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So, I  am watching Catfish tonight (like I do most Tuesdays, after listening to Nergasm Noire Podcast) and I have questions and I have concerns.  In the day and age of endless information at your fingertips, explain to me how are people still getting Catfished? I can understand in the early days of the internet when AOL and MSN messenger ruled the land and webcams were few and far between, that you could be easily fooled by someone misrepresenting themselves.  But I watch A LOT of Discovery ID Chanel and at this point I would do a background check on my Mama just to make sure she is on the up and up. My question for people living in the post MySpace world now becomes: Has no one ever introduced you to Google? The blessing and the curse of the information age is that true privacy an illusion but also it makes vetting people much easier.

Why are people not double checking people who they are corresponding with online?

Why are people sending money to people who they have met online and have minimal information on?

Why are people let it slide when the person they are chatting with never want to meet face to face or on camera?

I could see if the people on the show are dealing with master manipulators and professional scammer but the shows host usually uncovers the deceit with a Google image search and a couple of call.  Here is some advice to tell if you are being Catfished:

  1. If they are still using a MySpace page, just walk away – you are being Catfished
  2. If they NEVER want to chat with you on camera – you are being Catfished
  3. If all their photos look like they were taken at the same time and they never have new one – you are being Catfished
  4. If they always have a last-minute emergency or excuse when they are supposed to me you in person – you are being Catfished
  5. If they want to know all about you and your life but hold even the most basic information about them close to the vest – you are being Catfished
  6. If you can never find any information about them outside of the prepaid cell phone number they gave you and their Facebook page – you are being Catfished
  7. IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE-You are being Catfished

I know interpersonal relationship on any level are scary and getting to know someone takes a leap of faith, but it shouldn’t mean that you don’t proceed with cautions and take precautions.  I am not completely dismissing online relationships, I’ve tried online dating, I’ve had a long term relationship with someone I met on, and I’ve even met some really great people online that translated into even better offline friends.  what I have a problem with is when people see red flag that would completely shut down a burgeoning relationship in the real world and ignore them in cyberspace.  We need to learn to adjust and adapt to the new realities of online exchanges and learn to approach things differently in this brave new world.  Be safe out there and when it doubt web search it out!