It’s the season again! There is a new catfish scam. Yes they’re getting smarter and using technology against us now. Video catfishing is here and it’s real. So this is a quick blog to make you aware of the new catfish video scam and what to do if you suspect Mr Love Bomb of being a catfish.
Why they’re doing this
I blame Nev and Max for this. Catfish scammers realised that the majority of suspicion on Catfish was raised because the victim didn’t have any images or video of them to be able to substantiate who they were. So now instead of just stealing pictures from the internet they are mining videos from Facebook, Instragram, Snapchat and Tiktok accounts to send to potential victims in the hopes of building trust. This is before they hit you up for small then bigger loans. There is a new show called Scamfish where they explore this phenomenon.
What’s the catfish scam
So the thing is the majority of the victims are lonely and will believe the person who is showering them with love and affection. Often they will ask you for your address so they can send you gifts etc so they give the impression of being generous. This makes it harder to say no when they ask you for a favour to help them out of a tight spot
How it works
Initially the person will contact you through normal dating routes such as apps and dating sites. They have more than one picture so it’s easy to think that they are a real person. Then they will send out videos of them so you think they are a real person. Gaining trust is critical before they hit you up for the money for the dying aunt, business bills etc.
Signs it’s a catfish scam
- Love Bombing is always a red flag. When they are in love before you’ve ever met either virtually or in real life. So if they’re love bombing it’s likely to be a catfish
- The video they send never refers to you by name or mention any of the things that you have spoken about. They are just random videos usually cut and often starts at random places
- The videos are out of season, especially if they are outside. E.g a video of a man cycling in the middle of winter but it’s clearly summer / spring outside.
- They call you on the phone but can’t seem to get their video to work. Yet they have a wealth of videos to send you? Make it make sense please.
- Their voice is different to the voice of the person in the video. They may say their phone isn’t working but again, they’re able to take videos
- They’re always travelling and unable to access you at normal times or through normal phones. Any number give should be checked to see where the phone is registered.
What to do
If you do find yourself in this situation (I’ve been here a few times) then the temptation is to challenge them or to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately where there is a kernel of doubt it is best to cut your losses. Whilst cost of living means that even more people are likely to claim poverty you are best giving to a charity than a person you met on a dating site. If they don’t have access to the funds to date then surely they shouldn’t be fishing, right?
- Firstly don’t send them any money or information about you.
- If you have sent them any financial details etc then try to stop payment on the monies and inform your bank that you have given your details to someone else
- Do not alert them to the fact that you are onto them.
- Block and report them on the app or dating site you contacted them from.
Beware of the catfish as they step up their game. Happy Dating!
© Chelsea Black ® 2023