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Thursday, February 26, 2015

I got "catfished" -- How you can prevent it!

I really enjoy blogging.  And I really hope you all enjoy reading this blog.  It has been a great way to document my travels, my training, and my move out west.  It is an awesome way for my family and friends back home to enjoy my pictures and stories from my "new life" out here in Utah.

However, sharing (some) of your life publically, has a few negative aspects.  Mostly, your information and pictures are out there for everyone to see.  I realize it is time to start "watermarking" my photos so that is one change I am going to have to start making.

Well, this change came about after an anonymous blog reader (no idea who you are or how you found this information but thanks) notified me that either I had moved to North Carolina and didn't tell anyone, or someone was using my blog as a way to get pictures and information to "catfish" on OK Cupid.

Well, I was pretty confused and felt pretty old when I had to ask a friend what catfishing even means.

My information, details of my personal life, and information about me was slightly altered and posted on OK Cupid (a dating website).  I am not sure the end result but I am assuming basically, someone uses my pictures and information to attract men online.  A friend was telling me how someone had just been scammed $10,000 when she "fell in love" with someone catfishing and for who knows WHAT reason.... sent them $10,000.  Unfortunately online romance scams are really a thing, and in 2011 alone it was estimated $50 million were lost due to online romance scandals. 

I am not sure what Miss Kelsers wanted my account for, but it was insanely creepy.  There were even about 10 of my personal pictures on there (all from my blog), and one was even of me in shorts and a sports bra after a run.

Like I said...... REALLY creepy. 

After about ten minutes of my discovery from my anonymous reader (how did you find this?)  the profile was taken down. 

So, while having a blog is a lot of fun, and great in many ways, it can suck in a few ways... and this is one. Sorry to all the men falling in love with me on Ok Cupid (in my dreams) sorry but I am not taking applications for potential suitors.  

Here are some tips to avoid being catfished: 
1.      Social Protection/Prevention
a.       Private setting on social media accounts
b.      Accept only friend requests of people you know
c.       Video chatting to prove identity
d.      Watermarking photos
e.       Google search and alert for your name
            OR: - free service that helps manage your online profile—you will receive regular updates to any changes to your online Google presence
f.       Reverse image search:  Lets you upload your pictures or provide the URL for your pictures and will tell you where else they are showing up. 

2.      Traditional identity theft prevention
a.      Checking statements
b.      Checking credit score
c. – use this, avoid knockoffs
d.      Pay with credit card vs debit card 

Anyone ever have their identity stolen somehow or found themselves on an online dating site?

1 comment :

  1. Katie this is so creepy, so sorry!! Glad you found out and had it taken care of, and thanks for the tips!


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