How to Avoid Getting Catfished
Ever been excited to finally meet someone you’ve gotten to know online, only to see them step out of the car, and — woah, wait a minute — they’re not who they said they were?
I don’t know about you, but when I was still in the game, trying my hand at dating apps and what-not, I had become the target of what we call catfishing. According to eharmony, 53% of people lie in their online profiles. Yet, online dating is a blindspot for a lot of the classic dating advice we hear.
In this blog, I’m going to share with you my three-step process for steering clear of catfishing and protecting yourself in the digital dating space.
- Check on their social media.
After initially getting to know somebody through whatever platform you’re using, the first step you want to take is to dive into their social media. Even though social media has its limits too (you can’t get to know someone through their Instagram profile alone), the more context you have, the less likely you are to be catfished.
If you discover that the person’s profile is private, my advice is to skip. Why? Because even though there are valid reasons for someone to be private on Instagram, in the context of dating, I find that to be problematic. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Set up a video chat.
Once you’ve vetted their Instagram, you’re in a safe position to go ahead and ask for their number. If you’ve been vibing through text or phone calls, that’s when you want to ask for a video chat. Quite honestly, messaging back and forth is a horrible way to communicate and build a relationship with someone. It might be okay for one-off messages and sending gifs, but beyond that, you can’t really get to know a person.
Until it’s time to meet face-to-face, video chatting is the next best thing. You get to talk with that person in real time, hear their voice and their tone, and see how they respond to things. It’s a better way to decide whether or not you want to continue investing time and energy into this connection.
And vice-versa! On their end, they’ll want to make sure that you’re the real deal and a good fit for them.
- Don't send money.
If someone’s soliciting you for money — sending you their CashApp, their Zelle, Venmo, whatever have you — you need to hit the ground running fast.
We don’t buy anything. You are the prize. And if you’re not the prize? Well, then you need to build yourself up to become the prize. That’s a fact.
Have you ever been catfished? If you have any more cautionary tips for our community, leave a comment down below. And as always, don’t forget to share with your friends, especially those who are active in the online dating scene.