Have you ever stopped to ask if your online friend is who they say they are? There is little to no restraint on social media communication. It means that anybody can reach out to you at any time. Some people have capitalized on such loopholes to exploit social media users.
Catfishing often leads to blackmail, stalking, and other toxic tendencies that might affect a victim’s mental health and overall well-being. One can be catfished for various reasons, from romance to financial scams or attention. Anyone can be a victim of catfishing, from kids to adults. Therefore, you must take stringent measures to ensure you do not fall victim to malicious social media acts. So let’s check out some student tips for keeping safe when browsing social media.
Signs That You Are Catfished
Sometimes it takes effort to pick out whether who you are talking to online has genuine intentions. However, some telltale signs might alert you to who they are. Catfishes are also available on different websites; thus, you need to conduct a background check on the sites you are using to confirm their authenticity. So if you have been wondering how to spot a catfish, here are some signs to look out for.
They Avoid Video Calls or Meetings
If you notice that your online friend has never raised a meet-up discussion or they keep evading the topic, you should be more alert or cut communication with them. They may have uploaded fake pictures and do not want to blow their cover. Creating fake profiles is a common tactic that scammers use to mislead their victims. So your judgment of an online stranger should not solely depend on their profile.
They Have Vague Background Stories
Sometimes we may be too excited about making new friends on social media that we brush some issues under the rug. When talking to someone online, you should pay more attention to detail. Take some time to analyze their stories and find out if there are gaps anywhere. It may be hard to make a reasonable judgment when you are clouded with excitement. So go slow.
They Are Always Online, Even During Weird Hours
Most people spend too much time on social media, making it hard to distinguish who is a scammer from who is not. However, one of the best ways to identify a scammer is if they are always available to talk, even deep at night. If they are always available, they may be trying to get to your good side so that you open up more and they can get information from you.
They Borrow Money
If someone you have met online is asking you for money from the blues, that should be cause for alarm. Regardless of the story, only send money if you have confirmed their story is true. So don’t be quick to send the money you had planned to pay for an admission essay writing service. Financial scammers are currently on the rise, so you need to be on the lookout not to be scammed off your hard-earned money.
How to Avoid Being Catfished Online?
We are always unaware of who has ill intentions on social media, and thus, it is essential to treat every stranger in your inbox or comment section with caution. So here’re some tips to stay safe on the social media streets.
Be More Suspicious
As social media platforms gain popularity, they also open more room for catfishes and financial and romance scammers to exploit unsuspecting users. Therefore, you must always be alert to avoid getting duped into a fake relationship or friendship. Some catfishes turn into stalking, which can be life-threatening and emotionally draining. So, before proceeding with any online conversation, ensure you do your due diligence, and if you have doubts, it is best to ignore them.
Don’t Be Too Quick
Sometimes we may feel like we have met the perfect match for a friendship or intimate relationship, especially on dating sites. With such feelings in place, we may not see the need to slow down. Background checks are important before getting into anything serious with a stranger online. Scammers prefer taking things quickly to move to the next victim. And since they engage in conversations with several people, slowing down may not be good for them since they can make mistakes such as forgetting vital information about you. By moving too fast, you will be falling into their trap.
Do Not Reveal Any Confidential Information or Pictures
Scammers look for confidential information that they can use against you. Therefore, you need to be careful about the information you reveal. Some of these personal information can include:
- Cryptocurrency details
- Bank details
- Bank card numbers
- Home address
- Social media passwords
The above are some of the details that might make you vulnerable to the perpetrator. Occasionally, they might ask you to make transactions on their behalf to gain your confidence in them. Therefore, you need to determine how much information is too much. Additionally, you can seek advice from a friend or family on what information to share with your online friend. They can help determine if the person is a scammer.
The emotional turmoil of being catfished has ruined many social media users’ lives. As much as we enjoy the entertainment social media has brought, we also need to be wary of the danger looming over our heads. Catfishes find loopholes they can penetrate and attack their victims. As part of their attack, they can involve blackmail or even stalking. Therefore, before deepening a conversation with strangers online, you must treat them with doubt.
Getting too comfortable with strangers online can make you a catfish victim without even realizing it. Scammers and online stalkers are dangerous, and thus, you need to limit the information you share with anybody online since it may be hard to identify them openly. Use the signs above to know if you are talking to a scammer.