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The top of your Apple Watch hosts many icons known as “Status Icons” or “Status Symbols.” watchOS displays over 20 different status icons and symbols of different colors that pass distinct information to its user. However, because Apple Watches have tiny screens, status icons aren’t exactly descriptive. 

If your Apple Watch pairs and connects to your iPhone, you’ll often find a red dot on the Apple Watch’s face. We’ll explain what the red dot means and how to disable it on your Apple Watch (Amazon, Best Buy).

Table of Contents

How Notifications Work on Apple Watch What Is the Red Dot On My Apple Watch?

Swipe down from the top of the watch face and swipe back up to view the Notification Center. To open the Notification Center from other screens or apps, touch and hold the top of the screen and swipe down the Notification Center.

Note: You cannot access the Notification Center from your Apple Watch’s Home Screen. To open it, press the Digital Crown or launch an app. 

Clearing all notifications will also remove the red dot from the watch face. Swipe down from the top of your Apple Watch face, scroll to the top of the Notification Center, and tap Clear All.

To delete notifications individually, open the Notification Center, swipe the notification (or grouped notifications) to the left, and tap the x icon.

The red icon will reappear on your Apple Watch when you get a new notification. You can disable the red dot on your watch face, even if you have unread notifications. 

Why Should You Disable the Red Dot on Apple Watch?

Additionally, some Apple Watch users confuse the red dot with other red-colored status icons that occupy the same position on the watch face. Disabling the red dot can eliminate this confusion.

Hide or Remove Red Dot on Apple Watch

There are three ways to go about configuring the red dot behavior on your Apple Watch. You can make the change directly on your Apple Watch or from the Watch app on your iPhone. Turning off an app’s notifications will also hide red dots from the app.

The steps below apply to all Apple Watch models or series.

Remove the Red Dot From Apple Watch’s Settings Menu

Unlock your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown to open the Home Screen, and follow the steps below.

Tap the gear icon to launch the Settings app.

    Select Notifications.

      Toggle off Notifications Indicator.

      Remove Apple Watch Red Dot From Your iPhone

      You can remotely get rid of the notifications indicator from the Watch app (on your iPhone), but your Apple Watch has to be paired and connected to your iPhone.

      Open the Watch app, head to the My Watch tab, select Notifications, and toggle off Notifications Indicator.

      Disable Red Dot for Specific Apps

      If you don’t want your Apple Watch to display the red dot notification for a particular app, you’ll have to disable system-wide notifications and alerts for the application.

      Say you have apps A, B, and C installed on your Apple Watch, and you want the red dot indicator for only apps A and B. You can follow the steps below to disable system-wide notifications for app C.

      Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select Notifications in the “My Watch” tab.

      Select the app or activity whose notification you want to disable.

      Select Notifications Off.

      To disable notifications for apps mirroring your iPhone notifications, select Custom to reveal more notification options and select Notifications Off.

      Note: While all watchOS versions display the red dot when you have unread notifications in the Notification Center, only Apple Watches running watchOS 7 (or newer) have the option to disable the red dot status icon.

      If you don’t find the option to disable the Notifications Indicator in your device’s settings menu, update your Apple Watch and check again.

      Remember to connect your Apple Watch to a Wi-Fi network and place it on the charger before installing a watchOS update. If you’re installing the update from your iPhone, place the Apple Watch on its charger and ensure it’s near your iPhone.

      That’s About It

      You're reading What Is The Red Dot On Apple Watch (And How To Hide It)

      What Is Apple Watch Family Setup And How It Works?

      At the ‘Time Flies’ event, Apple announced two new Apple Watch models – Series 6 and SE. One big highlight was a new feature in watchOS 7 called Family Setup. You can now set up the Apple Watch of family members from your iPhone. Here’s how to do this and all the other related information you need to know!

      What is Apple Watch Family Setup?

      With Family Setup, now a parent or guardian can set up Apple Watch for kids or older people who do not have their own iPhones. The parent can use their iPhone to manage the kids’ Apple Watch.

      Once set up, kids can use the Apple Watch freely without needing an iPhone. They can go to school, sports practice, picnic, and anywhere without any concern, and the parent can know about the whereabouts.

      To know more what’s in it for kids and parents, please take a look at the subsequent headings.

      What Kids Can Do With Apple Watch Family Setup?

      Make and receive FaceTime audio calls and standard phone calls.

      Send and receive messages and emails.

      Connect to other Apple Watch users with Walkie-Talkie.

      Connect Apple Watch to AirPods or any Bluetooth earphones & speaker and use Apple Music.

      Use Apple Cash Family: This lets parents load money to kids’ Apple Watch, which they can utilize where ever Apple Pay is accepted.

      Have kid-oriented personalized Activity goals/Activity rings.

      Use custom Memoji right from the Apple Watch using its Memoji app.

      Use the health and safety features of Apple Watch (without needing an iPhone), like Emergency SOS, Maps, Siri, Alarms, and the App Store.

