Is your online buddy really your friend?

Many of us in the world today have made friends online, whether it be through social networking or online gaming. However, you should be careful with how much you trust that person.

There have been many cases where that person is pretending to be someone they are not, which is typically called “catfishing.” However, in extreme cases of catfishing, they aren’t just pretending to be someone they’re not, they are attempting to gain private information about you. At this point, it becomes similar to other forms of phishing.

Catphishers will attempt to gain private and otherwise personal information about you, that you would not want to be known to a wider audience so that they can then use it to blackmail you. Another form of catphishing is to attempt to get you to send them money for help with fake injuries or sick relatives.

Short of meeting in person or using some form of live video chat, there is, unfortunately, no way to tell if a person is who they claim they are on the internet.  Even when meeting in person/video chatting, there is still the chance that they are using a false identity. 

When in doubt, if your gut tells you that something is off, trust it.