Video dating as protection from catfishingPublished: December 20, 2023
Online dating is on the rise right now, that's a fact. Some dating sites and online video chats have increased their active audience by two to three times or more in recent years. On one hand, this is a positive tendency. But on the other, the number of scammers on the web has also grown. And the phenomenon of catfishing has become truly massive.
If you’re not sure what catfishing is, we can explain why this type of deception is dangerous and how to recognize a catfisher in the first stages of dating. We strongly recommend that you read on.
Catfishing in the new internet reality
Catfishing is a method of deception on the web, when a person pretends to be another person. They use other people's photos, invent their own history and biography.
The goals of a catfisher can be very different. From quite harmless (attracting attention, breaking inhibitions and making new online friends) to extremely serious (wriggle into favor, get confidential data, fraudulently extort money from a person). Unfortunately, the second option has recently taken precedence.
The term "catfishing" itself originates from the 2010 film Catfish. In the story, a young guy from New York meets on Facebook with a pretty 19-year-old girl — an artist, dancer and singer. This new acquaintance actively communicates with him, sends photos, talks about herself, but constantly finds excuses not to meet offline. And when the main character can’t stand it and finds her, instead of a young artist, he finds a 40-year-old married woman with three children. But the girl whose photo the hero received was quietly living at that time in another state with her husband and two children, not even suspecting that someone was using her pictures for such dubious purposes.
Although the film Catfish wasn’t particularly popular, it very clearly demonstrated the problem of catfishing, which has only worsened recently.
How to identify a catfisher and not fall for their tricks
Our main problem is that we tend to trust people and sometimes find excuses for them ourselves. This is actively exploited not only by catfishers, but also by other internet scammers. It’s important to note that in our times, excessive trustcan leave you vulnerable.
We want to share with you a few red flags that may indicate that you are communicating with a catfisher.
The person seems too perfect
A model look, a bright biography, a successful career — everything that makes a chat partner seem really ideal. But ask yourself, why is such a person still lonely? The answer in 99% of cases is very simple: the person simply does not exist, the identity was invented, and the photos were downloaded from the internet.
The chat partner constantly flatters you and almost immediately talks about love
Flattery is a powerful weapon for catfishers. They wriggle into favor and bypass vigilance. If your chat partner constantly pours compliments, and then begins to confess eternal love without even knowing you properly, they are a scammer. False hopes in relation to them should not be nourished.
A new acquaintance cancels meetings at the last minute
So you already agreed to meet, but suddenly something happened to your new acquaintance — their car broke down, their cat got sick, the lock on the door of their house jammed, etc. Of course, there are genuine cases, but if the situation repeats several times in a row, it makes no sense to continue communication.
The other person starts to complain about financial difficulties
Unfortunately, the desire to extort money from you is often one of the main goals of catfishers. Never send money to strangers under any pretext. Scammers come up with the most tearful stories, but you absolutely cannot believe them. Robbery, suddenly ill relatives, a blocked bank card — all this is a hoax.
A person categorically does not want to communicate via video and finds various excuses
The whole construct of a catfisher will collapse if you communicate with them via video, so they will look for any reason to communicate only by text. Be persistent. If you have a real person in front of you, they will agree to at least a short conversation. But if they are still categorically against it, we advise you not to even waste your time on them and stop all communication.
The easiest way to avoid catfishing is to communicate via online video chat
You can save yourself from unnecessary risks by simply using video chat to communicate with new people. This is the easiest way to protect yourself from catfishers and other scammers. That’s because you immediately see the chat partner in front of you. And there are more than enough video chats today — from those integrated into dating apps to separate web services:
• Lively — an app by Zoosk that uses photo collages and short video presentations instead of regular profile photos. In a way, it's similar to Instagram Stories.
• Bumble — a dating app with voice and video calling. There is no need to exchange phone numbers for communication. Communication takes place confidentially directly in the application.
• POM — the original dating app that connects music lovers. The search for new friends and potential couples here is based on matching musical tastes. But most importantly, POM regularly holds offline events — POM Parties, where you can meet, get acquainted and communicate with other users.
• JustSayHi — an application where you can upload not only profile photos, but also videos. The search for potential partners takes into account location — you can view photos and videos of people who are nearby.
• Filteroff — a dating service that combines the functionality of a classic dating app and the Speed Dating format. Users attend speed dates lasting three to five minutes. And if both participants were satisfied with the acquaintance, communication can be continued without time limits.
• OmeTV — an online video chat with gender and geographic filters, as well as the function of auto-translating messages into the selected language. A good option for meeting foreign language speakers.
• VideoChat.chat — a video chat app that connects men exclusively with girls. Girls on https://videochat.chat/girls must verify their identity. The appearance of catfishers on the site is completely excluded.
• ChatRoulette — the first online video chat in history (working since 2009). This is a classic chat roulette that connects random users via video.
Once again, we repeat the main rule: a catfisher will always turn down video communication. It doesn't matter which platform you use for this — choose the one you like best.
Video chat lets you throw catfishers back
Catfishers can be encountered not only on dating sites and apps. They “live” in social networks, on forums, in instant messengers and almost everywhere on the internet. Therefore, our main advice is not to be too gullible in front of strangers on the web.
Even if the catfisher does not have any fraudulent goals, by communicating with them you are still wasting your own time. We are sure you don't need that at all. Use our advice, be attentive to new chat partners and opt for video communication. Then exposing catfishers will be simple for you.
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