Did you hear about the guy from Bucksnort, Tennessee, who sent a catfisher his life savings after a steamy back-and-forth on a popular dating app? The amount he lost was $4,395.45, which was the supposed cost of airfare and visa expedition for the victim’s true love to get from Kiev, Ukraine.
If you think you did hear about it, you’re mistaken, because I made it up. The reason I did that was because too many catfishing scams go unreported. As a result, awareness does not match the threat.
Not that long ago, online dating was viewed as a sad place where desperate people went to connect with other sad, desperate people. That is no longer the case. Any stigma attached to online dating is a thing of the past, with the Pew Research Center reporting that more than 15% of U.S. adults have used online dating sites or dating apps. A majority of Americans now say it is a good way to meet people. That said, the shame of appearing desperate remains, and that’s why catfishers often get away with their crimes.
If you think you’re not susceptible, think again. You are. That’s the rule of the jungle. Those who never trust and always verify are the safest — though admittedly it might put a cramp in your online dating life.
Here are five tips for avoiding catfishers this Valentine’s Day from my book, Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers and Identity Thieves.
You can learn more about how to protect yourself from identity theft and other scams from Adam Levin’s newest book, Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. This is your survival guide to help you avoid hackers, phishers, and scammers from becoming your problem. With a clear headed, practical approach, Swiped is invaluable not only for preventing problems but helping consumers cope when dealing with identity theft incidents. Order your copy of the best selling Privacy and Online Safety book on Amazon.