Crime Stoppers offers tips on avoiding getting caught in a catfishing scheme
Posted: 01/25/2013 at 1:15 pm
Catfishing is when a person creates a fake online profile with the intent to deceive someone, usually to create a fantasy life and not to defraud a person financially. However, some catfishing could rise to being a criminal offense.
Scammers tend to target vulnerable or gullible people, according to Crime Stoppers, but doing some online investigating can help people protect themselves.
Crime Stopper’s tips are as follows:
• Be suspicious if contacted by a stranger to engage in a relationship, particularly if they’ve created a glamorous life story.
• They often claim to have a traumatic injury or illness as an excuse not to be able to meet.
• How much do they seem to know about their illness? (Legitimate sufferers are usually very knowledgeable).
• Be suspicious if they ask for money, any account information, too much personal information.
• Be suspicious if they can’t readily provide a photo of themselves, (or ask you not to post it if they do), or avoid video chat.
• Research how recently they activated their Facebook/Twitter account.
• Pay attention to how many friends/followers they have.
• On their accounts, do they have photos of friends and are they tagged?