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Catfish…men or women who are sharks

Hook, line, and sinker
Hook, line, and sinker
Microsoft

Women love to be told they are smart, beautiful, and adored. Just those words said or electronically sent to us can make a woman feel special and cared for. When it has been a long time since we have heard anyone speak those words, we yearn for them. There are men out there that know that. They are called catfish. Catfish swim on the Internet, with Facebook being their biggest pond; and they dive into the many dating sites available. Fishing for vulnerable women becomes a full-time job for these men. It is how they make their living.

What is a catfish

A catfish scam occurs when someone assumes a persona in order to trick another person into believing that they’re really that person online.

Being the victim of an online scam is often labeled as “getting catfished.”

How a catfish works

Catfish get into your heart first by spending Internet time with you. They build a friendship, and get you to trust them. Once they feel like they have a hook in you, they get your phone number and text you. After a few days of texting they will make a phone call. They are such good listeners; they get their bait to feel comfortable with them, and tell them many things about themselves. They tend to give you valid advice. You begin to think they are very wise.

Many times they will tell you they had a wife who died of cancer, and how lonely they are, or a girlfriend who dumped them, and broke their heart. They will tell you how they saw your picture on Facebook, and felt destiny had sent you to them. They will send you pictures of them doing adventurous things. These men will pick images from some other man’s Facebook page and take their identity.

Hooked

A catfish may arrange to meet you, however, they never show up. They are such masters of communication their bait will usually forgive them. The forgiveness is the test. They know if they are forgiven, then they have you hooked and can start to reel you into their scheme.

They may arrange again to meet you and not show up because of yet another excuse. At this point in the game, they may send you a small gift. When you start to get upset because you have been stood up twice, they will say, “Why would I buy you a gift if I had no intention of meeting you? It is my way of letting you know I am truly sorry.”

No matter what techniques the catfish uses, when he believes he has you hook, line, and sinker, he will start asking for money. He will tell you about his career, it will be a respectable career that makes you feel he is dependable; he will tell you he owns a home that will make you believe he is stable. He will create an entire fictional world, a world you want to be part of.

Deception

The Internet is the perfect tool for deception. Most women on Facebook have received the friend request from a prince far away, who after one or two small requests for loans from you; to prove your loyalty; he wants to share his considerable wealth with you.

The catfish will contact you so much they dominate your life. They may even take it as far as having Internet sex with you or phone sex. The women who have let the catfish in their lives may see the red flags, but believe their man is different, because he tells them, he loves them. They may even make their victim think they are going to marry them.

The prey

Anyone can fall prey. Many well-balanced, professional, and beautiful women become victims, because everyone wants to be in love. Many times the catfish will stalk Facebook’s pages until he finds a woman that is going through a hard time; such as the death of someone they love, the loss of job, or anything that may make then vulnerable. They will make you feel like they are there for you during these trying times.

Another target for the catfish is women in their 70s. These women think love has come into her life once again. They may not be as wise to on-line scams as the younger women, and they may have more money to send to the catfish.

Women are catfish too, preying on vulnerable men; however, there are more men who are catfish because, it is sad but true more, women fall for the scam more often than men.

Broken hearts

Having a broken heart is a brutal thing, but the women who fall prey to a catfish end up with a broken heart, their finances a wreck, and the shame of falling for the scam. For the catfish, because of the Internet, there is a never-ending supply of new victims.

This has become so wide spread that there are now psychologist whose specialty is online harassment.

These men and women, who are catfish, are cruel people. Anyone who will manipulate someone to fall deeply in love with them, give them their money and their heart, then disappear into the thin air are malevolent. To play with someone’s emotions and finances when they are vulnerable, and leave them heart-broken, broke, and embarrassed, is a crime of cruelty.

Beware of the catfish. They sting.