904 - Not everyone is who they seem: Tom talks Catfishing - Screw The Commute

904 – Not everyone is who they seem: Tom talks Catfishing

I'm going to talk about another thing to try to protect you. And it's called catfishing. Catfishing is where someone takes on someone else's persona with a picture, a beautiful model, or a male or female, and for some nefarious purpose, either to build their own self-esteem, to trick you, to try to identity theft, all those kinds of things. So I'll tell you what happened to me just yesterday. And to give you some facts and figures of how important this is.

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[00:23] Tom's introduction to Catfishing

[01:46] Romance scams and all the complaints received

[06:48] Watch out for the little red flags you might ignore

[11:40] Using WhatsApp and trying to connect with you

[16:17] They want to keep your relationship “secret”

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Episode 904 - Catfishing
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom with episode 904 of screw the commute podcast. Today, I'm going to talk about another thing to try to protect you. And it's called catfishing. Catfishing is where someone takes on someone else's persona with a picture, a beautiful model, or a male or female, and for some nefarious purpose, either to build their own self-esteem, to trick you, to try to identity theft, all those kinds of things. So I'll tell you what happened to me just yesterday. And to give you some facts and figures of how important this is. I hope you didn't miss episode 903. That was QR code scams. You know, I'm a big proponent of QR codes for you to help your business, but I don't want you to get screwed over by clicking on or scanning a QR code and you don't click on them. Scanning a QR code that can hurt you and that a lot of them can hurt you. So we'll get into that. Episode 903. Anytime you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash, and then the episode number. Today's catfishing 904. And pick up a copy of our automation book. It's screwthecommute.com/automatefree and check out my mentor program at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com.

[00:01:47] All right, here's the latest figures from the Federal Trade Commission. They are a little bit old, their 2021 figures. But in that time period, 56,000 complaints on romance scams came in. Now I suggest that it's probably triple, quadruple or more that because people either don't ever realize they were scammed or they're so embarrassed they don't want to admit it. But listen to the reported I put quotation air quotations around that reported losses in that time period was 547 $547 million. Okay, so it's probably way bigger than that. Over a billion, I imagine. And those figures from 21 were triple what they were in 2017. So it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger now. Oh, and one third of those according to these reports started on Facebook or Instagram. The one that I just got hit with the other day, and I kind of played it out a little bit because I could, you know, I know these things. You know, I have this TV show in development called Scam Brigade. So I've been in tune with all kinds of scams for many years. But anyway, one third of them started on Facebook, so this started for me on a simple friend request on Facebook. I get loads of them. Every once in a while I sit down and look at them and I see, okay, I'll visit the profile of the person and, and uh, see, you know, look at the things I'm going to tell you about to see if they look legit. So a fairly attractive girl sent one and I just clicked the friend request.

[00:03:40] I didn't start any kind of communication with the person. It's just this happens all the time. I got 4700. I mean, I could easily have over 5000 if I paid more attention to it. So then I get a messenger message. That's just very nice. Hey, nice to meet you. You know, I saw you on you came up as a suggestion on, uh, Facebook for friends, and I checked you out, and it looks like we might be a good, good match. Awesome. There's nothing off to beat about it. And and I responded, hey, nice to meet you too. I hope you're having a good day. And you know that was about it, basically. So then she responds back, or whoever it was responded back and started a conversation. Hey, I see you like dogs. Well, hey, I got a dog too. It stays with me all the time. And, you know. So naturally, I'm going to talk about dogs because everybody on earth knows I'm a dog crazy. And so we get talking about this, that and dogs. And I had checked her profile and it had stuff there. It was, had posts. It had her job history about her, um, where she's from, where she went to high school. And so it looked legit on the surface. I didn't dig any deeper because a lot of them don't even look that legit.

[00:05:04] Had a nice, you know, really nice picture and had some videos and all this stuff that made it look like a real account. So anyway, this messenger goes back and forth just totally pleasant. But then she she brought up the fact that, yeah, I was in a, I was in a failed marriage and I and I have children. Okay. Well I don't really care, but that's interesting. But what I noticed a little later, and this is why I want you to really pay attention to things. And by the way, this is not just girl models. You know, hitting guys up just as many or more. Are guys getting lonely females and hitting them up. So don't think this is a one sided thing here. But anyway, a little later in the conversation, it came up about like I have a suburban because of the the special thing in the back to release the dogs if there's a bad situation, the protection dogs. So she said, I have like a Range Rover and a Mercedes, a high end Mercedes to and kind of look like, well, she's pretty well off. She's got a been with the same big company for a long time. Maybe she's an executive I don't know. So I said that's cool. You know that's fine. And later on though you know, she said, well, I live in New York Street on 88, New York City on 88th Street, I don't know, Upper West Side lower.

