‘Cat fishing’ is basically luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Though mostly employed for romance scams, cat fishing is also used for financial gain or to compromise a victim etc. Many people have been lured into dangerous situations and worse still, dangerous relationships via cat fishing. Their modus operandi is mostly to create a very enticing on-line persona fascinating enough to lure-in their victims.
The popular ‘I Go Marry’ scam aka IGMs is a typical example, especially in this part of the world, in Nigeria. Two people meet on-line and start a relationship. Now they are chatting, voice calling, video calling, Face-timing etc). Feelings are caught, marriage is promised and the extortion game begins. Suddenly, the guy is using every antic in the book to extort money from the unsuspecting girl who is over the moon to be getting married to her ‘boo’. She gives in to the incessant demands. After all it’s not like the guy is broke or something (what with the bourgeois lifestyle he flaunts on social media). After all, as the guy said, it’s all for planning their future together. One thing leads to another and girl discovers she has been cat fished. Ooops… the guy never intended to marry her from the start. What does she do? She comes to social media to rant. Sometimes, the story is vice-versa (in this case, the cat fisher is a girl and the guy is the victim).
Don’t get it me wrong. There are a lot of wonderful people on social media. In fact, quite a number of people are lucky to have met their partners on social media and gone ahead to ‘live happily ever after’, but you will be making a grave mistake, if you assume that everybody on social media is truly who they appear to be. One has to be careful, in order not to fall victim to ‘cat fishing’ and ‘cat fishers’.
Also, watch out for those who pose as being single, lonely and searching, when they are in fact married, engaged or in a committed relationship. They are usually just out to lure their unsuspecting victims into relationships with them. Two people meet on-line and start dating, then comes the engagement, wedding plans and/or starting a family. Suddenly, in a shocking twist of events, ‘the poor lonely and searching ‘bae’ has actually been married all along to someone else or set to wed someone else. Cases like this have become so rampant that one begins to wonder at how ‘careless and carefree’ our generation has become. Like seriously…what happened to the good ol’ days of finding out as much as you can about your ‘chyker’ before going ahead to date? The days when the families of the intending couple go to find out stuffs about their future in-laws, before any marriage arrangements take place.
Anybody can be a victim of cat fishing. The key is staying ‘woke’, to avoid being a victim. Before starting a relationship with someone you meet on social media or going in too deep with them, find out as much as you can about them on and off-line. Don’t let feelings cloud your reasoning. Don’t let your love become blind!
Be Aware…Lest You Get Cat Fished!!!