According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) study, over 18,000 people were catfished in 2018 — making it the seventh-most reported scam of that year. Between those 18,000 people, over $360 million was lost.
A catfish is someone pretending to be another person online. The catfish might use photos and personal information to pose as other people. This tactic is used for various reasons but often involves romance scams.
To combat this, the FBI advises online daters to use reverse image searches online to confirm the identity of someone who you’re chatting with online and whom you haven’t met in person.
TikToker Kel (@me0wkz) posted a new method for weeding out fake profiles. To do this, she took a screenshot of the potential catfish’s profile picture and uploaded it to Pinterest, which then showed her other examples of that photo elsewhere.
Her video received nearly 3 million views, and many of the commenters were surprised they could do this on Pinterest.
“Will be doing this for now on bro,” replied @0kay_c00i.
“Thank you for teaching me life changing info,” commented @http.n3n3.
This hack is similar to the Google reverse image search, which also allows users to insert a photo to see its origins. These tools are arguably necessary, as weeding out catfish online can be an issue for some people.
This trick could also be helpful as the number of social media accounts per person rises. In 2022, UScasinos.com released a survey saying that half of all Americans reported having multiple fake social media accounts.
TikTokers have figured out other ways to find out the truth about unknown identities. One of these hacks is to insert the phone number of an unknown caller into Cash App or Zelle, which would then reveal their true name. While this does only work if the person is registered with the apps, some TikTokers have found it helpful to find out the truth.
“It always works. Thats how I found who my ex was cheating with,” replied @kirbyffl.
As catfishing and false identities continue to be an issue for some people, TikTokers are here to assist in weeding out fake people online.
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