By now I hope that you’ve read my last post on “How To Spot a Scammer” but maybe, somehow, your radar missed it. You find yourself actively chatting with someone but perhaps you’re a little suspicious? It’s obvious that English is not his first language but you’ve decided to overlook that, perhaps you even find it endearing. He’s telling you how beautiful he thinks you are; in fact he’s never seen anyone quite as gorgeous. Feels good doesn’t it? When was the last time someone paid you such compliments? It’s easy to see how one can get “caught” up in the illusion.
- A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Remember the old adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”? PRINT THAT OUT AND POST BY YOUR PHONE because that is the first sign that you’re being catfished. Catfishers make up stories about their employment, their wealth, their tragic loss of a wife and children. It’s impossible for you to confirm the information, so take heed if they live in extreme ways or have stories that are amazingly mind-blowing.
- Let’s Get Serious: Ok folks, seriously speaking, who suggests love and marriage after a few weeks of chatting? Add that to the fact that you’ve never met and that spells C A T F I S H!
They will say that you are the person they’ve always dreamed of. They can’t believe their luck. You are so special, they’ve never known anyone like you. Yada yada yada
- Money, Money, Money: Suddenly their life took a turn. They were about to board the plane to bring them to you and then bam! They’re stuck in a foreign country because they lost their Passport. They LONG for you and can’t wait to get there baby, but they’ll need money to get a new passport. They promise once you are together my love, they will pay you back. DANGER ZONE!! Never, I mean NEVER send money to someone you’ve never met no matter how much they sweet talk you. This is one of the most blatant signs of being catfished. That’s why they are in it. The goal is money! Think about this – why wouldn’t they ask their family or friends to help them out? If such a thing happened to you, would you ask an online “lover” for help or would you ask someone you actually know?
“You’re lovin’ gives me a thrill
But you’re lovin’ don’t pay my bills
Now give me money
That’s what I want”
- Have Phone Will Travel: But not to see you or Skype with you! These days most people have the ability to video chat. Catfishers never do. They don’t know how to use it or their phone is a special military phone and that part is disabled because of their “Top Secret” government clearance. Some may even state that they still use a flip phone because they don’t need to have a camera. They may say that they will download an app “just for you my darling” and dang, it won’t load. You might even have phone conversations but you detect that sometimes their accent doesn’t match their ethnicity. Some people will overlook that because they are already smitten. DO NOT OVERLOOK THAT! Bottom line, if they have excuses why they can’t meet or video chat, move on, and fast!
- Jetsetter! They claim that their job takes them all over the world (& they’d love to have you with them!) They say that they travel through Africa and the Middle East and might tell you that they’re an engineer or a consultant. The truth is that they do in fact live overseas, their work is to scam people for money, and they have no intention of seeing the shores of the USA. Quite often they are in Nigeria and use Internet Cafes to go online (another reason why they want to go straight to email or phone). Below is an actual image of Nigerian scammers operating in a house with wifi access. Scary eh?
I suggest that you look up some of the Dr. Phil shows where he had people our age who have been catfished. Some are heartbreaking. Grandma lost her life savings and her house for “love” and other similar stories. Still not sure? Feel free to write to me at “Oh Carol” on this site.