlonde: Everybody Lies Online. This is about an online love triangle that ends horribly in murder.

Here’s how to avoid getting catfished:

1)   First, stop automatically trusting everyone and what they tell you. I talk about the dangers of being trusting here. It isn’t a virtue to trust, it’s just plain stupid.

2)   Get real about Twitter, blogging, chat room, gaming and Facebook “friends.”  If you haven’t met someone outside the Internet, you haven’t actually met. Stop thinking of online people as “friends” when, in reality, they are barely acquaintances.

A friend is someone who will get up in the middle of the night to bail your ass out of jail.

Stop thinking you’re “dating” someone that you’ve only interacted with online. In order to be actually “dating” someone, you must first go on an actual DATE, in person like to a movie.

3)    Be suspicious of everything your new online “friend” tells you.

  • Google their name.
  • Check up on what they claim. If they say their twin sisters died in a car crash, Google their names and look for their obituary.
  • Have your online friend send you a photo of themselves holding a card with your name and the date on it. (Of course, they could photoshop this, make them take a selfie and send it right then and there.)
  • Run a Google Image Search to see where else “their” photos turn up.

Then don’t be in denial when you find out information that doesn’t jive with what they’ve told you. Realize you’ve been lied to, and cut the phony person off immediately.

4)    Pay attention to Red Flags. A huge red flag is when your online friend doesn’t ever want to meet in person. There’s a reason why they always have an excuse:

a)  They are not who they say they are
b)  They are married/living with someone
c)  Or they don’t think you would like them if you two met in real life. In which case, you should trust their judgment. They know themselves far better than you do

5)   Catfish tend to tell outrageous lies maybe because they are online. They figure, why not lie big? Their lies are a dead give-a-way. For instance, a catfish will claim to be a model, work for a major tv show, have cancer, or a family member has recently died of cancer, be in car crashes or be constantly traveling all over the world. Red flag waving here. No one has all these things happening to them.

Using this advice you can avoid the dreaded bottom-feeding catfish.

UPDATE 1/17/2013:  Notre Dame football player  Manti Te’o  recently admitted to being catfished by a “girlfriend” he “dated” for three years who claimed to be dying—and later died of leukemia. Turns out she never existed.

Let’s define what “dating” is:

Dating is when you actually go somewhere with somebody in person. You can’t date through instant messages, Facebook comments, web chats, on the phone or texts.

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Categorised in: Catfish, General Relationship Advice

22 Responses »

  1. Online dating in quite the experience, if you havent tried it yet.

    For added fun make a guy profile along with a girl, compare the notes and be amazed.

  2. 6th way: Don’t do online dating. Go out in real life and meet a girl/guy. Talking to someone behind a computer is good enough for friendships, not relationships.

  3. If they won’t Skype, or will but won’t allow audio, that is another big red flag. It’s hard to fake who you are on Skype. Although I am not dismissing the possibility.

    I agree that with any online interactions you have to be skeptical, but I disagree that you can’t form a legitimate relationship with someone online without meeting them in person. I actually talked to a guy I met online for four months, finally flew out to meet him, and we both felt we were already in a relationship. We did actually date a few months, but I got tired of the distance and broke it off. It can work out, but you have to be extremely careful about it.

    • I do agree that you can form relationships with people you meet online, but only if they are being totally honest, and you still must meet in real life to take it to the next level.

      It’s too bad that distance ruined that relationship for you. 🙁

      • Agreed. Meeting in person (especially for a romantic interest) changes the game. I believe in the whole pheromone thing, body movements, smells… they all have to mesh together for you to know for sure if it is something lasting.

        Thanks, but it wasn’t just the distance. After several visits, I lost attraction (see above).

  4. Ugh… learn something everyday. I knew there were people like that online but I didn’t know it was so prevalent. Or that it had a name. 🙁

  5. It’s the anti Catfishing site!:)

  6. Another way to not get Catfished is to review and search for people on Review My Online Date. That way you can know before you go and not get Catfished.

  7. I always knew a good chunk of online dating profiles were crap ala. Nigerian scammers looking to dupe love starved beta’s out of their money so they can buy their love a plane ticket to the west or some shit like that.

    Didn’t know how far it went. The fish are going belly up in droves.

    • Yea the Nigerians are the worst or best at scamming. But honestly though, I don’t know how ppl fall for this shit. I doubt it can happen to me. Who the hell can’t spot fake photos from real ones?
      Sent from my BlackBerry® device

  8. That movie gave me nightmares.

    Those retarded kids still haunt my dreams.

  9. Speaking of MTV’s Catfish, I just happened to turn to MTV and caught it lol. Very anticipated.

  10. Is this the program I seen advertising on MTV for the past weeks? I wonder when it’ll air. Seems like my type of show, but I never knew what they meant by catfish. The way the commercials made it seem was as if the person will turn out to be a serial killer or something.

  11. If I were dating I wouldn’t go the online route because…it’s too risky. That being said I will say my blog is very truthful. I have a recent, untouched photo posted and I post very real information about my life.

    But then again I write about how my moods fluctuate from anxious- depressed-sucidial with splashes of boredom. Who would make that up?


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