Wednesday, January 31, 2024
By
Web Desk

What is catfishing and why do people catfish?

Catfishing is a common tactic used by many people on dating apps, websites

By
Web Desk
An illustration depicting catfishing. — eSafety Commissioner
An illustration depicting catfishing. — eSafety Commissioner

A person who creates a false identity online with a goal of deceiving, harassing or conning someone else is engaging in catfishing. 

It's a frequent approach on dating apps and websites, as well as social media, to build connections online under false pretenses, and occasionally to trick individuals into falling for financial scams, according to CNN.

Intimate photos may also be obtained from a victim by the "catfish", who uses them to coerce or blackmail the victim. This is referred to as sextortion. Alternatively, they could steal identities using other provided personal information.

Although there are a variety of reasons why people turn to catfish, the Cybersmile Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that promotes digital well-being, claims that a lack of confidence is the most frequent cause. 

According to the foundation, appearing to be someone more attractive to others can make someone feel happier if they are unhappy with who they are.

In addition, they might conceal their identity in order to harass or extort someone, engage in a different kind of relationship, or troll someone. To investigate their sexual inclinations, some people may engage in catfishing.

The Cybersmile Foundation reports that although catfishing on online dating services used to be more common among adults, it is now just as common among teenagers.

More than 6,000 Gen Z teens and young adults in Australia, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US participated in a Snapchat survey last year, and the results showed that over two-thirds of them or their friends had been the target of catfish or hackers who sought to steal personal photos of them in order to blackmail them.