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If you see this girl's photo online, you're probably being catfished

If you see this girl's photo online, you're probably being catfished
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Have you heard about "catfishing?" It's another big Internet scam that has gotten a lot of press lately. Imagine meeting someone online who you really connect with. You've established a nice relationship and you think you've met your match. But your match could really be a 45-year old man living in his mom's basement. That's kind of the idea behind catfishing.

The goal of catfishing isn't to trick you into giving out your personal information. Instead, catfish scammers online trick you into thinking they're someone they're not and will try to trick you into entering a fake emotional or romantic relationship. It might be for their own amusement. Or they might be setting you up for a sweetheart scam. You might remember that it's what happened to NFL player Manti Te'o.

The term was coined by the documentary "Catfish," which tells the story of a woman who used Facebook to create a fake online identity. Every time, catfishers use fake photos to fool their victims, but there's one woman who has been used a lot over the last decade in fake profiles all over the Internet. Now, when I say a lot, I'm talking 60 different profiles on social sites ranging from MySpace to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Next page: See the photo and let me know if you've ever stumbled across it online.
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