The (unfortunately) popular dating term “catfishing” goes way back to the viral 2012 MTV documentary series, Catfish.

Nev Schulman, the host of the show, released the first episode when he discovered that he was in a fake online relationship with a 19-year-old female model named Megan.

Plot twist: “Megan” turned out to really be Angela—an older, troubled housewife.

So, what is catfishing?

A “catfish” is defined as someone who creates a fake online profile and pretends to be someone they are not, in order to appear more “attractive” to the other party.

Here are some signs that the person you’re talking to is a catfish—and that you should start running, stat.

1. They won’t Skype or FaceTime you.

“Sorry, my WiFi isn’t working.”

When the hosts on Catfish advises people in doubt to “Skype it out”, there’s a good reason why.

They’ll always have an excuse for not meeting you.

If your date refuses to pick up the phone or FaceTime, and cancels face-to-face meetups every single time, they might be hiding something. 

2. They are picture-perfect, like literally.

Scored a date who looks just like Channing Tatum or Scarlett Johansson?

Well, it might be a good time to be extra skeptical and do a quick Google image search just to be sure.

If your date has a couple of professionally taken pics, a bio boasting excellent credentials and a lifestyle that matches the Kardashians, they’re either ridiculously perfect…or just really good at scamming people.

3. They ask you for money.

One of the most common reasons why people catfish is to cash in on some of that $$$.

They may play the victim card by narrating a sob story of how their relative is dying of a terminal illness, or how they can’t come to visit you unless you pay for their air ticket.

If you don’t know your date well enough to know if they are catfishing, say no.

Otherwise, you might be in for a slow and steady road to bankruptcy.

4. They throw in the L-bomb.

Getting love-bombed is a huge sign that your online bae is catfishing you. 

Are they making all sorts of false promises and professing their love a little too early

The attention might feel good at first, but if it starts becoming uncomfortable and over-the-top (e.g. them proclaiming their love for you on day one) they are probably trying to create a false sense of intimacy to get something out of you.

5. Their online presence is non-existent. 

Is their social media not very social at all? 

While everyone is busy posting about their lives on Facebook or Instagram, your date’s social media updates just seem a little…off.

Their social feeds never mention or show any friends, family or colleagues, and neither do they have any tagged photos of them.

Having less than 10 friends should be a warning sign, so pay close attention to whether or not the information they are sharing with you matches up to their online presence.

6. Your gut tells you something’s up.

If something feels weird and the inconsistencies are becoming too much for you to bear no matter how small they are, trust your gut on this one.

Our intuition is extremely powerful in detecting when someone’s full of BS and trying to hide something.

How to deal with catfishing

A report showed that over 50% of people exaggerate or lie on their profiles in dating apps. While we are all guilty of dabbling in a little white lie every now and then, we can all agree that being catfished just isn’t acceptable.

If things seem suspicious, you might want to consider asking a group of trusted friends for advice or their opinions on the matter.

After all, are you sure you want to be romantically swept off your feet…with a lie?

Erm, no thanks.