- … and their mates. Do you have any mutual friends? If so, can they vouch for them? If they only have a handful of random contacts with no mutual friends, it’s usually a telltale sign of a fish in our midst…
- Get real. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is (sorry to be bursting the bubble). Watch out, if it’s all getting a bit too serious, too soon and they’re making obscure promises, get the hint. They aren’t going to fly you to the Caribbean and David Beckham most definitely doesn’t send random people friend requests. Sorry, move on.
- Got the story straight feeld Гјcretli mi? Make sure everything they’re telling you adds up (trust your gut instinct). Conflicting information is a sign their whole identity is built on lies, so it’s hard to always keep the story straight. Remember, fish only have three-second memories, it’s easy to let something slip by when you’ve constructed an entire web of lies…
- Skype ‘em. If they don’t want to Skype, Facetime or even Snapchat, this is a big red flag. Catfishes are often very camera shy. It’s an easy excuse to spot because they are hiding their true identity, so beware.
- Watch out for elaborate stories e.g., lies. Catfishes tell outrageous lies which are often a dead give-a-way. A Catfish may well claim to be a model, be in a job that makes them travel to extravagant locations or work in the music industry. This will create little niggling doubts in your mind, listen to them!
But before you go join the FBI as a detective, none of the above methods are fool-proof. They can, however, give you a good indication as to how credible somebody is.
What’s more, we’d also advise against sexting someone you’ve never met before
If you are going to meet up with someone online, we would strongly recommend that you do it in a public place like the shopping Mall. Always arrange to meet in the daytime and always tale somebody with you or at least have a mate nearby on standby. Most importantly, never go without telling an adult first.
Ultimately, if you’re doubting it – you’re most likely right
Trust us… we hear a lot of horror stories from people who have been talking to someone they thought they knew….
- Try talking to them: You could try and reason with them to encourage them to axe the pretence and to come out as themselves.
- Axe it: We’d recommend blocking them from all of your social media and phone.
- Report it: It’s actually a criminal offence to Catfish. It’s impersonation and fraudulent and people can get into a lot of trouble for it, especially if they have bad intentions. Report their profiles to social networks, even if it’s just to look out for somebody else. If it’s really serious, report it to the Police.
- Tell an adult: If you’re scared of getting into trouble, it could be somebody who you don’t know – like a Ditch the Label mentor or somebody over at Childline. It’s important to document it. Join the Community to talk to someone.
- Mutual mates?: If you know other people on the Catfish’s friends list. Tell them. They have a right to know too.
Sometimes it happens, but we learn from our mistakes and move on. If you need any further advice or have questions and need support, please do get in touch on the Ditch the Label Community – we’ve got your back.