How to Catch a Catfisher?

How to Catch a Catfisher?

Last updated on November 11, 2020

Finding your other half seems to be harder than ever. It seems as though people are steering away from meeting their other half the old fashioned way and turning to the internet to find potential love. With so many dating apps available today, how do you really know who you’re talking to?

Just as some people lie on their resumes, it is not uncommon for people to stretch the truth about their lives online to make themselves more appealing. Catfishing is a serious problem with people creating completely false identities in order to deceive others. On average, over 53% of Americans fabricate their online dating profile in one way or another with as many as 73% of people using other people’s photos instead of their own.

The reason for this is most often boredom, with many catfish having a history of both compulsive lying, abusive pasts as well as low self-esteem. This phenomenon is growing on a yearly basis and it’s important to understand the risks and find out the truth before you head out on that blind date.

Telltale Signs You’re Being Catfished

If you want to know how to catch a catfish online, check out some of the most common elements that are usually present in catfishing and what to do when you face this problem.

There is Little Information on Their Profile

We are very used to sharing pretty much every aspect of our lives online, particularly with our closest friends and family members. Dating websites are a particularly popular choice to find a date these days, and according to research “4,288,595 people per month use, and visit the site a total of 26,200,000 times a month. The total membership is 15 million people. The total eHarmony membership is 20 million lonely hearts.”

If the person you’re interested has a very bare profile you should proceed with caution. Check out their friend’s list and see what the figures tell you. If they only have a handful of friends, this should raise some red flags. Alternatively, if their friend’s list is in the thousands you should run for the hills and not look back.

Are they active on social media and if so how do they interact with their friends? If there is minimal to no interaction with people or if they’re not often tagged in photos, something might be off.

Photos Too Good to be True?

While we might all like to be supermodels walking the runways in Paris and Milan, the fact of the matter is, most of us don’t have glamorous lives beyond belief. If this person never seems to age in their photographs or don’t have friends in any of their photos, there is a high chance something fishy is going on.

Check for significant factors that will indicate aging like changes in hair color or different hair lengths. Additionally, make sure to look for tags in photos, not just random people posing as friends.

You can also do a Google image search, simply dragging the photo into the Google Image Search and see what comes up. Catfish usually use other people’s images on their Facebook and Instagram profiles as well as on dating profiles. If you find those images on other websites you know the person in question is faking it.

Check for Poor Grammar

Everyone makes a spelling mistake here or there, but if the person in question has a million spelling and grammar mistakes on their profile, you might want to think twice about that date you have scheduled. Want to know how to catch a catfisher? It’s all in the spelling. A large number of catfish are from another country, including places like Russia, China, and Nigeria, so chances are their English will not be up to standard. According to the Wall Street Journal, people with bad intentions are four times more likely to send you messages riddled with spelling mistakes.

Ask Questions

A person catfishing is telling more than a couple of lies about their lives, they’re completely fabricating their identity. This can mean that they’re lying about the state of their relationship or what they do for work.

“Dinner for Six, a matchmaking service in Denver, Colorado says that 51% percent of online dating members are putting themselves out there as being single when they are in some kind of relationship. According to MSNBC, research shows that 11% of people using online dating services are married.

More than 40% of men try to swoon women by lying about their jobs, trying to make their career sound more prestigious. It makes sense that every woman wants a guy with a great job, for example, a guy in the entertainment industry is a lot more interesting than someone selling tickets at the local movie theater. eHarmony mentions that a study found men who reported incomes higher than $250,000 received 156% more email than those declaring an income of $50,000.”

One of the best things you can do if you suspect the person in question is lying to you is ask a ton of questions. The end result is that they will either slip up in the details or get bored of you asking so many questions and leave you alone.

Still Not Sure? Run an Online Background Check

There is no better way of finding out if you’re being catfished than doing an online background check. This is something that can literally take as little as a couple of minutes and come up with life-changing results. Here, you might find out information about possible arrests, court records, convictions of felonies or misdemeanors, warrants, incarceration records, and past sex offenses.

Background checks will allow you to do reverse phone searches so you can make sure that the person you are talking to has the number registered in their name. There is also additional information that you can find out about any property, marriage and divorce records so you can match up everything that is being said to you with the facts.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to online background checks, that’s OK. You can always check out our list of the best background checks available.

