Dating and Relationship Advice

Gone are the days of the Dr. Phil specials and Dateline exposés where catfishing was an IM-ing nightmare. A catfish can snare even the most tech-savvy, critical, and conscious of users. Follow these easy steps to catch and kill a catfish and tell the difference between a catfish and a koi fish when using dating apps.

Catfish Signs

  • They seem too good to be true. A hot doctor who wants to pay for your traveling expenses worldwide? As much as we'd like to believe people like this are still single and swiping, the reality is that "perfect catch profiles" are go-to's for catfish.
  • Mismatched photos. Blonde in one, brunette in another, red-head in a third? They might be riding out a tumultuous breakup with haircuts or, more likely, they are a catfish pulling images from different sources. Inconsistent imagery is a key sign of a catfish.
  • Only professional photos. Stock and royalty-free photos make it easier to mislead people on dating apps. If someone only has professional headshots and highly curated photographs, it might be catfish using the free spoils of Google Image Search.
  • They go too deep, too fast. Are they saying they love you within days of texting? Are they telling you secrets that they've "never told anyone before"? Are you two talking about being in a relationship before ever meeting up in person? Catfish love to use flowery language to feign personal connections with people to make it easier to steal and squander them in the future.
  • They're asking all the wrong questions. Want to know your pet's name growing up? Your favorite childhood teacher? What would your last name be if it was your mother's maiden name? These probing questions aren't as innocent and quirky as they might seem. Catfish will ask you questions like these — which are typical security questions for banking accounts — as a way to seemingly innocently steal your information.

Blocking Catfishers

The founders of iris created the platform to provide a safe and exclusive dating community after they grew tired of endlessly swiping, matching with fake profiles, and getting catfished. The dating app blocked 150,000 scammers from joining iris creating a safer, more trustworthy platform where users can make quality, honest connections.

What is "koi fish"?

A "koi fish" isn't quite a catfish, but they share many similarities. A koi fish, also known as a "coy fish," will muddy the waters of their account to appear a certain way — more attractive, more wealthy, less misogynistic, less inexperienced. Koi fish aren't bad people; they are just experts manipulating media to make themselves more desirable. Picking out the signs of a koi fish can save you from shock or discomfort down the line.

  • Relies on group shots. This person has a lot of photos of other people, all group shots, and no individuals or selfies. While this seems, at first glance, like a social or fun person, it could be someone using the lure of their attractive friend and exciting adventures to get you to swipe right.
  • Too much of the medium. As a Libra, you will never hear me saying that indecision or middle ground is bad. However, if an account relies too much on medium answers — like saying they drink/smoke/workout "sometimes," are a "moderate," or "don't know" what they're looking for — you can be sure they are fishing with an intentionally larger net.
  • Every picture is with other girls. Showing one's feminist side or closeness with ladies is always a green flag for me, but if every picture is with another woman, you might want to ask what they are trying to prove. Is this inclusion of women done insidiously to make you feel more comfortable? Or is it just that he loves his sisters and nieces? None of these koi fish attributes are immediate red flags, just signs that you should keep investigating.
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