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Catfishing: Could

You Be Fooled?

by Dani Stone

In our digital world, it’s not uncommon for people to have virtual relationships. Between social media sites and online dating platforms, it’s fairly easy to strike up a conversation with someone new. While there are many benefits to connecting with people online, it has its drawbacks as well. In the last few years, a growing number of people have fallen victim to catfishing, a deceptive, and often costly online con.

I met Ken when he DM me on Facebook and posted this gorgeous pic of himself in swimming trunks. For the three months we “saw” each other we never spoke on the phone … all we did was text. He was always too busy to meet. When I pressed him to talk to me, he “confessed” that he had been born without vocal cords. I was shocked, but I became suspicious. When I insisted that we meet up, he stopped all contact. A month later he sent a text admitting he was catfishing.

Catfishing is often employed for romance scams on dating websites.  Studies show there were more than 50% more catfishing victims last year than there were three years ago.  The question is if we know they’re out there, why are they still so alluring? Catfishers use stolen photos of attractive people and impersonate them. They’re also highly skilled at manipulating others into trusting them. Some move fast while others take years developing relationships with the people they swindle. But across the board, catfishers share one thing in common: they always have an excuse why they can’t meet you in person.

Statistics For Catfishing

  • 64% of catfishes are women.
  • 24% pretend to be the opposite gender when creating a fake identity.
  • 73% use photos of someone else, rather than real pictures of themselves.
  • 54% of people who engage in online dating feel that the information in potential mate’s profiles is false.
  • 28% of people have been harassed or made to feel uncomfortable by catfishes.
  • 53% of Americans admit to falsifying their online profiles.
  • At least 10% of all online dating profiles are scammers.
  • 51% of people who engage in online dating are already in a relationship.
  • Women lie more about age than men.
  • Men lie about finances more often than women.
  • 83 million Facebook accounts are assumed fake.
  1. If I can’t meet the man in person, I won’t deal with him. Block and delete. My friend asks for a video chat.they chicken out then.

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