Step 1: Find an attractive person’s photos to steal. Step 2: Make someone fall in love with you.
The Internet has created a plethora of opportunities to connect with others, thus presenting a greater opportunity for the misuse of this communication. The word catfish no longer is associated with a cold-blooded vertebrate but also describes someone who uses fake photos online.
Intentions for this deceiving fraud is most likely because of a low self esteem or low bank balance. The “catfishers”, as they are called, use this fake identity in hopes of gaining attention or money, both of which they believe would not be attainable if they were to use their own pictures (The online dating romance scam: causes and consequences of victimhood).
According to the article The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime, a survey revealed that over 2% of the people survived personally knew of someone who has been scammed online (Buchanan). 2% doesn’t sound like a lot but when you think of the billions of people on this earth, 2% is quite a large chunk.
Forbes released an article about Norte Dame football star, Manti Te’o, who too got scammed. He allegedly met a girl through Twitter and fell in love with her while never truly meeting in person. This caused major sparks in the media and generated a lot of attention to these online scams.
Time also published an article, commenting on the hit television show Catfish on MTV. The magazine interviewed Nev Schulman, the main ‘detective’ on a show that uncovers catfishers. He revealed in the article that his main goal for the television show is to see “how much longer [they] can make this show before people stop falling in love online” (Schulman).
“If you understand the threat of users and abusers…then and only then can you protect yourself” (McGraw 27).
Buchanan, Tom, and Monica T. Whitty. “The Online Dating Romance Scam: Causes And Consequences Of Victimhood.” Psychology, Crime & Law 20.3 (2014): 261-283. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
College Humor. “Worst Catfish Ever”.Youtube. Youtube, 13 Jan 2014. Web. 30 Nov 2014.
Gillit, Kelly. Something’s Fishy: Safety Concerns Come Hand-in-hand with Online Dating. Digital image. The Flare. Metro Pro Theme on Genesis Framework, 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Hill, Kashmir. “The Manti Te’o Hoax Means Everyone Now Knows What A ‘Catfish’ Is.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
Maddy Barrera (MaddisonBarrera). “This kid looked too hot to have 3 followers so I googled ‘hot teenage boy’ and found this pic online #Catfish,”17 Nov 2014. Tweet.
McGraw, Phil. Life Code. Los Angeles: Bird Street, 2012. Print.
Rothman, Lily. “The Catfish Came Back.” Time 182.1 (2013): 59. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
Whitty, Monica T., and Tom Buchanan. “The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking 15.3 (2012): 181-183. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.