My gut feeling from the beginning was that something was amiss, but I went with it anyway. After about an hour, I reverse searched one of his Instagram images. That's a trick I learned on Catfish. Immediately, the photo came up on the profile of a respectable New York businessman. For the next few hours, I was cagey and John persisted - even when I called him on the photo issue. He just got hurt and then forgave me. That was nice of him.
So, here are my top ten ways to spot a catfish, based on this weekend:
- If your instinct tells you something is wrong, listen to it. You're probably right.
- The more perfect they seem to be, the more likely they are to be imaginary.
- When they ask about your interests and they seem to match theirs perfectly, smell a rat.
- If they say "I miss you" after just a few hours, they don't. They can't - especially if you've only conversed online.
- Social media platforms are social. Dating platforms are for flirting.
- Video calls tell you a lot. If technical issues stop that happening, there's a reason.
- No photos of them with friends on their social media platforms? Who does that?
- Extensive travel for their job is great, but do their social media platforms reflect that?
- They say they're English but their language sounds like a translation.
- As soon as they ask anything about your financial situation, drop them. I said "I've got to go" and signed off.