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What you should know about ‘catfishing’

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“MTV defines the term ‘catfish’ as a verb: ‘Cat·fish [kat-fish]: To pretend to be someone you’re not online by posting false information, such as someone else’s pictures, on social media sites, usually with the intention of getting someone to fall in love with you.’)”

Beware the Catfisher out there, stalking the cyber halls of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the many other social media platforms, we are all so attached too. The Catfisher has multiple reasons for being online, from revenge, loneliness, curiosity or boredom, this cyber predator, will use any means necessary to lure you into their honey trap.

Young girls and boys are being targeted through a Catfisher, using a “hot young photo” and caressing language, these Catfishers, will tease you, please you and then seize your attention. Girls as young as 10 years old have been coerced in to sending inappropriate photos of themselves, in their underwear or less, to these Catfishers, who is pretending to be a handsome young teenage boy but in reality is a grown man of 40+ years of age. These photos are then shared across a very dark and shady platform, and even worse are sometimes used as “auction photos” for child trafficking.

The Catfisher is smart and starts off slow and easy, grooming these young girls and boys to share their thoughts, their photos and everyday lives…giving the Catfisher more and more control over them, until the Catfisher gets them to meet up and then poof…. Your child is gone!!

Catfishers also target grownups, for many of the same reasons they target young people or children… they want something from you and it is not love. These Catfishers use you for financial gain, lulling you into an emotional rollercoaster, with tales of woe and need, until you offer to help in some small way. Nevertheless, this small way is never enough for them, and again they will milk you for more. Until you say No…. and then like the wind they disappear off the web, and you are left hurt and out of pocket.

Beware the Cyber Catfish…. They are not to be trusted!!

Alas, the Cyber Catfish is not the only Troll on the web…. As we find the king and queen of heartbreakers…. The Love-Bombers

Love Bombing is a seductive tactic, which is used when someone who is manipulative tries to control the relationship with bombs brimming with “love” right from day one.

Love bombers do not just walk up and say: “We belong together.” They have to give you evidence that it is true. That is why they target the vulnerable. Masquerading as good listeners, the bomber gathers information on your likes, dislikes, insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Before you know it, they are saying you have so much in common, therefore you must be soul mates.

Love bombers are not just confident you belong together for all time; they describe the future in detail, as if it’s a Hollywood screenplay. They use phrases like “We’re going to be so happy together…” and “Someday, when I take you to Europe…” and “I can’t wait for my parents to meet you…” “This is just a difficult phase, we have the rest of our lives together, don’t give up on us…”

To manipulate you into thinking you have just found your soul mate, the love bomber builds you up to an idealised object. They constantly point out all the good traits you possess, and minimise any of the bad. Mention that you have gained a few pounds, and the bomber will say how much healthier you look with a little extra weight.

The love bomber is there to give you the self-image you wish you had, but lack. You are their project. Text sessions that last for hours, depriving you of sleep; flowers sent to work, with notes extolling your virtues; surprise visits, trips, gifts, all with the same message: “You deserve nothing less!”

The Love-Bomber will start to take up all your time, and will start isolating you from your friends and family. The Love-Bomber will demand more and more of you, and play emotional games with, to make you doubt yourself and become more and more attached them…. Even though in reality, they are married, involved or masquerading as someone else. And when they are tired of toying with you, they disappear leaving you broken-hearted and bewildered.

If you think you are being Love Bombed…. Take the following steps and take a step back…

  • Stop: Slow things down. Have a talk and say: “I really love everything about you, but let’s slow things down a bit, it’s moving too fast, and I’m a bit scared of that.”
    I have texts of me telling him “I’m a bit scared at how close to you I feel already” All the signs were there
  • Look: Actions speak louder than words. If his words and actions are not coordinated, that is a big red flag.
  • Listen: Listen carefully to what he says, and do not be afraid to challenge the assertions. If he says: “We will be perfect together,” reply: “Well it’s early, but so far, so good.”

Also, remember that love bombers hate to be challenged, and a sarcastic reply to any of your comments above is another warning.

The important thing to remember about love bombing is that it is psychological partner abuse. When one person intentionally manipulates and exploits another’s weakness or insecurity, there is no other word for it. If it is done for a malicious purpose or personal gain at all, it is abuse in its worse form.

The Catfish and Love-Bomber has only one intension. To groom you, and hook you so they can manipulate and use you.

Take heed online, it can be a shady place, and not all you see is true and above board, so trust your instincts and note the red flags, and protect your heart and children from the dark side of the predator Catfish.

Ref: Daily News UK, Online Dating Sites, Wikipedia, Catch The Catfish, MTV, Interviews with Victims (names will not be revealed)

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