With so many social media profiles around, it might be hard sometimes to distinguish online avatars from reality. Some people use this to their gain and create fake social media profiles for various, often unsavory reasons.
Usually, they use these fake identities to get in touch with other, ‘real’, people on different platforms, and try to take advantage of them.
This article will explain what is a Tinder catfish, and what to do if you suspect you are chatting with one.
What Is a Catfish
The term “Catfish” comes from a 2010 documentary of the same name. The documentary is about a young man who fell in love with a young woman online. However, he didn’t know that he was actually speaking with a group of middle-aged people who used a shared fake identity.
The documentary uses a fishing metaphor. When fishermen ship living cod, they always include catfish to nip at the cod’s tails and keep them active. Like in this metaphor, there are always “catfish” on social media that nip at our tails and keep us on our toes.
Some people catfish for fun or out of boredom, while others employ this strategy to find out if their loved ones flirt with other people online. However, there are situations where catfishing can be harmful to the other party. A catfish might try to steal someone’s identity, credit card info, or extract private photographs or video clips.
Since it is primarily a dating app, Tinder is the perfect place for catfish to do their bidding. So, if you ever encounter a suspicious profile, make sure to check if you’re actually chatting with a catfish.
How to Spot a Tinder Catfish
When you match with a Tinder catfish, at first it may all seem normal. However, after some time, things might start smelling a bit fishy. The signs you should look out for:
- There is no trace of them on other platforms: It’s not uncommon that some people prefer not to use social media. But, if you can’t find anything about your Tinder match on Google or any other social platform, you should get worried.
- Refuses to send selfies: A catfish may gather a lot of selfies to occasionally send and confirm their existence. However, a refusal to take a certain type of selfie can tell you a lot. For example, you can ask for something specific, like – “Write a note with my name and take a selfie”. If they start making excuses, that usually answers your question.
- Refuses video chat: This is an even better catfish indicator. A person who you communicate with frequently will accept a video call, at least once. When you’re chatting long-distance, a video chat is much better than a phone call, or a text.
- Too good to be true: Usually the people behind catfish accounts are unable to represent reality in the best possible way. They make up ideal stories and try to adjust to your personality. If they sound too good to be true, they probably aren’t.
How to Avoid a Catfish
As soon as you start suspecting that you’re dealing with a catfish, you should protect your profile.
- Adjust app privacy settings: Try not to give out as much personal information. If there is anything in your pictures that reveals your personal information, such as credit card number, phone number, location, etc., remove it. Also, hide this info from your account.
- Be patient: People behind catfish accounts look to seduce you as quickly as possible. They will try to emotionally manipulate you into doing various things. For example, sexting, sending revealing selfies or other things that may compromise your privacy. So, go slow until you make sure they are the real deal.
- Do a thorough check-up: Check all the social media, photographs, comments, for any trace of fake account activity. Usually, these names don’t have any other social media profiles or have a small number of online friends without any deeper connection. You can also use Google’s “Search Google for image” feature to check if there are multiple profiles with the same picture.
- Request a live meeting: If your catfish is claiming to be from the same city or area, you can always set up a meeting at a public place. A user refusing to meet a person they supposedly like is a decent proof that something is not right.
Plenty of Fish on Tinder
The awareness of fake social media accounts has risen over the years. Nowadays, people are more careful about with whom they talk online, and what kind of information they give. However, you should always be careful, since persistent catfish can find a way to trick you.
So, keep your eyes peeled for potential catfish. Make sure to spot them on time, before they’re able to extract sensitive info or compromise your online safety in any other way. A little bit of effort can go a long way. As they say, better to be safe than sorry.