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How to protect yourself from online catfishing

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Uncategorized

Catfishing, a deceptive practice where someone creates a fake online identity to lure others into a relationship, can have serious legal implications for both parties. If things go wrong, the person fooled can sometimes claim ignorance of the other person’s identity. In other instances, the law may hold both parties responsible for certain offenses.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from catfishing.

Verify the identity of people you meet online

Before developing relationships with those you meet online, try to verify their identities. Ask for their social media profiles or conduct a reverse image search on their profile pictures to see if they appear on other accounts with different names.

Avoid sharing personal information

Be cautious about sharing personal information such as your address, phone number or financial details with someone you have never met face-to-face. If the person turns out to have malicious intentions, he or she may use your information against you.

Protect your reputation

If you are on the receiving end of catfishing and engage in relationships with people who misrepresent their identities, you are not usually liable for any crimes they commit. However, having to testify in such cases can damage your reputation.

Avoid sharing with minors

Even if a minor deceives an adult about his or her age, sending inappropriate pictures might still result in a charge of soliciting sex from a minor. The law typically places the responsibility on adults to verify the age of any people they are communicating with, especially in situations involving sexual content.

Always exercise caution when chatting online, especially when conversations become sexual in nature. If something feels off about the person you are communicating with, trust your instincts and end the conversation.


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