Top Background Checks

1. BeenVerified

This is one of the most popular and most reliable online background checks available at the moment. Basically, it will gather all information that is found on public databases and will compile it into a comprehensive and easy-to-understand report.

You will need to sign up for a membership which will include access to services like background reports, phone and email information, sex offender lookups, criminal records, addresses as well as contact information. There are also apps for Android and iOS devices which will let you look up contact numbers, property records email addresses and other information. The app is very simple to use, so it’s a great choice for anyone who isn’t too confident in their tech knowledge.

If you have any questions that need resolving, BeenVerified has fantastic customer service assistance which will be able to take care of your needs seven days a week.

With over 100,000 happy customers, BeenVerified is one of the best options out there for an online background check.

2. PeopleLooker

If you’re in a hurry and need information right now, PeopleLooker is able to offer you preliminary search results in just a few minutes. All you need to do is type in the person’s name and surname and search the database. Just like BeenVerified, PeopleLooker has an app that is available for Android and iOS platforms which offers features not available on the desktop version such as phone and email details.

Customer service is on hand for any assistance seven days a week from 8 am to 10 pm EST on weekdays or 10 am to 10 pm during the weekend. If you prefer, there is an FAQ section on the PeopleLooker website which can sometimes be basic, but at least it’s laid out in an easy-to-understand manner.

You can do a customized search as well which can look into social media network information as well as public photos, traffic violations, and criminal records. For an additional fee, you can also find out if the person in question has any court judgments, licenses, divorce and marriage records, or bankruptcy proceedings.

The full report should take around five minutes to complete and the app has very high ratings on both the App store as well as the Google Play store.

3. TruthFinder

Want to dig a little deeper when it comes to your upcoming blind date? That sounds like a job for TruthFinder as these guys will uncover information that you cannot usually find anywhere else. Granted, it will take a few weeks for you to get your report back, but it will definitely be worth the wait, especially if you have some suspicions about your potential partner.

TruthFinder searches the deep web for a very affordable price. A monthly subscription will set you back around $27 which is much less than some other options out there. If you only wish to do a search on one person in particular and do not need the services any longer, make sure to cancel your subscription to avoid further charges.

Searching for a person is simple as you enter a name and surname and narrow down the search by adding cities, middle names or states which is helpful if they have a common name.

This popular background check service has an A+ rating with the BBB as well as a powerful social media search which will uncover more than most. You can also rely on customer service which is available 24 hours a day throughout the week.

4. People Looker

This background check company will allow you unlimited searches in a powerful search engine that will come up with catfish information within minutes. The preliminary search takes under two minutes and just by identifying the right person you will have the full report available for you within five minutes.

If you wish to use this service you can do so, but you will first have to subscribe either for one or three months, the latter of which sees you saving up to thirty percent. To find out information on an individual all you need to do is enter their first and last name as well as their state.

Information that will come up within the search results includes things like people search, reverse phone search, criminal and arrest records, property records and sex offender records. For an added fee you can also get your hands on marriage and divorce records, court judgments as well as tax liens and licenses.

There is an official app available for iOS and Android devices which will allow you to also do reverse phone number and reverse email lookups. This is one of the simplest background checks to use with an easy to navigate interface, but if you do have any trouble you can always contact support on the toll-free number.

Sign up with People Looker here

For more information, click here to read our full review.


Trust is one of the primary factors of every relationship and finding the right person for a potential long term relationship is not easy. With so many people looking to find love online, it’s tricky to weed out who is being true and who is faking it. With catfishing being one of the biggest online problems we face today, it is important to know what to look out for and save yourself the drama and heartache.

It is important to remember to ask questions and really get to know the person you’re communicating with. Find out about their friends and family and look into their social media accounts. Most importantly never give these people any money, no matter how long you have spoken to the person and how well you think you know them. More often than not, as soon as there has been a money transfer, the scammer will likely disappear leaving your heart broken and your pockets empty.

The best and most secure way to find out whether your date is legitimate and exactly who they say they are is by doing an online background check. We have listed a number of paid options that you can look into or you can always check out some free background checks as well.

While there are plenty of honest people out there just looking for love, you can never be too cautious, just follow your gut instincts and watch out for the warning signs. If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

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