US News: How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away - PressFrom - United Kingdom

US NewsHow a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away

17:35  15 april  2019
17:35  15 april  2019 Source:

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It is hard to understand what kind of person becomes a catfish but perhaps it's even harder to understand how someone could fall victim . It's easier than you think, write Dr Eric Vanman and Samantha Lo Monaco.

Most victims of Catfish report that there were many little signs, lots of times when their gut told them NO but their heart told them YES. So start to balance your approach to online dating. Of course, it’s important to have fun, relax, be yourself and enjoy the process, but try to maintain a healthy level of

How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away © Facebook: Lydia Abdelmalek It is hard to understand what kind of person becomes a catfish but perhaps even harder to understand how someone could fall victim. What kind of person becomes a catfish? How could someone fall prey to such an elaborate hoax and remain clueless for so long?

After discovering they have been catfished, many victims want to continue some sort of relationship. Why?

The tragic case of catfishing that emerged this week raises many troubling questions like these about both the catfish and their victims.

The ABC this week revealed 29-year-old Lydia Abdelmalek was found guilty of a series of stalking charges, after she bombarded two Queensland women with abusive and threatening messages.

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“I don ’ t think you realize how difficult it is for me to get time off,” he wrote. “Just a dinner to start with And why would somebody claim to be someone else online ? Julie Albright, a digital sociologist at the “My catfish became cupid,” Emma told the Daily Mirror, “And now we’re living happily ever after.”

Get a catfish mug for your dad Georges. A Catfish is a person that is not in touch with reality. They use social media outlets to pretend to be someone they aren' t . They will come up with every and any excuse in the book as to why they cannot have a video chat with you.

It is important to state at the outset that while catfishing is fairly common it rarely leads to these horrible outcomes.

Yet, this story reflects many of the cases of catfishing that we have learnt about in our research.

The people who become the victims of catfish did not typically seek out a relationship with someone online. Just like in the real world, people often meet other people online while they were doing something else — playing a game, discussing their favourite music or just venting in a chatroom. How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away © ABC News Lydia Abdelmalek was found guilty of stalking six people over a period of at least four years.

The slippery art of the catfish

Anna, one of our research participants, became the victim of a catfish in just this way. At 14, she was befriended online by a man of 20 who had initiated private contact after defending her when she was bullied on Facebook.

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A catfish is someone who uses false information to cultivate a persona online that does not represent their true identity. Catfish will use this information to create a more appealing version of themselves, then engage in continued one-on-one interactions with another person (or people) who are unaware

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Anna says her relationship with Alex began platonically. He told her he was married and his wife was expecting twin girls.

"He sent me selfies of him and his wife, who I also became friends with, and the three of us would discuss baby names together. I didn't suspect anything was wrong," Anna told us.

Anna and Alex spoke daily on the phone. He introduced Anna to his wife and sister-in-law.

How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away © ABC News

"Despite never having met him in real life or video chatted with him he quickly became one of my best friends," she said.

Alex told her he was in a famous band in his native Brazil and went into detail about his experiences. "I never bothered to reverse search his pictures. It all felt all right."

When Alex told Anna he and his wife had split and that he was in love with her, Anna admitted she was also in love.

"Being so young and naive, I felt grown up and attractive having this older, good looking guy wanting me. I thought I was in love and didn't suspect I was being duped."

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This explains why the catfish is usually already miked for sound when the hopeful arrives for the The stories have gotten pretty dark. Most of the requests to appear on the show continue to come from people This season, MTV wanted to get away from some of that and didn’ t have to look far to do it.

Here are 9 reasons why Catfish is totally staged. Episodes of Catfish always start with Nev reading an email from someone who is worried that the person they have a long term online relationship with might not be who they say they are. If the victim wants to appear on the show, they sign a lengthy

It is a typical tale

Anna's story is typical. All the red flags were there: Alex and Anna had never met or video chatted, and Alex had created drama, fame and a whole cast of characters to support his stories.

Anna's catfish turned out to be female, pretending to be male — as in the Abdelmalek case.

Related: Catching a catfish - women thought they were talking to Australian star (ABC News)

How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away © ABC News

When trying to understand how a catfish operates, it is important to understand that victims are drawn in over the course of many hours, days and weeks.

The victim somehow feels a profound connection with the catfish.

They start talking, eventually sharing intimate details about their lives and feeling a special closeness that happens rarely in their offline world.

