With the television show Catfish hitting the airwaves in 2013, a lot of unrealistic fear has been instilled into online daters everywhere. People are now more nervous than ever about being deceived into meeting people who aren’t exactly who they claim to be online.
This is an understandable fear. The truth is, there is no way of truly knowing whether you are talking to the face behind the picture until you actually meet in person. However, there are a few steps that can be taken to vastly limit the odds of being deceived. Let’s take a look at a few precautions that you should be taking before carrying out an online romance.
1. Does he or she live within 60 miles of you?
Most people are not willing to date someone that would take more than an hour to drive to. And that number is being generous. If you are talking to someone who lives extremely far away, there is a much higher probability that this person has no intention of ever truly meeting.
2. Does he or she only have professional photos up?
Finding profiles that only have professional photos taken are a strong indicator that the person pulled the pictures straight off the Internet. Having professional shots are one thing, but having no amateur pictures with friends, family, or even alone, is a little on the suspicious side. Especially if the person is drop dead gorgeous.
3. Does he or she refuse to talk on the phone?
There are many tricksters out there who will claim that they don’t ever talk on the phone because they prefer texting. It’s understandable that some people have a preference for texting these days. But to rule out ever talking on the phone is a red flag that something may be up.
4. Does he or she have an excuse every time you want to hang out?
Those who Cat Fish will always have an excuse as to why they can’t meet. Sometimes they will even make plans, but tell you an emergency came up on the day where you were finally supposed to finally go out. Don’t be fooled by these constant cancellations. Making fake plans every so often is their way of keeping you on the ropes so that you don’t disappear.
5. Does he or she refuse to video chat?
If you have been talking for weeks, or even months, and the person refuses to video chat, despite the fact that they keep claiming they cannot meet, something is definitely up. These days anyone can download Skype and communicate via web cam. There are simply no excuses.
6. Does he or she have a Facebook Account with lots of “real” friends posting?
Those who catfish are often very good at what they do. They will fool a lot of people by having fake friends post on their wall, or even create fake profiles themselves. Do some investigating. How real does this person’s page look? Are their different pictures of him or her that go back years, or just the same 20 pictures in their entire history? It’s easy to steal a small amount of pictures. If there are hundreds of pictures up, the person is probably the real deal.
7. Does he or she give you a bad feeling?
This final question comes down to trusting your gut. Always give your instincts credit. If you feel deep down that something is off, odds are, something is.
Want more dating advice from Joshua Pompey? Click here for some free online dating advice, including online dating email examples that you could be using. Or click GetREALDates first date tips for plenty of free dating advice.