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Beware Of Catfish Online

February 13, 2014, 7:23 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Beware Of Catfish Online

The dating pool has changed with the birth of social media, but how do people know they are really talking to the love of their life online?

That is why the term "catfish" was invented. A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they are not online. It is used to spark friendships; others use it to find love.

"Some of the dangers would be with people misrepresenting themselves. For some it might be for financial gain. There are sexual predators out there," license professional councilor Dee Wacker said.

Wacker says other reasons someone would make a fake account online could be because they think more people will be interested in them or maybe for an ego trip. 

Last year Facebook announced that it has 83 million fake accounts. That is about 8.7 percent of all accounts online. But how do you spot a catfish?

"If they never want to meet in person or they are very hesitant to meet in person, why? That should be a question you're asking yourself. If they are far away and you go to do a video chat, is there web cam always broken and they are always putting up the static photo. All those things start to add up if you end up in the wrong spot," Matt Gage with The Gage Team said.

Both Gage and Wacker say when finding love online, just trust yourself. If it's fishy, it probably is.

"You need to trust your gut on this, if it just sounds too good, it just probably is too good," Wacker said.

Other ways to keep catfish from trolling you, keep your profile setting tight. That way the less likely you will get involved with someone fake.

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