Online dating has become our new normal, with people matching, swiping, and scrolling more than ever. But with ongoing concerns of catfishing or leading someone on, getting to know the real person on the other end of the match isn’t always black and white.
What is Catfishing?
Generally speaking, catfishing is a deceptive practice that involves creating a fake or fictional persona online. When it comes to online dating, individuals may use fake photos or information to portray themselves in a particular light. The end goal of catfishing varies. Some try to achieve financial compensation of some kind; others enjoy living a false narrative.
What to Look for Before Meeting an Online Date
If you’re trying to find true love in a virtual world, making a connection is crucial. But it’s also essential to know and recognize red flags when you see them. To help you understand what to look for, here are a few things you need to do before agreeing to meet up with that potential match. You can visit checkpeople.com to learn more about online dating.
Ask for details about them
You don’t need to come across as robotic but getting to know someone is often overlooked when it comes to online dating. Connecting with a person has to happen on a deeper level than just photographs. Talk to them about their jobs, how long they’ve been in the field, what they wanted to do when they were little, or even their favorite show as a child. Avoid taboo questions like “what’s your favorite color?” or “what’s your sign?”
A good connection should ask you about your interests and seem intrigued about you as a person. Pay attention to their answers and whether they seem interested in you as well. If the conversation feels more like an interview than it does romantic, cut off the exchange.
Search Engines are Your Friend
Whether your date claims to be the humanitarian of the year or an easy-going person with a quiet past, search engines are a great place to start your search. Simply enter the name and city of the person you’ve been talking to online. Popular search engines will pull their information online, from databases to news articles. While you don’t need to know everything about this person, you should feel confident you know who you’re meeting.
Take a Quick Browse Through Social Media
If you haven’t met someone in person, you probably shouldn’t send them a friend request on social media, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to find them. The majority of people on dating profiles are likely to have at least one social media account. Even locked-down and private profiles may have some disclosing details. Look at the posts shared, photos posted, and any mutual friends you have. If the content shared doesn’t seem to match the person you’ve gotten to know, consider it a red flag.
Talk to any mutual friends
If your online match is someone local, there’s a good chance you’ve crossed each other’s paths. Talk to a few friends that may know him, especially if you know what school he went to or his place of employment. Try not to sound probing or intrusive with your questions but get a general feel for his character instead. If he has children, how involved is he with them? Is he friendly with his exes? How would your mutual friends describe him? A decent person is going to show through other’s explanations of them, rather than just saying great things about themselves.
Get the Real Details
A person can claim to be anything or anyone they want to be online, but getting to the truth may be hard to decode. That’s why it’s crucial to conduct a background Check People on anyone you’re interested in meeting online. A background check will not only verify the personal information but will also confirm whether the person you’ve been chatting with has been truthful.
Information like criminal history, sex offender status, employment history, and social media profiles (including dating profiles) are all included in the report, making verification simple and easy to understand.
Use a Video Chat Software Before Meeting in Public
With video, it’s harder to hide behind a catfish. It’s hard to tell whether the person you’re talking to is actually the person they claim to be. Just before the meeting, try to arrange a quick 5-minute chat online. Make sure their video is well lit, clear, and visible. If they continually have an excuse for not joining your video request, move on to the following individual.
Red Flags to watch for online:
– Never give out identifying information when first talking to an individual. If you go by a nickname, consider giving them this first. Once you get to know the person, you can start disclosing personal details.
– Avoid meeting up with a person at their address for the first time. You want to stick with well-lit, public locations for your first meeting. If they insist on a private place, consider canceling the meetup.
– Always give a trusted friend the name, address, and phone number of the person you’re going to meet. Whenever possible, also give a brief description of the person and the vehicle they’ll be driving.
– When chatting with a new contact online, always ask them for a photograph. Pay attention to photos that have excessive filters, seem staged, or simply look fake. They probably are.
– Carefully consider anyone who expects you to stop talking to others online before you’ve met. It’s normal, if not encouraged, to talk to multiple people at once until you’ve decided the person you’ve met is a potential partner.
– Refrain from sharing identifying details about your life through photographs. These include addresses, school logos, license plates, etc. This suggestion is particularly wise before meeting an individual when you’re just getting to know someone.
– Trust your gut instinct when talking to someone online. If something seems off, trust your judgment, and move on. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.