[00:06:30] I don't know what something like that. And and then I said, well, parking probably costs more than your rent because I'm always going to look at a bright side, fun side of things. And she said, no, I have a space with my man, part of my management fees for the condo. Okay, now back up a couple things. First of all, she said the word children, which is plural. Then she told me she goes camping with her boy, which is singular. Little red flags start going up. Then when we came to the vehicles, she said, I have a parking space instead of I have several spaces. Well, where is this other fancy Mercedes? I mean, none of these these things. And one of the the things in the list of things you got to watch for is things that just don't add up properly. Okay. She mentioned she had a failed marriage. So I'm assuming she's thinking, well, I might think she's an easy mark because she's pretty and she's got kids, so she's a little lonely. So this is the kind of psychology they play on you. So what else happened here? She mentioned Fordham University and went. Said I went there. Didn't say I graduated from there. And she said West Bank High School. So now I'm starting to get. As I was already starting to get suspicious, I googled West Bank High School.

[00:08:02] It's in South Africa. So I asked her, are you from South Africa? She said, no, I was born in England and I immigrated here when I was nine years old. Hmm. What happened to the, uh, the South Africa part of this West Bank high school, I didn't know. Is there any West Bank high schools in the country? I couldn't see any in the USA. Normally, you wouldn't go this far, folks. You'd already tell it's it's, you know, if a model 30 something model is hitting up a guy like me, you know, something's up right there, right? So anyway, we keep going with this. And as I'm seeing the way she texts some of the the things that she said is not exactly like someone that's was born in the English language and was here nine since nine years till 30 something speaking English. It just wasn't didn't sound right. For instance, she said, um, we were talking about her dog and I said how pretty it was. And she said, he's irritable towards new people. Nobody in the United States on earth would ever say irritable with a dog. You know, he's aggressive or something like that, or he doesn't like new people. So that was the thing. Like, this person is not, uh, English is pretty darn good, but not really the greatest. And she said at home he lies in serenity next to me. I'm thinking you're either a poet or you just kind of look these words up in the dictionary.

[00:09:42] This is just does not make sense. Okay, so knowing she's from New York, she said me and my bestie went out for dinner to a Mexican restaurant, and she gave me the exact address of the restaurant. Like, why on earth would I care about the exact address of a restaurant in the Bronx or somewhere? And I'm in Virginia Beach and especially in this cursory conversation, I wouldn't, but he or it or whatever it was, felt necessary to try to make it look legit so that I could look up. Oh, there's a Mexican restaurant on so and so, Street and Bronx, you know. Yeah. So just this is another part of your list of things to watch for. Things don't add up. Why would they do such a thing? Made a big deal of telling me they lived on 88th Street in the Upper West Side. Don't know West Side or something, I don't know. Must have been a fancy part of New York, which I'm not familiar with. New York. I want nothing to do with New York, pretty much so. But she's trying to send this message and some of the things that they do. Like she said, well, I have this fancy Mercedes in this Range Rover making me think, well, she's not gold digging me because I'm well known as being pretty well off and she's not broke trying to get me.

[00:11:13] Now sometimes they go the other way and they, they, uh, they play poor. You know, my mother just died. I need money for the funeral or airfare or crap like that. All right. So. So they could go either way with that. Uh, so let's see what else she did. Uh, she said she made a point. I'm from new Jersey. My parents are living in new Jersey. But here's the other thing she tried to do right off the bat or very quickly. Hey, I'm not very much on Facebook. I use WhatsApp. Give me your number so I can connect with you on WhatsApp. Well, you have to use your real phone number. I think they've changed that recently, but pretty much you have to use your real phone number and everybody sees it on WhatsApp. So this could have been the first part of identity theft. Getting getting under my skin, thinking this 30 something supermodel is interested in me and starts to to grab information. So another thing that I said when she said about the Mexican restaurant, I said, well, yeah, I love that New York pizza. She comes back immediately. I keep saying she I don't know what the hell it is. Comes back immediately. Give me your address and I'll. And maybe I'll deliver you one. Well there she would have my. It would have. I'm going to start saying it.

[00:12:39] It would have my telephone number and my address in the first day. Okay. This is the kind of stuff that happens to you. Let's see. Um, let me turn the page of my notes here. Let's see. Phrasing. Anything I told you about that. Oh, so another thing is you, you know, you can't find the person on social media. Now what I go this far on most people know I wanted to do an episode about this. So once it happened, I said, I'm going to document it so that I can tell everybody what happened and what to look for. So I couldn't find or on any other social media, even though she's supposed to be a big shot at this major fashion company, that everybody would know the name of it for years and years and years. Couldn't find it. Yeah. So claimed a long work history. So anyway, all these things are adding up to this is something somebody else catfishing, pretending to be something else. Probably for nefarious purposes. Some people just do it because they're lonely and they have low self-esteem and they want to get attention. I'm going to give you a list of things now of what to look for. And you got to keep the emotions out of it. Because like I said, as many of these work on women as work on men on men, it's usually some really attractive or sexy or sleazy looking girl making up with you on men, on women, it's a little different.

