Online Dating Red Flags: 10 Signs You’re Being Catfished

Reckon that fella isn't who he says he is? Here's how to know for sure...


A relationship scam starts simply. Girl meets boy online, usually through a dating site like Tinder, Plenty Of Fish or You message, trade selfies, chat on the phone, and soon you’re making plans to meet… and maybe even to get married. Sound familiar? In a perfect online dating world, the narcissists, commitment-phobes and other undesirables would label themselves as such in their profiles. But since that honesty would ruin their chances of meeting great gals, they hide their unappealing qualities behind a ‘Catfish’ profile.

Yes, it’s a known fact that, dating sites offer convenience and anonymity, which is just what scammers need. We know you may feel you get to know someone online but it’s easy for the person at the other end of the keyboard to be telling porkies. Soz, it’s true.

Most importantly, Catfish prey on ALL types of peeps. So be warned, anyone can fall victim to an internet scam, not just the naive or socially awks. So if you find yourself in an online relationship or a long distance one and you’ve never seen this guy in the flesh, here are some signs that you might be the latest victim in a Catfish scandal.

1. It seems too good to be true

Don’t be too quick to believe everything you read. If they claim to be a brain surgeon and part-time pilot, who enjoys running monthly marathons and volunteering to save the children in Africa, your alarm bells might start ringing. Do they look like a model? Do they seem way too perfect to be a normal person?  If so, you might want to think twice and get far, far away.

2. It’s too serious, too soon

Intimacy takes time to build, as it’s based on trust and deep rapport.  If they move too quickly into the realm of love and commitment, try not to be flattered.  This may be a sign that they are not legitimate. And in this case run for the hills.

3. He’s making excuses

A key indicator of a Catfish is that they will not want to meet you in person (or via webcam). Be aware of anyone who constantly makes excuses as to why they can’t meet. If you meet someone online and they tell you how much they care about you, love you, want to touch you…..yet they never seem to have the time to meet you face to face (especially after two months) they are a Catfish.

4. He’s asking you for money

This should be a massive red flag (but unfortunately, many people are seduced by this).  If they ask you for moohla, their intentions are based on something other than finding love – walk away!

5. Your friends are telling you it’s too good to be true. 

We’d love to believe that our mates are just well jeal of our newfound happiness; but in actuality, it might be that because they’re not in love and removed from the situation, they’re able to see the potential shadiness behind it all. At least consider their words.

6. Something feels off

Most gals who’ve been catfished say there were many little signs; lots of times when their gut told them NO but their heart told them YES. This is one situation where it’s super important to listen to your intuition, it’s there for a reason ladypal, so listen to it!

7. He has very few friends on Facebook

Check out their Facebook page as soon as you can.  Often, when a Catfish sets up their false dating profile, they set up corresponding Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts to demonstrate ‘social proof’ that they exist. If their Facebook profile has less than 100 friends or no people are tagged in their photos. It’s a Catfish.

8. He’s making extravagant promises

A lot of male catfish will try to lure females in by flattering them, and making extravagant promises. They’ll build up convos about all the amazing trips you’re going to take together, or they’ll say something about “flying you out” to some exotic destination.  Swoon factor right? Too bad the majority of these promises probably aren’t real. Soz.

9. He never mentions his mates

Any normal, real, person you meet online should definitely have a life outside of the Internet, whether it’s school, work, family,or friends. If he never mentions any friends or social life, then you can assume he spends all his time cooped up indoors or in a cave like structure on the Internet, and that’s just plain weird.

10. He asks you to send risqué photos

As if parading around the internet with a fake profile and false identity isn’t bad enough, catfish are notorious for making creepy requests. They’ll refuse to video chat, or meet in person, but they’ll still ask you to send risqué photos of yourself. A word of the wise—don’t do it!

By Jennifer Conway.