Q: “I just saw the reality show, Catfish, and heard about Manti Te’o. How do I know the person I’m talking to online is really who they say they are and not an imposter like the people on the show?” - Michael P.
A: This is a very important question because, believe it or not, this is a very common problem. If you met someone online and are developing some kind of relationship, there’s a very significant chance this person is a faker, regardless of how intimate your connection may be.
Our culture prizes good looking girls and places very low value on overweight or less than attractive women. It’s easy for a woman to feel like if she’s not a 20-30 year old beauty queen that no one will want her. Many girls are used to feeling like outcasts by the “in crowd” that she envies.
The internet is a way for people to be whoever they want, to look like whatever they want, and to have relationships with whoever they want. The logical among us would say, “but what’s the point? They could never meet in person or have any kind of physical relationship!” That’s true, but when you are as desperate as these people are, they will take what they can get. It’s extremely sad, but very real.
Here are the 10 ways to tell if she is fake:
1 – Does she have a lot of pictures of herself?
Fakers will take the pictures from someone else’s facebook and use them as their own. This takes time! If there’s not that many pictures of her face and mostly pictures of other things, that’s a red flag.
2 – Are the people in her pictures tagged?
Fakers can steal a lot of pictures from someone else’s profile, but it would be hard for her to tag all the people in them. Some people don’t tag, so it doesn’t necessarily mean they are faking, but if they are all tagged and linked to credible facebook pages, then they are most likely the person in their pictures.
3 – Is she tagged by other people?
Most people will have a lot more pictures that other people have tagged than pictures they have uploaded. If she isn’t tagged by many other people in other photos, that’s a huge red flag. It could mean she’s really vain and doesn’t like unflattering pictures of her online, but it most likely means she’s a faker.
Be aware, however, that fakers tend to create multiple accounts and pretend to be other people to fill out their fantasy. So, if they are just tagged by a few different people, that’s still a red flag. But, if they are tagged by a lot of different people, that’s a good sign.
4 – Do the pictures line up with who she says she is?
Do the pictures (that show her face) show her doing the things she says she does? If she says she’s a soccer player, are there pictures of her in soccer gear? If she says she’s in the military, are there any pictures (which show her face) on base or in military gear?
Most fakers try to base their “character” on themselves so that they have to lie as little as possible. After all, this is their ideal self. They rarely change their interests. They do want to feel as though you are in love with them. To do that, they want to open up and share as much of themselves with you as they can without exposing themselves as a fake.
Most of what you know about a fake is true, they only change the things they hate about themselves. So a faker’s photo album will usually have a bunch of pictures related to what they like, but neither she nor her friends are in them. Then, interspersed in them are pictures of “her” and her “friends” which are completely unrelated to anything else.
5 – Does she have mostly guys as her friends?
Fakers don’t usually reach out to many people of the same gender. They’ll usually have a few fake accounts of the same gender, but by far most will be people she’s interested in starting a relationship with.
6 – Have any of her friends actually met her?
Contact several of her male friends and ask if they have ever actually met her. She will probably have a fake account or two of the opposite gender, and those “friends” will go to bat for her (of course), but if most of the people you ask have never met her and have similar stories to yours, that’s a big red flag!
7 – Does something always come up at the last minute?
If you’ve ever tried to meet and something comes up at the last minute and you aren’t able to, that’s a really bad sign. If it happens more than once, that’s an enormous red flag!
8 – Does she get mad when you seem to have doubts?
A faker will get upset every time you seem to be having doubts. They’ll talk about the importance of trust or act all hurt and sad that you don’t trust her. They’ll try to make you feel guilty for doubting her. I don’t care how close you have become and how much you have professed your love for each other, you should never feel guilty for having doubts if you’ve never met her face to face.
9 – Do a Google image search.
Download a bunch of her profile pictures and drag them into the Google image search bar (where you would normally type something). This will bring up similar pictures it finds on the internet. If she took these pictures from someone else’s profile, there’s a chance it might show up in the search. It doesn’t always work, however, and even if you did find someone else with those pictures, you really don’t know who stole from who.
If you do find another profile with those pictures, friend them and explain the situation. If that person has pictures that your gf doesn’t have, that’s a pretty clear indication of who is real and who isn’t. If that person is tagged by many more people that your gf, that’s also a bad sign.
10 – Have her take a picture just for you.
Come up with something very unique that you know she wouldn’t already have a picture of. Have her take a picture licking a stapler or something equally ridiculous. Or better yet, have her take a picture holding a piece of paper with a specific message written on it. The picture, of course, must show her face in it.
Beware of photoshop, though. Make sure it’s a picture that couldn’t be photoshopped. If she refuses or tries to make you feel guilty for even suggesting it, that’s a really bad sign! That’s exactly what a faker would do. If she doesn’t have a camera, have her get a disposable camera.
You have every right to require this before becoming emotionally involved with someone! Think about it. You are giving access to the most valuable thing in your life…your heart. And you can’t develop the level of trust she wants without settling these doubts! If you have to, turn the tables and make her feel guilty for refusing to honor your one requirement.
If she is real and really cares about you, she won’t have any problem doing it. If she threatens to end the relationship because of this, then you’ll know 100% for sure that she is a faker! Don’t bother going after her. I promise she’s faking! Every part of you will be feeling like you need to go after her or apologize, because losing her would be horrible. But, trust me, you never had her!
She’s not real.