Nobody wants to go through the humiliation of being catfished by another person. It’s not fun, and a lot of times, it’s hard to know if someone is real or not. Dating apps and social media make it really easy for someone to fake a profile or pretend to be someone else, and sometimes these profiles almost seem too real to be a catfish. Catfish also aren’t necessarily limited to just dating, as relationship scams of all types are a big issue in many states.

Some of the most interesting stories get featured on MTV’s Catfish. In this show, potential victims of catfishing travel with the host to meet the person they suspect to be catfishing them to see if the perpetrator is a real person or not. Many times, the person is fake, and drama ensues. Other times, the person is exactly who they say they are. 

However, just so you know, if you think you’re being catfished, you’ll only get on the show if you reach out to them — so use this more as the best tips to avoid getting catfished. To see the best ways to avoid becoming the victim of catfishing while using dating apps and social media, keep reading.

Use your own judgment

The majority of catfish make profiles that are obviously fake. If you suspect a profile to be a catfish, it most likely is. Don’t associate yourself with someone who seems to be fake, because even if they are real, they’re probably hiding something.

Double-check social media

Most catfish won’t go through the process of making multiple social media accounts to seem real. Search Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In to see if the person’s “name” shows up anywhere else and has the same pictures, friends, and more. Facebook is a great tell-tale sign, as it takes time to establish an account with friends, photos, and more. 

Don’t give any of your personal information

Whether or not you suspect someone is a catfish, you shouldn’t be giving any of your personal information to someone you met on the internet. People can use your information to find more information, and they can use it to manipulate or even blackmail you.

Ask for proof

If you’re still suspicious that someone is lying about their identity but you don’t have a way to prove it, ask them to prove it themselves. If the person is truly them, they should understand, and they should be able to provide evidence.

Don’t date people online

This is nothing against online dating, however, if you truly want to avoid being catfished, don’t date online. You can still use Tinder or Bumble to find a date, but you should try to meet them in-person as soon as you can. If you do decide to date online, using things like Facetime and Skype to video chat is a great way to make sure the person in the pictures is the same as the person on video.

Like mentioned earlier, the majority of catfishers are obviously fake. Despite this, you always want to protect yourself from being a victim of a relationship scam if you plan on communicating with people online. By keeping yourself safe, you can avoid falling into a fake relationship, getting scammed, or becoming a victim of other crimes.