[00:14:13] They usually try to locate widows or obviously people that have expressed loneliness, and they start this thing where they're in the service and eventually they love you. And something really bad happened. They need some money, and then boom. And then after that they wipe out your savings account. So so here's a list of things to watch for. One of the main things is they won't voicemail or FaceTime with you or not voicemail, but talk to you so you can hear their voice right there virtually instantly. Especially since I'm pretty obvious that I'm legit. You can Google my name and be there and pack a lunch. All right, but this person is unheard of. So I said, uh, they said, uh, something about well, when I mentioned, I said, I wonder if you're aware that I'm, I have a TV show in Development Hollywood called Scam Brigade. They immediately got defensive and said, no, I don't know you well enough to to FaceTime or voice, you know, voice call with you and it looks like you don't want to chat with me. And I'm thinking, yeah, you're right about that, but I'm going to hang in there for a little bit to try to push you. And but anyway, they won't voice their FaceTime call with you when there's no reason that they wouldn't. They want personal details quickly. They wanted my phone number.

[00:15:42] They wanted my address. A lot of them will profess strong feelings quickly. I know this, it It said something about. I said, uh, I got to go. I got to get up in the morning and it said something like, oh, you're going to miss me. Uh, I haven't talked to you for three minutes. How am I going to miss you? I mean, it could have been if it was somebody funny like me. Yeah, I can believe that. But with these other things adding up, it, it appeared to be, uh, fraudulent. So you're going to miss me? You can't find him online. Oh, one thing they'll do is ask to keep the relation secret. So they're like, telling guys that. Oh, even. And she did say something. Or it did say something about does your wife live with you? In other words, keep this just between you and I, we'll have this little thing going behind the scenes. They don't want anybody to know about it. That's going to tell you what an idiot you are to. Don't send money or don't get in an investment scam. In fact, one of my friends locally here runs a business. I'm afraid he got caught in this. Some Asian girl from New York, I might add, pretended to be well off. Got him into this investment thing. She ends up disappearing, goes to Hong Kong or wherever. She just might have made it up or she might not even exist.

[00:17:05] I know this, I was reading about this one. This lady got scammed by this old lady in Michigan who pretended to be a guy, you know, so you just can't tell. This is what catfishing is all about. So they want to keep it secret. And I told you the stories just don't add up. You know, some of these things where it's plural and singular. Oh, and one other thing. She asked me something, and then a little later, you know, there was a delay between her, its answers, where maybe they got ten guys on the line at one time. And it asked me the same exact question that I had made a big joke about before, like, do you have kids? I said, no, I got dogs. They don't, they don't, uh uh, you know, cry and ask for $100 tennis shoes or something. I don't know what I said, but it was a big, big deal joke. No, I don't have kids. Wasn't a few minutes later. Hey, do you have any kids? You know. So. So that's a triple big red flag. Try, uh, it doesn't add up. Uh, they try too hard to look legitimate. Like telling me the address of a restaurant in the first few minutes, That. What would I care? What would you know? I live 300 miles away or more. And, uh, there was no reason on earth someone would give me the exact address to a restaurant in the Bronx.

[00:18:29] Right? Just. It just doesn't add up. Uh, so they're trying to hard to look legit, telling me they live on the Upper West Side. I think that's a fancy area. And 88th Street, you know, more specific sells things better. That's copywriting right there. And let's see. Um, yeah, they act well off or they have a hardship. Oh, they use other people's photos, which you can. Now this is getting tougher to detect. It used to be you could just do an image search on Google and find a photo with some other name on it. And so you catch him right there. Um, usually the photos they use are professional. You know, they're really nice photos. But the thing is, in the, uh, you know, my girlfriend reminded me of it is that with AI now, the filters you can use. She was telling me some examples of of this homely looking lady using regular filters that are available now made her look gorgeous. And so you. They don't have to use somebody else's picture right now to fake themselves, and you'd never recognize the two of them, right? Even though it's the same person. So they don't have to steal other people's photos. And that negates your chance of you and doing the image search because it's their image. All right. So so that's that part. Even some of them will have videos.

[00:19:58] If they stole videos off of somebody else, they'll have a video to makes it even look more legit. And some of them will make plans with you, but they'll always have an excuse to cancel them. So this is you can Google this and find out even way, way more information. Just put catfishing scams and some of them are financial. Some of them are just, you know, they're just mean bull kind of like bullying. And they get you to send naked pictures and then either extort you or embarrass you, you know? So you just got to be triple careful checking people out online, that's for sure. So that's catfishing. Episode 903. Pass this along to a lot of your friends because it is really easy to get sucked in. I mean, this IT person could have done a lot of damage had I not seen all these signs. All right? Because like I said, the pictures were model like and, you know, half my age and so, so a lot of guys would get sucked into that. And, and then once they get their hooks in you, they don't, you know, the guys and ladies don't want to lose them. And so they do things they shouldn't do. So anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Check out my mentor program at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com, and we'll show you how to do all kinds of positive stuff to make a lot of money online. All right. Catch you later.