Catfishing is creating a fake identity to interact with someone for a particular reason, more often than not to “attract” them into some sort of......
Today, we will discuss a crucial issue that is rampant in our society and has existed since the internet. It’s called Catfishing (pretending to be someone else online).
Catfishing is creating a fake identity to interact with someone for a particular reason, more often than not to “attract” them into some sort of relationship, including mild flirting that can last for a years-long relationship. How to identify a catfish? They will never meet you in person.
In early 2021, a report showed $1.3 billion was lost to dating frauds from 2016 to 2021, all due to catfishing—more than any FTC fraud category.
It’s relatively easy to hide behind a smartphone and pretend to be someone else, and this is why many of these scammers venture into this particular category. But that’s not to say they don’t put a lot of planning and manipulations to ensure you become a target.
From finding the perfect photos for profiles and feeds to opening emails for fake social media accounts(Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other datings sites) and purchasing premium VPN to ensure their location matches with their profiles, and not even forgetting to buy local phone numbers to open a WhatsApp account(if their actual location differs from one of the people they are pretending to be). The extent they go to convince their victims is mind-boggling, and I feel it’s time we start spreading more awareness about this to reduce the number of people who fall prey. So if you are reading this, don’t forget to share it with your friends; you just might be saving someone from falling into the hands of scammers.
I understand a lot will wonder how someone would believe a catfish and engage in an internet-only relationship. But, most often than not, the victims fall prey due to loneliness, covetousness, desire, friendship, and more. Also, these guys are smart enough to specifically target people with any of those vulnerabilities(Known through either the information you put out on your social media or through someone close).
It doesn’t mean the victim is at fault; it only indicates that most cyberattacks are due to human vulnerabilities and lack of accurate information, as the catfish tends to use flattery and emotional manipulations to kickstart a connection and nurdle it steadily.
When you request to meet or have a video call with them, they will undoubtedly give excuses for why they can’t. Most of these excuses include;
When it comes to romantic relationships with a catfish, most victims, after hearing several excuses proceed to request a selfie holding a paper with their names on it and the date. Yet, the catfish finds their way around it by editing the picture, and it will look so real that the victim won’t notice the edits.
Many of these excuses can happen with real-life friends. Still, when it comes to strangers, and it happens every time communication is attempted, you should be worried about something questionable.
There are various reasons anyone would seek after a fake relationship, ranging from boredom to destructive hidden motives.
Cues To Look Out For?
The best we can do is to help you be in the know about things like this to protect yourself online, and we will keep doing just that to ensure you don’t fall victim to cyber attackers.
Do your bit by spreading this information too.
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Categories: Blog, Cyber basics, cybersecurity