Many individuals across the globe are now able to communicate with each other via the internet and social media. As a result, new forms of cyberbullying, like the practice of catfishing, have emerged due to this increased connectivity. Those who aren’t who they claim to take advantage of others by tricking, bullying, and intimidating them.
Catfishing: What Is It and How Do You Do It?
Catfishing is the practice of constructing a fictitious online persona to entice others into a romantic connection. Instead of being honest about their identities, internet daters pretend to be someone they are not.
A pedophile, for example, might pose as an adolescent to become close to other young people in that age group. Targets are coerced into divulging personal details that are then used to attract them into a meeting. This type of gathering is fraught with danger, as it could lead to an attack or kidnapping.
A person who has been “catfished” is someone who has deceived them into a relationship by pretending to be someone they are not.
Cyberstalking and Catfishing are both forms of cyberbullying.
Online impersonation by teenagers takes many forms. Their primary objective is to cause pain and embarrassment to the target people. To entice someone into a fictitious relationship, they may create false identities for them to use. People who acquire information on their target may humiliate and bully that person later on. Cyberbullying takes many forms, including impersonation.
Many cyberbullies use other people’s emotions as a weapon, especially if they find something about the victim that makes them feel down or alone. To be vulnerable to catfishing, it is important for teenagers to be loud about their desire for a romantic partner or to discuss the topic of dating in general frequently.
Catfishing is a problem for young people since they frequently “friend” people they don’t know on social media. Another problem is that they are very forthcoming with other people’s private information.
Cyberbullying takes the form of pretending to be someone else online. To damage another person emotionally is a deliberate act.
Adults and teens alike are victims of catfishing daily. Approximately 5% of the monthly active Facebook user base was considered fraudulent in 2019. Individuals may be publishing bogus profiles on these accounts, but it is possible that they are simply duplicating an account or creating more ones.
Catfishing Warning Signs
In order to prevent being deceived by a stranger online, be on the lookout for these telltale indicators of catfishing.
- Face-to-face communication is frowned upon. Catfish typically refuse to give out their phone numbers or use webcams because they are afraid of being caught. Skype and FaceTime are also on their list of things to avoid.
- They never seem to alter their profile images. If you keep track of a catfish’s online personas over time, you’ll notice that they frequently reuse the same profile photo. As a result, the catfish will appear the same age each year. All of the images are identical.
- They are unable to communicate by phone or video chat. Catfishers may cancel a scheduled call due to an emergency, such as an accident or a death in the family, or because they are ill. Additionally, they may claim to be unable to meet in person because they are away on business or visiting family.
- A large number of their “friends” are of the male gender. In the case of female catfish, the ratio of male to female friends on social media will be disproportionately high. Male catfish, on the other hand, will be surrounded by female companions.
- You have no idea where they’ve been or where they are now. People feel they don’t know everything in their relationships with them. When asked about their past, family, and current employment, they’re evasive, but they’re also ambiguous about their goals for the future.
How To Avoid Catfishing:
Searching for a reverse image search on Google might help you determine if the photographs you’ve received genuinely belong to the person you think they do if you’ve noticed any warning flags.
If you are the victim of catfishing, be sure to make multiple copies of your correspondence as soon as possible. If fraud was committed, here is your proof. Those who engage in catfishing will immediately erase the account and its contents if they believe they’ve been detected.
Immediately notify the social media platform if you suspect you have been catfished. If the person has requested money or a meeting in person, you should also call the police. After you’ve contacted the relevant authorities, do not unfriend them. It’s possible that the catfish you’ve been chasing will finally be caught thanks to an internet friend you’ve made.
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