If you have been online, it is possible that a person has attempted to “catfish” you. However, you may not have been able to adequately understand it because you were not looking for the telltale signs. It is a type of an online scam, like phishing, meant to take advantage of the insecurities and loneliness of the targets. So, what is catfishing exactly? Furthermore, if you do fall to a catfishing scheme, how can you recover? Better yet, how can one protect against catfishing attempts?
What is Catfishing?
Catfishing is typically done through email or online dating websites. However, they are not exclusive methods. It can also happen on Facebook, Twitter, or other forums that allow people to interact. It involves a person promising companionship or intimate relations, and later on makes demands. It may involve requesting photographs, confidential information, credit card information, or money. This is akin to the old “Nigerian Prince” scheme where an individual would ask for a certain amount of funds to secure funds that would later be sent to the victim. Ultimately, presuming that the culprit succeeds, then he/she takes and uses personal information to conduct financial crimes.