You just found the cutest guy/babenest girl on Tinder and you’re chatting up a storm with them. They seem so perfect for you… almost too perfect.
With the internet nowadays, especially online dating apps like Tinder and Blendr, one has to be very careful when getting close with someone you only know through an app or website. It could turn out that your guy that resembles Ryan Gosling turns out to be a whale named Brutus. Literally. A whale.
The term catfish was born from the film with the same name that played on the aspect of someone being fooled online… and thus, the term was born. The concept of catfishing is so popular that it has warranted its own TV show that reunites online lovers and figures out whether they’re real or not.
As a true investigative journalist, I went seeking a catfish on a dating app. I found one. It took me all of five minutes to figure out that I was being catfished and after I caught them out, I asked them questions as a journalist as to why they did what they did. I use the word “they” because I don’t know if it was a female or male that I was talking to.
“Knowing what people are like, they would never go for me,” he/she said.
I asked them if they would ever go that far that they make someone fall for them, and they replied emphatically: “Trust me, it has and I would never let it get that far.”
If you’re having worries that your seemingly special someone is actually fake, there a few handy tips to get around the situation without alerting the other person that you’re onto them:
Tip #1: Request a very specific picture of them
Assuming that you are quite close with this person, sneak in a very specific picture request from them. For example, if the person has a tattoo, ask them for a close-up picture of said tattoo. If they send you one, don’t be sold yet that they’re real – they might just had luck with stealing someone else’s pictures. If that person has shown you his/her cute nephew, ask for a cute picture of them two together. If they turn down either one of these seemingly simple requests, chances are that your lover is a fake.
Tip #2: Ask them details about their life, and then repeat
So your lover has a picture of them and their sister together, ask what the sister’s name is. Sandra? Oh that’s a nice name. Write that down. A week later, and you’ve happened to forget their sister’s name. “Oh what was it again?” Jenny. “Oh that’s interesting, because I thought her name was Sandra.” Caught out. Most catfishes don’t keep track of the lies they spit out so chances are you’ll catch them out with a well thought-out plan like that. And don’t fall for the “Oh Jenny is her real name, Sandra is her middle name” bullcrap. It doesn’t work.
Tip #3: Request meet-ups with no real intention of meeting up
You have doubts that your person is real, so do the simple thing and “go that step further in your relationship” – request a face-to-face meeting. If your catfish has a soul, they’ll politely turn down the meeting with an ignorant excuse of some sort. Go along with it, and then request another meeting. The same thing’ll happen, and you’ll know the answer. You’re being catfished. Sorry.
As always, be wary of who you talk to online. You can’t trust a pretty face on an app just because it’s, well, pretty.
– by Noah La’ulu