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Am I Being Catfished?

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Do you have a feeling you’re being catfished? In most cases, when people are concealing their true identity online, it’s because they’re running scams and don’t want to get caught. How can you tell if the person you’re talking with online is the real deal? If you sense there’s something fishy going on, here are a few ways to tell whether you’re being catfished.

Google Their Name and Photo

Most people will have some form of digital trail on Google. If you type their name into the “search” function and nothing credible comes up, this could be a red flag. You can also check the “images” function to see what other photos come up under the name they have given you. If that doesn’t help, try right-clicking on their profile photos, copy the URL, and then paste into to see if there are other names associated with that particular image.

Check Their Facebook Account

Are there posts from friends and family? Have they checked in anywhere recently? Most people on Facebook will have some posts displayed from other people and where they’ve been. If their social media isn’t very social, consider this a red flag too.

Set Up a Video Call

One of the easiest ways to find out if someone’s true identity is legit, is to set up a video call. If they refuse to turn on the video or if they give you an excuse as to why they can’t appear on camera, be cautious of them.

Ask Them Something They Should Know

It’s easy to make up lies about a job or aspect of their life, but when someone is put on the spot with a specific question, few catfishes will know how to talk their way out of it.

Ask Questions

Do they have their story straight? When someone’s entire identity is built on a web of lies, it can be hard to remember all the stories they’ve told. So be sure to ask lots of questions and take notes. It won’t take long for a catfish to start messing up their story.

Meet Them In Person

Before you get in too deep, ask to meet in person and make sure that it’s in a safe, public location.

Always trust your gut. Even if someone isn’t telling audacious stories or asking for money, if it feels off it’s worth investigating a little further. When you need confirmation that you’re not being catfished, contact us at The Smith Investigation Agency and one of our PIs will run the necessary background checks for you.

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.

The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.