What is catfishing?
A catfish isn’t just a fish with whiskers. The terminology alludes to the person who dissimulates to be someone else online. Catfishing is creating a phony persona online and using it to lure people into a relationship, usually romantic in nature.
For instance, a pedophile may pretend to be a minor in order to develop a relationship with a teenybopper. They encourage their targets to share intimate information that later is used to lure them into a meeting. These meetings might end up being assaulted or abducting.
Catfishing and Cyberbullying
The teenagers might also engage in online travesty. They might use fabricated identities to bewitch someone into a fake relationship. Usually, their goal is to mortify the targets. This sort of travesty is one kind of cyberbullying.
Telltale traits of catfishing
Refrain from personal communication:
Catfishes usually don’t talk or video chat over phone calls. When asked they won’t even show up in person. They are too much friendly while interacting with their targets and try to build a good bonding within a short period. But they still avoid sharing minimum contact information or confronting their targets.
Never seem to change profile pictures:
A catfish usually use one profile picture for ages. Even after uploading more pictures, the pictures look more or less the same.
They Are Extremely Romantic Right Away
In most cases, romantic attention might feel good. A catfish might "lovebomb" someone and overwhelm them with loving texts or pictures in order to distract them from asking questions relating to their identity. A catfish might even manipulate someone to get into a relationship without even meeting them.
Asks for money:
The ultimate aim of these frauds is to extract money from the victims with their sugarcoating stories which will melt someone's heart right away. Usually, drug-addicted catfishes play this sort of role to collect money for guzzling drugs.
Lack of proper grammar:
In most cases, they will always claim to be someone who is very educated or a knowledgeable person but there’s evidence that they have little command of the language.
How to ditch a catfish
It's always "better be safe than sorry." If you suspect someone of being a catfish, ask as many questions as you can. Try to know what they want by asking questions tactfully. Don't hesitate to call or confront if you have his/her number with you. If not necessary don't communicate with them and remove/report them from your social media accounts.
Google reverse image search:
We are eternally grateful to the mighty internet for making it easier to identify and connect people. The catfish scammers usually download and use random pictures from Google. In case you are confused, you can check their picture of what they claim to be theirs on Google Reverse. If you get the exact one and they are different people, you are being catfished.
Avoid accepting random friend requests/ messages from unknown people:
Social media is a great way to connect, communicate, and build relationships with people from all over the world. But this new connectivity also has opened the doors to deception and cyberbullying. To avoid being harassed we should stop accepting random friend requests/ messages from random people.
Seek legal help from the law enforcement agency
If you are the victim of the cyberbully and the situation demands legal help from the law enforcement agency, you might want to seek help from the CT-Cyber Crime Investigation unit of Bangladesh police. They patrol, prevent, detect and investigate cyber-crime in Dhaka Metropolitan. A dedicated hotline (+8801730336431) has been set up where victims can find help in taking action against obscene or abusive posts or pictures they receive on their social media timeline, private message inbox, or comments.