The internet truly changed the world. Along with the opportunity for helping people in so many different ways, the internet has unfortunately also provided opportunities for criminals. There are numerous types of fraud that happen frequently on the internet. One common type is catfishing schemes. As the popularity of social media has increased, so has the occurrence of catfishing. Private Investigators have proven to be enormously helpful in preventing catfishing scams and catching perpetrators in the act.
What is Catfishing?
Catfish is all about deception. Con artists use the internet, social media, and dating sites to reel in their prey using the potential for romance as their bait. There are a variety of reasons people deceive others through catfishing, including:
- Tricking them into a relationship built on lies
- Financial gain
People who conduct catfishing schemes do not fit a uniform profile. Oftentimes, teenagers looking to explore and “have fun” are the biggest culprits. Nonetheless, any act of deception for personal gain is illegal and needs to be investigated. Private Investigators are often hired by concerned family members or suspicious individuals to get to the bottom of these types of schemes and bring them justice.
How to Tell if You’re Being Catfished
The people responsible for conducting catfishing schemes are typically smart and detail-oriented. They outline their plan for deception step-by-step, acting carefully along the way. Catfishing is not always obvious, but there are signs you can look for to protect yourself.
Common signs of catfishing include:
- The situation feels too good to be true
- They refuse to meet in person
- They refuse to show you their real appearance
- They make a quick push for an exclusive relationship
- They need cash to keep up the relationship
If you’ve experienced any of these signs of catfishing, it’s important to take the necessary precautions. Quickly getting out of the situation as soon as you can is the first step. However, if you’ve lost money or feel as though the person who took advantage of you will take advantage of someone else, you should report it to local authorities.
Private Investigators Identify Catfishing Culprits
Private Investigators work hard to investigate situations where catfishing is suspected. In these investigations, identifying the culprit is the number one priority. Professionally trained Private Investigators are educated in conducting online investigations. Specifically, it involves investigating individuals on social media. The skills that Private Investigators learn are imperative for discovering who is responsible for online scams and stopping perpetrators in their tracks.
When you hire a Private Investigator to look into your case, they’ll ask a variety of questions regarding your experience. Some common questions Private Investigators ask victims of catfishing schemes include:
- Have you met the suspect in person?
- Have you given the suspect any money?
- Do you have any indication of their true identity?
- What ways have you communicated with the suspect?
It’s essential to answer all of the questions as best as you can so the Private Investigator has the information they need to start investigating your case.
Enroll in Online Private Investigator Courses
If you’re ready to stop catfishing culprits from taking advantage of vulnerable individuals, you can enroll in online courses through the National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) at any time. Once you’re enrolled, you’re granted 24/7 access to all course materials so you can further your career at your own pace. All you need is a computer or other electronic device and a stable internet connection to get started.
The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) is a source for online pre-licensing, continuing education, and professional development courses for Private Investigators. All of the courses offered by NITA are written by industry professionals and designed to advance your private investigation career.
At NITA, our No. 1 goal is student satisfaction. To enroll in your first online private investigation course, call (800) 730-6482 or fill out our online contact form today. Get started now!