The internet is a strange and wonderful place. You don’t need to be yourself when you interact with others online. It’s easy to create a whole new persona. Why be boring Brenda when you can be hot, interesting Candy?
Of course, it works both ways. That cute guy you’ve been chatting with on a social media site says he’s in the Marine Corp and he’s looking for Ms. Right, but he could actually be a scammer after your divorce settlement.
The point we are making here is that it is very easy to be sucked in by online acquaintances who feed you bogus information. People on social media sites often don’t use their real names. They don’t even use their own photos for their profiles. Instead, they create an interesting bio, complete with fake pictures lifted from a popular Instagram account, and pretend to be someone they are not.
This behavior is known as “catfishing”. Sometimes it’s innocent, perhaps because a person doesn’t think anyone will be interested in the real “them”, but more often than not it’s done to deceive, scam, or troll other accounts.
Search Online for Information about a Person
You don’t need a person’s real name to find out their identity. There are lots of ways to search for individuals online thanks to tools like reverse image search.
A reverse image search lets you search for an image online. Paste the image into the search box and see where else it appears. It’s a handy way of checking whether your latest Tinder match is actually an underwear model or just purporting to be.
You can reverse image search for free on Google or use a site like TinEye or Duplichecker.
If you don’t have any photos but you do have an email address and/or a phone number, use Nuwber to see what information you can find out about this person.
Nuwber lets you search for information using minimal details. With a phone number, address, or email address, you can check whether the information you have on this person adds up. For example, they could have told you one story, but their details are linked to an entirely different person.
It’s much harder to make a judgment about someone when your only contact with them is online. In real life, we can read their body language and pick up non-verbal clues. But online, the only information we have is what they tell us.
If you have any doubts about an online date or acquaintance, do a little digging to put your mind at rest. Reverse search their images to make sure they are who they claim to be. Search for their phone number or email address, to check whether they are linked to someone else. Why put yourself at risk needlessly when you can verify what someone is telling you before you meet them?
You can also search for someone you have lost touch with, like an old social media buddy you once chatted to.
Finally, it is surprisingly easy to search for people online. Use a reverse search tool like Nuwber, especially when you are suspicious about a person or you have lost touch with a friend or relative. Technology is your friend, so use it!