Have you ever been suspicious about a person you are talking to online and think that they are not at all who they say they are? That maybe they are trying to lure you into a relationship, whether it be romantic or as a friend? That’s catfishing. The fish is a predator and is deceptive in nature. They create a false identity on a social media site and lure a victim into their world. They lead a victim to think they are talking to someone who might be the same age as them or even look a certain way — when it’s someone totally different. Someone awful who lies and is completely manipulative.

For example:

Recently in the news, a man in Virginia was reported to be communicating online with a teenage girl who lived in Riverside, California. The man was portraying himself to be a much younger age (17) than his actual age of 28. And it turns out this man was a former Virginia state trooper. He drove more than 2,000 miles to the girl’s house, where he murdered three of her family members and then set the house on fire. Thankfully some Sheriff Deputies tracked them down and the man was killed in a shootout.

This is a wake-up call for everyone and another horrific reminder that predators exist online.

Here are 7 signs that you are getting Catfished online:

  1. They won’t pick up a phone call.
  2. They are using someone else’s photos. You can typically find out if they are using someone else’s photos by doing a simple Google reverse image search.
  3. They make plans with you, but constantly cancel.
  4. They ask you for personal information, but don’t share personal things about themselves.
  5. They ask you for money.
  6. They seem to fall for you way too quickly. Something feels off.
  7. Everything just seems to good to be true.

Trust your instincts and know the warning signs, so that you can protect yourself. Be smarter than the perpetrator and never ever in any circumstance give out your personal private information!

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