CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception

Fraudsters, scammers or cyber-criminals are using new creative ways of deceiving lonely persons who use online dating websites in the hope of finding long lasting love. This act is known as CatPhishing or CatFishing, a dating or romance scam where persons perpetrate themselves as someone they are not on an online dating or social media website, in order to gain access to personal and banking information from their "online love".

CatFishing or CatFish Scam  Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception

What these scammers will do is, create fake online accounts on dating websites or social media where they prey on your emotional side expressing their love to you in a very somewhat short time as a means of building your trust and gaining your interests. They also appeal to your compassionate side by sharing personal information, stories and even send you gifts by making you feel loved.

Once these scammers have earned your trust they will ask you for large sums of cash, gifts or your banking and credit card information. They will express their need for a number of reasons. Some of these false claims to victims are that they are facing financial problems or they have a close relative who is not feeling well and is in the hospital. These scammers will push on your emotional side and ask you to send money to assist with medical bills. They will also make arrangements of romantic travel visits to you in an attempt to have you pay for their plane tickets but will never show.

How to spot warning signs and safeguard against being a victim of dating scams:

  • You may do a Google search on profile pictures of the person you are communicating with if you somewhat believe you are being tricked. Verify that the person they say they are is ture.
  • The person is always calling and asking you for money.
  • Never send your money to someone that asks you to pay money through money orders, wire transfer or international funds transfer for any reason given.
  • Never trust a complete stranger with whom you have never had face-to-face contact with your personal or banking information.

If you are a victim of CatPhishing or CatFishing dating scams, please contact your local authority. Also if somewhat believe you have shared your banking information to a fraudster, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Also share this with your friends and family so they are aware of this scam.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Comments (Total: 6)

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December 10, 2019 at 11:02 PM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception
an anonymous user from: Clevedon, England, United Kingdom

Most of this people claiming to be military on dating sites are scammers. You find them on every dating sites, also on instagram. I was involved in a romance scam that I lost a lot of money to the tune $500,000 . I advice you to always insist to see your alleged lover before any financial commitment...


August 24, 2019 at 12:22 PM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception

"From: jennifer awa <>

Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2019, 01:58:11 AM GMT 2

Subject: Hello my dearest

Hello my dearest

How are you doing my name is Miss jennifer awa I am interested to know you more, Beside i have something very vital to disclose to you,"

Here is another scam.


June 20, 2019 at 12:01 PM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception

From: FAVOUR Johnny <>

Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 7:47:42 PM GMT 2

Subject: HI


my name is Favour, please send me mail and i will give youy my pictures and tell you more about me.

I hope our heart will lead to something great in time, because if you are true soul mate time will tell. I will always continue to pray for your good health. I look forward to hear from you soon, have a wonderful morning ahead.



June 20, 2019 at 10:30 AM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception

"From: kathleen Braithwaite <>

Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2019, 9:13:10 AM GMT 2

Subject: Nice meeting you

Hello Dear

Nice meeting you, am Sgt.Kathleen Braithwaite from USA, a female,today i came across your contact through my search, please kindly reply me back there is something very important i want to share with you and i will send you some of my pictures for you to know me more.

I,m waiting for your urgent response .

Thanks and have a nice day.

Sgt.Kathleen Braithwaite."

Here is another scam.


February 20, 2019 at 7:25 PM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception
afarrow from: Blue Earth, Minnesota, United States

I don't know how to track this but I want to follow this post


February 20, 2019 at 5:59 PM by
CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception
an anonymous user from: Blue Earth, Minnesota, United States

I was playing Words With Friends when I clicked on next game and it was with a stranger who starting talking too me, no big deal right.

He asked for my phone number and started texting me he eventually asked for my email and started sending emails.

The messages were all very nice not at all sexual (except for one about a dream he had then he asked how I felt about that).

After about 3 weeks he said his bank account was frozen and he was working on a rig offshore in Canada and needed Itunes cards to do paperwork.

I did buy them and scratch the code and send them because that wasn't going to amount to much and what if right?

Anyway about 1 week later he started talking about the cold on the rig and needed to buy electronic jackets for himself and the 9 men on the rig with him and they cost 1730.00 each.

I told him no I couldn't do that.

He said you know you can.

Why would he think I had that kind of money?

Why would he present himself to me on Words With Friends as a 60 year old widower when my age isn't on there?

Has anyone experienced anything like that?


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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

CatFishing or CatFish Scam: Online Dating, Love or Romance Deception