5 Ways to Avoid Being Catfished

We play video games. We game mostly online and enjoy playing with other people—a community, a guild, a team. And in our quest for glory, many of us gamers hope to find love, our Player 2.

Unfortunately, the internet is overflowing with jerks. In the lowest ring of Douchebaggery Hell, you have the Catfish Scammers. Catfish Scamming is when someone creates a fake online profile and pretends to be someone they are not in order to trick people into dating them. They could do this for a myriad of reasons. Two of the most common reasons are rooted in one of the following: either they are self-conscious about their looks and will steal someone’s pictures from other websites and pass them off as their own, or they are looking for money.

Here are 5 ways to avoid being catfished.

  1. They won’t video chat.
    “My phone won’t let me Face Time” or “My Skype won’t work on my computer/phone”. If he or she will only talk to you through text chat, email or telephone, then he or she is not real. They can send plenty of pics, but video chat is ALWAYS a problem. And when you call them on it, they get defensive and claim you don’t trust them. Added caution: If he or she looks like they could be a model, it’s probably a catfish. Model and gamer Adrianne Curry’s pictures end up on people’s profiles all the time. So does her boyfriend, voice actor, gamer and model Matthew Rhode (aka Ducksauce).
  2. They seem too good to be true.
    “He/She is perfect!” Guess what? They probably are. Online scammers create a dating profile or persona to appeal to a wide range of people, casting a wide net. While it’s perfectly normal to have a variety of interests, be on the lookout for an abnormal range of interests.
  3. They want to get serious really soon.
    After only a few conversations, they’re falling hard for you. “I know we just started talking, but I can’t help feeling how I feel. I’m falling so hard because you’re so amazing.”  Here’s what usually follows after those lines: “I know we just started talking but I feel as if I’ve known you my whole life. That’s why it feels so weird for me to ask you for help…” If they can get you to offer help without them asking, you’ve been hooked.
  4. They ask for money right out of the gate.
    They need help paying a bill or some other type of emergency just happened. Oftentimes, THEY were somehow cheated out of money which is going to get them in some type of trouble and they really, desperately need money to fix the situation.
  5. Family and friends want to chat with you and be friends.
    Why are you talking to their whole family? Scammers invent family and friends in order to keep the lines of communication open in case something happens to the character that they have invented. For example, you two get into a fight. The family member(s) are there to console you, understand what you’re going through, and explain why the character behaves the way they do. Maybe they get sick and a family member is courteous enough to keep you abreast of this person. These interactions take place only through text chat and email because these family members and friends are being acted out by the same person scamming you.

We all want love. Being gamers, love can be hard to find. It will seem as if it’s taking forever for your Player 2 to find you. Be careful and be patient. Your Link is coming for you, Zelda.

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