Here are 5 signs that you’re being ‘catfished’ online

October 31st, 2018

As the saying goes: An idle mind is the devil’s playground.

When we’ve got too much time on our hands, we think of ways to entertain ourselves and one of these is ceaselessly browsing the Internet. However, our ways of killing time don’t just put us in hot, troubled waters. It also leads to consequences that can hurt people on the receiving end.

Since the Internet is like an endless ocean, we tend to take advantage of its limitless capacity. There are two psychological reasons why people act out or behave differently online: the “online disinhibition effect” and “identity flexibility.”

The online disinhibition effect refers to the complete abandonment of social restrictions during interactions with others on the Internet. Most people loosen up or share personal things about themselves online than they ordinarily do in real life. While identity flexibility is how we present ourselves in cyberspace. Since this lacks face-to-face cues, we have the option to remain anonymous, share little information about our identity or portray somebody else’s identity.

From a 2010 documentary film “Catfish” comes a TV version featuring Nev Schulman, along with his filmmaker buddy Max Joseph, as they help people uncover the truth behind online relationships.

Even if you haven’t experienced it personally, it can happen to someone you know. Here are the most common signs that you are probably talking to a catfish:

They don’t have many followers or friends on their social media accounts

When you start talking to people online, the first thing you need to do is check their social media accounts. Aside from Facebook, ask if they also have Instagram, Twitter, or a LinkedIn profile to verify their identity. That way, you can tell if the person you’re talking to is legitimate or not.

They won’t pick up a phone call

Maybe the guy you have been talking to has terrible phone anxiety, that’s why he refuses to pick up your call. But if you two have been talking for months now and he still doesn’t want to talk to you on the phone, chances are he could be a catfish.

He could be a 60-year-old man hiding behind a fabricated identity to lure women.


They’re probably using someone else’s photo

On social media, it’s so easy to just click “save image as…”

If the person looks too good to be true, you may check the photos through Google reverse image search. From there, you will see if the photos the person you’re talking to are linked to someone else’s profile.

They don’t want to video call

Not accepting your video calls for the nth time is a major red flag! Do you want to know why he can’t video call?

Well, he is not the person in the pictures he gave you.


They don’t want to meet up in person

Of course, what could be the reason for this? If that person always comes up with reasons, then you can be sure that he or she is a catfish.


To know more about the techniques on how to spot a catfish, the MTV series “Catfish” is now available on iflix. Visit to see the selection of shows you can watch today!


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