As part of my marketing efforts to generate interest for my novel, Twisted in a Positive Way, I have been doing some social media promotion, as well as answering interview questions from other bloggers. As a result of this, I have also gained more Facebook friends and few more Twitter followers.
One of such Facebook friends was a man I will call Gerard Smith for the purpose of this post. (Apologies to all the actual Gerard Smiths out there)
So Gerard Smith added me on Facebook, I checked his profile and saw that we had two mutual friends so I accepted his invite. Not long after accepting his invite, he made a nice comment about one of my pictures so I checked out his profile and saw that he had only 5 pictures, all of which seemed very recent. I thought that was odd, but decided not to think too much about it.
Later, he sent me a message wanting to know how my day went and I replied, asking how he knew me because I could not recognise him.
Gerard responded stating he did not know me but saw my picture and “liked” me. In my head, I was wondering how someone could possibly like someone without knowing the person. Surely that person could turn out to be a serial killer. So I replied with “fair enough”.
One thing that was very obvious from our chat was that Gerard had a poor command of English, often using “were” in place of “where” and “your” instead of “you are” amongst other mistakes.
When I asked where he lived and he replied “uk”, I then checked his profile again and it stated his location as Clapham, Lancashire. Still something didn’t seem right so I asked what part of UK he lived in and he replied, “clapham”.
Now, I know of two different places called Clapham here in the UK. One in London and another, in the North Yorkshire region.
Still, I wanted to test Gerard, so I asked him where Clapham was located and he stopped replying.
He finally replied the following day with just one word, “south”. This got me thinking, surely someone who lives in Clapham, Lancashire should know that Lancashire is not in the south.
At this point, I had all the evidence I needed to prove that our friend Gerard was a catfish and an unintelligent one at that.
Based on my very brief experience, there are 5 quick ways to spot a catfish.
- The person has only 4 or 5 pictures on Facebook
Facebook has been around for long enough for people to have more than a few pictures on it so if someone adds you and he or she has only very few pictures on it, this should be a flag. You should even be more worried if all the pictures appear to have been posted recently and within a short period of time. This shows that the profile was created hurriedly.
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- The person has poor command of English
If the person sending you messages on Facebook has a very poor command of English, this usually points to the fact that the person is located in a different region (perhaps a non-English speaking region) from where the person is claiming to be based.
- The person does not appear to know much about his location
This points to the fact that the person doesn’t live there at all. Surely you should know where the city you live in is located.
- The person uses endearing words too quickly
If a person you accepted his invite immediately starts saying he likes you or starts professing feelings for you, then this should be a massive red flag. I have heard of love at first sight, but surely not that fast.
- The person has very little limited information on his/her profile
This point is self-explanatory.
In the end, use your intuition and if something does not seem right, don’t be afraid to use the block button because in the end, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Image credit: http://socialnewsdaily.com/11296/catfishing-infographic/