Thursday, September 21, 2023

Weed Out Fakes: Spotting Catfish and Fake Profiles

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

While there are many pros of social media including quick and better communication, more awareness about everything happening around, and interaction with people living around the world, there are a few cons as well. You need to understand those cons to figure out how to deal with them effectively. One of the prevailing issues on social media is catfishing.

You may know the animal named ‘catfish’ but you often get aware of catfishes on social media when they are done scamming or cyberbullying you. Hence, it is necessary to understand what actually is online catfishing to effectively deal with catfishes and fake profiles. The term refers to the act of pretending to be someone else on social media by replicating the profile of another person.

Now that you know how dangerous catfish or fake profiles can be, it is time to understand how you can weed out fake personas online and how some tools can efficiently help you in the said process. Further details about this topic are given below:

What are the Purposes of Online Catfishing and Fake Profiles?

Here we will try to discuss a few purposes of catfishing and fake profiles and try to understand how these fake personas can be used for malicious acts. Read on to know more.

  • Catfishing can be used to malign the character of a particular person online.
  • Fake profiles can be used to spread misinformation.
  • Catfishing can be used to spread propaganda against an organization or even a country.
  • Fake profiles can be used to scam people and blackmail them afterwards.
  • Catfishing is especially used to deprive people of their money.
  • Fake profiles are also used for black-hat promotion of brands, websites, and businesses.
  • Catfishing can be used to steal valuable data from people online.
  • Catfishing can be used to create fake relationships with other people for various reasons.

In addition to the malicious acts mentioned above, catfishing can be used for various other reasons as well. Regardless of the reasons, catfishing is morally and ethically a false practice that should be depreciated.

How Can You Spot Fake Profiles Online?

All the things discussed above bring us to a critical question, “how can you limit catfishing online?”. It can be a tricky task for sure, but not an impossible one. You just need to know some effective tips and tricks to weed out fake profiles and catfish. We have made a list of these tips and tricks to help you in this regard:

Keep an Eye Out for Symptoms

If you want to weed out a catfish, it is absolutely essential to be vigilant all the time. Numerous signs will help you spot a fake profile. You just need to create a checkbox list and try to fill it out one by one to make sure that the character you are interacting with on social media is a catfish.

The very first thing you need to focus on is the number of friends or followers on the social media profile of the person. If you find out a very limited number of followers or friends, there are high chances that you are interacting with a fake profile. The person behind that fake profile is targeting you only.

Fake profiles share a limited number of photos online, and that too is of poor quality. This is because they use various methods to replicate a particular person’s identity. Moreover, there is a high probability that they will ask you for money after some time.

People behind the catfishing strategy will try to connect emotionally with you, either by getting romantic or sharing sad stories about their experiences. Additionally, their online persona will be too good to be true. If you spot any of the aforementioned symptoms, make sure you step back well in time.

Take Help of Technology

In addition to keeping an eye out for the usual symptoms of catfish, spotting a catfish or fake profile can be way easier if you take a helping hand from technology. As we mentioned earlier, the strategy of catfishing involves the replication of a particular identity to the level of perfection.

The replication may include the same name, profile picture, birthday, birthplace, and even the same job. If you feel a sign of catfishing from a certain social media profile. Take a screenshot or download the pictures uploaded on the ambiguous profile. Once you have those pictures, you can use the reverse image search method to verify the originality of the profile. While using the photo search method, you can search by image instead of words. If you find two profiles or more with the same profile picture as a result of the picture search method, it means one of them is the profile of the actual person and the rest are fake. You can check all of those profiles, check posts, friends and other details. So you can get an idea of which profile is fake.

End Words!

Catfishing and fake profiles can be used for various malicious intentions, the originators of such profiles target people to scam them and deprive them of their valuable data and money. Hence, it is necessary to stay vigilant online and follow some effective tips and tricks to weed out fake entities. We hope our discussion will help you stay clear of catfishing online.


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