An increasing number of people are falling prey to the seductions of dreams carefully curated and sold online by people who pose as someone else. Usually, the faked personas are designed to appear much more appealing than an average person would be, a trick used to lure millions everyday as they search for possible partners on the web.
In fact, fake relationships online are so common that Criminal Minds actor Thomas Gibson once found himself suffering the harsh blows of finding out he has wasted a great deal of his time, let alone heart, participating in what sadly turned out to be catfishing hoax. It was heartbreaking and well, embarrassing. Just how you felt when it dawned on you that your smoking hot Twitter crush was but a Google image legit.
Turn the wheel back to the Mxit days (if you are that old, which we are). Therein lies wisdom in all things relating to created characters. If that doesn’t ring a bell, you might remember some of the first usernames you used to attract attention to your profile and motivate some action for those random sexts later in the evening. Were you @SexyBeast533? That alone, was a start of your catfishing tendency.
Only, you stopped. Realised it was all lame and moved on to better things when Mxit lost the spark.
Not the same can be said for many users online who thrive on masterminding fake relationships by pretending to be someone they are not.
Here is how to tell you are being catfished.
Rule of thumb, if someone online appears too good to be true, they are false. Leave it there.
When a random person, who happens to be extremely attractive suddenly starts chatting you up online and showing major interest, the games have started.
Although they have a full profile on the particular social network in which your relationship is flourishing, you can’t quite find them on other public platforms such as Skype.
Getting their physical address is a mission. And a half…
Promises of visits will start happening at some point. But none of it will ever pan out.
Another clue is what happens during calls. The noise in the backgrounds will usually be minimal, because they are going out of their way to protect the fibs.