Catfish aren’t only found in rivers. They are online too, and they can wreak havoc on your loved one’s life. The term catfish refers to a person who pretends to be someone else online. Unfortunately, catfish find new ways every day to scam people (and are especially adept at targeting seniors). Their approach varies, depending on the situation:
- Some pose as would-be suitors on dating sites, promising the world to hundreds of people every month, all while angling to scam people out of money, their online identity, and often their dignity.
- Others pose as refugees or someone in need of charity. And who wouldn’t want to help a person in need?
- Some even pose as long-lost relatives or friends, even going as far as using photos of people you know in order to establish a connection.
It’s practically impossible to live a life free of an online existence. And you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your social media existence or email address just to maintain your privacy. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved one? Below are some helpful suggestions:
- If you haven’t met them in person, don’t assume what they say is true
- Never provide personal information (this goes for everything, including your address and phone number, not just obvious data like your social security number and banking information)
- Do not, under any circumstances, send money
- Use anti-virus software and back up your information on all of your devices
- Password-protect all of your devices
- Hire a Caregiver to be there to answer the phone or help with strange calls
When dealing with criminals and potentially dangerous people, the main thing to remember is that they don’t have the same value system as you. While you wouldn’t think to scam someone out of money or embarrass them publicly, catfishers don’t give a second thought to whether they’re ruining someone’s life.
Please contact us if you have a loved one who needs assistance from a caregiver in their home. We have years of experience and we’d be happy to help you.