Monday, January 17, 2022

The Annoying Act of Catfishing

This pandemic has everyone going online for everything. Shopping, food deliveries, dating…just about anything that you can do online is currently being done online. Apparently, even scammers have become more active online as well. 

Photo by vojta_kucer on Pixabay

There are so many people that I have encountered online recently who have been messaging me on my Instagram account. I never had a problem with it before but it seems that with my weight loss I have had messages from men a lot lately who are showing “interest” in me. I told my family about it and they said it wouldn’t hurt to see if it was real or not and that I should reply. I tried it a couple of times but every time I did there were all these red flags that showed that these guys were just catfishing (pretending to be someone they’re not) to message with me. I have read about instances where people do this to get the woman’s interest and scam them out of their money. No way will I ever be interested in that. 

Another annoying thing about it was that two of the people who messaged me seemed to have this opinion about women they message online. One was ordering me to do this and that so that “we could get to know each other better.” Another kept on implying that since he’s from the US, I might be someone who wants to go there (also a hard no). I’m normally not a snob when it comes to meeting people online. I think my blog friends, especially from my early days, can attest to the fact that I am friendly to the people I meet online who read my blog and appreciate my posts. These days, however, I feel the need to be extra careful about these people online.  After the recent experience of trying to reply to these people, I have decided to simply block them when they message me. 

These aren’t the only types of messages I get online. There have been a lot of messages from accounts that claim to want to collaborate with me as an influencer (even if I have less than 500 followers). There are also those accounts that pretend to be members of BTS (a band that I am a big fan of). One of them even got mad at me when I said that I did not believe them because they would never message anyone that way. Sure enough, those accounts started disappearing as soon as the real members of BTS opened their own official accounts on Instagram.

I have also been getting views on my Instagram stories from accounts that are promoting pornography and sex work on their profiles. I remember there was a time that these accounts were actively posting on celebrity posts but Instagram was able to put a stop to it. Seems like they moved on to the stories feature. They don't post anything on your stories, but they do have provocative account names and their profiles are usually empty with just a link that will most likely lead to a virus or some malware. I guess they are counting on people to be curious enough to click the link. Sadly even if I reported these accounts it seems nothing can be done to put a stop to it. 

I can’t help but take note of the fact that all these are coming from Instagram. I have a blog and I don’t get weird messages from anyone there. I have Twitter and there have never been cases of messages like this from that platform either. I think Instagram has to do something to ensure the legitimacy of the accounts on their platform. I have reported several accounts to them recently but they have replied that they did not find anything wrong with the accounts I questioned. At this point, all I can do is block these accounts…even if they keep on coming.

Have any of you experienced the same thing online? Anyone with similar experiences on Instagram? What did you do about it?


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