The Latest Scam Threat: Catfishing

Ever heard of catfishing?

That’s not a summer activity -- it’s a new form of online scam.

It takes place when when a bad actor fakes an online identity for romance, money or to cause physical harm, the Detroit Free Press reports.

We have heard of people being threatened with physical harm, but not actually being assaulted. It's a a phony threat, designed only to get people to cough up dollars.   

The term was used on a MTV reality show, and has since been taken up on the internet.  

The top ten states for catfishing scams are California (which had 2,105 victims in 2018), Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois and North Carolina, according to FBI statistics. Michigan had 461 victims. 

SocialCatfish.com, a firm that facilitates reverse-image searches, advises consumers to watch out for these signs that they are being catfished: 

If they ask for money

If they refuse to video-chat

If they seem too good to be true

 If they are stationed overseas.

 

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