Some of the victims we have surveyed in our research report a romance that develops over days or weeks.

The catfish's identity is false but feels authentic, believable, and this is one of the key reasons that it may take a long time before the victim grows suspicious.

How a catfish hooks their victims online — and why they don't always try to get away © Getty

Our interviews revealed that, because of the intimacy they were sharing with the catfish, victims were often prepared to overlook early warning signs like pictures that didn't look quite right, "facts" that were later revealed as false and planned meetings that never occurred.

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A catfish in urban online parlance refers to someone who isn' t who they seem––in a nutshell, it's a Ask the person to reveal their true identity. If they do not comply, maybe it is best because you are Do your favorite activities. Distract yourself for a while before trying to find online friends or dates

–> Don ’ t miss out. If you’ve ever dated a narcissist, you’re fully aware of how difficult it is to break off your The thing is, they know full well how effective this hook can be, which is why they use it. In this situation, you might actually be the one who tries to re-form a connection with the narcissist, in

Emotions are real

They fall in love. They share their deepest secrets about themselves, and the catfish reciprocated with similar intimacy. Our research has also found that many catfish feel lonely and sad, and perhaps want to escape their normal lives.

Their victims are simply people that they felt a connection with — and most did not set out to trap them into a sadistic relationship.

Some victims — including Anna — were even fans of the television show Catfish and knew all about the world of catfishing. But they did not believe they could be victims themselves until it was too late.

"I'd become a huge fan of the show Catfish and of course I see my situation brought up all the red flags. But Alex had been introducing me to different friends of his, each one's story more frail than the last.

"After four months of searching for some of Alex's friends Anna found the true identity of one of one of them: a small-time American YouTuber.

"I was able to speak to this person who confirmed (they didn't know Alex). It was only then that I confronted Alex and Lisa about it."

And suddenly: heartbreak

When victims become suspicious many catfish simply disappear. The victims in our research report feeling depressed and confused when this ghosting occurs.

Some victims are so angry and hurt by the deception involved that they never want to have contact with their catfish again.

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Catfishes are notorious for their creative lies and manipulation. Fortunately, there are a 5 easy steps to take make sure you aren' t falling for a catfish . You’d be amazed at how many people reuse love letters and online messages that they find online .

Although running away or dialing for help appear to be simple, feasible solutions, victims of human trafficking are experiencing both physical and Though they may not be able to “just run away ,” we can do OUR part to make sure victims of human trafficking receive the help they didn’ t know was

Nearly all victims report feeling more guarded, careful, and distrustful when they meet new people in the future.

"I felt angry for so long ... I won't ever open up again to someone in that way. Even the most seemingly trustworthy person seems to me to be hiding something now." (Jason, 22)

Yet other victims — no matter how hurt and betrayed they feel — want to forgive their catfish and continue a relationship with the catfish's new (but not necessarily real) identity. They often attempt to track down their catfish, an important person who has suddenly disappeared from their lives.

Why would they do this?

Despite everything they have been through, some of the victims we interviewed reported feeling compassion and empathy for their catfish.

"I suspect not everything they told me was a lie, although I have no way of knowing for sure. I feel hurt by them and that they are uncaring and selfish, but possibly also catfishing because they are hurting as well." (Cam, 25)

"I still believe we have a lot in common and that we are as messed up as each other." (Jacinda, 28)

"I feel sorry for her. She's clearly very messed up in the head." (Anna, 18)

Love is blind

What cannot be denied is that despite the relationship with a catfish being built on false identity, many of the emotions that are shared are intimate and based on a special connection with another person. This can be hard to give up.

The name, age, or gender of their catfish may be different now but the two have already invested so much time building a strong connection with one another that the victim sometimes thinks it is worth continuing the relationship.

"[Stupidly] enough he still means the world to me. When I talk to him [it] feels like coming home." (Catherine, 37)

Some victims report building long-term friendships with their exposed catfish.

It is interesting to note that it is often the catfish who wants to end the relationship when all is revealed because they are unable to maintain the relationship using their actual identity.

Viewing catfish cases as the intense, intimate relationships they are, where both parties may feel strong feelings for the other, it is inevitable that the revelation of the deception about the catfish's actual identity will end in a lot of tears, feelings of betrayal and overwhelming pangs of loss.

Although these relationships are based in lies and dishonesty, the intimate connections forged between two people are very real, as are the emotional consequences for both.

Dr Eric J Vanman and Samantha Lo Monaco are from the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland

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