Catfish is a term that has recently gained some notoriety because of the publicity of the Manti Te’o scandal. The term refers to being deceived by having an online relationship with someone with a fake online persona. Such a thing can happen on the Internet with all its shroud of anonymity. It allows people to hide their true selves and create a more attractive persona through their online profiles and social network accounts. The result is many people being duped by people who they think are genuine. But there are ways to avoid getting catfished. Here are some of them:
Do not trust anyone online.
Deception is an easy thing to do online. It is wise for people not to be so trusting of strangers or people that they meet for the first time online. Sure, they can interact and have an online chat. However, people should be aware that lies can easily be said online. People can come up with interesting, attractive but made up online personas. Do not get easily tricked by them.
Do some profile research.
While it is easy for people to create an online persona, it can also be just as easy to determine if they are a fraud. You can do your own profile research online to see if someone you just meet is telling the truth or not. Try to check multiple social networks if that person has similar profiles. Try to check out his or her online friends. It also may help checking out the posted photos they have and see if they came from a stock image site or if it is genuine. The main point here is that you need to try and check out what is true and what is false about someone you meet online by doing a bit more research before you give your trust on someone.
Go on call or video chat.
One thing that will help you determine if someone you met online is genuine or false is by trying to personally make contact with them other than through their online profile. Since personal, a one on one meeting may not yet be advisable, you can instead request for a phone call or a video chat with him or her. It will help you establish a more personal connection by hearing his or her voice and even seeing his or her face on video chat. If they have reasons avoiding, then it may show that they are hiding something that they do not want you to know. That is enough reason to doubt them.