      What Family Members Can Do with their Apple Watch in Family Setup?

      Receive Emergency SOS Notification

      If the parents or guardians are set as emergency contacts (which they should be), they’ll be notified in emergencies. Kids can look at their Medical ID for relevant information. Plus, the guardian can also view the health and activity of their family members using the iPhone’s Health app.

      Set Schooltime Schedule

      During School-time, the kid’s Apple Watch shows a yellow circle on the watch face. This helps the teachers in the classroom (or parent tutoring at home) easily recognize the apps’ whose access is restricted, plus Do Not Disturb can be enabled on the kid’s Apple Watch.

      Apple Cash Family

      This lets the parents load money to kids watch via Apple Pay and choose to receive notifications when they spend it. The parent can even see the kid’s purchases in the Wallet app on the iPhone. This is a fine example of training the young generation for the coming cashless future!

      Other Features

      Parents can allow certain contacts, and kids will be able to communicate only with these approved persons.

      Set Content Restrictions and Ask to Buy: This lets the parents manage which category of apps are available for download on kid’s Apple Watch. Ask to Buy sends the parent an approval notification when the kid tries to purchase an app or make an in-app purchase.

      Share the kid’s location using the Find People app on the Apple Watch. Parents can also receive location notifications, such as when the kids reach their school or basketball practice.

      How to Set up an Apple Watch for a Family Member

      Before You Begin:

      Make sure the watch is running watchOS 7, and the iPhone is running iOS 14.

      Turn ON Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the iPhone.

      Erase the Apple Watch if it isn’t new.

      Ensure you have an Apple ID for you (parent or guardian) and one for the kid or older person whose watch you are setting.

      Family Sharing must be set up.

      Wear the Apple Watch and switch it ON by pressing and holding the Side button.

      Bring the watch near the iPhone. Wait for a moment, and you should see “Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch” on the iPhone screen. Tap on Continue. After this, tap on Set Up for a Family Member → Continue. In case you do not see this, open the Watch app on iPhone → All Watches from the top right → Pair New Watch.

      Point the iPhone over the animation on the Apple Watch screen. You will see a message that says the Apple Watch is successfully paired.

      Agree to the terms and conditions (if you do), select text size, and set a passcode for the Apple Watch.

      Select a family member from the screen or tap on Add New Family Member. Now, enter the kid’s (or the family member’s) Apple ID and proceed. It is a good idea to tap on Turn on Ask to Buy. (more about it above)

      Set up cellular (if the carrier supports) and Wi-Fi on the Apple Watch. After this, you may turn on other options like location, Siri, Apple Cash Family, Health data, etc. You can also set up Schooltime and shared contacts. Once you are done, tap on OK. Now, the kid can start using the Apple Watch.

      Family Setup Compatible Apple Watch and iPhone

      Family Setup is available on cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 and later running watchOS 7. You can pair the watch with iPhone 6s and later running iOS 14.

      Note: Apple says that ‘a cellular plan isn’t required to set up an Apple Watch for a family member, but is necessary for some features.’

      Regions and Carriers That Support Family Setup

      At launch, 18 carriers in 12 countries and regions support Family Setup. This is a carrier support-oriented feature (separate phone number, data plan, etc.) Thus, in the coming months, it will expand to other regions and carriers as well. For more information, like availability and pricing, contact your carrier.

      Views On Family Setup

      In my opinion, this is a great feature. Now, you can give the kid an affordable Apple Watch SE or your old Series 5, and they get the power to stay safely connected to people that matter.

      One thing that I feel strange is that Apple discontinued Series 4 and 5 but kept Series 3. And unfortunately, Family Setup requires Series 4 and above. So, that’s a bummer!

      Now, instead of giving a smartphone, it is convenient to have a powerful tiny computer on the child’s wrist (that they won’t misplace) when on baseball practice or friend’s house. Likewise, it lets keep track of older people more conveniently.

      Overall I think it’s a smart move to get Apple Watch to more people in an affordable way!

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      Author Profile

      Ankur

      I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.

      How Durable Is The Apple Watch Ultra?

      Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

      Modern smartwatches must withstand much daily abuse, even more so if used in extreme situations. Garmin has long offered these users rugged devices for use outdoors. More recently, Apple has joined this segment with the Apple Watch Ultra. But just how durable is the Ultra, and how far can it be pushed? We have the answer below.

      How does this compare to other smartwatches?

      Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

      Its use of high-end materials ensures that the Apple Watch Ultra finds itself among stellar company.

      The Apple Watch Ultra has a massive leg up with deep water credentials. Garmin and Samsung do not recommend users scuba dive with their aforementioned devices. The HUAWEI GT 3 Pro has a free diving sports mode, but the device is only suitable for dives of up to 30 meters, while the Suunto 9 Peak Pro’s depth meter tops out at 10 meters.

      What does it take to break the Apple Watch Ultra?

      Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

      The Apple Watch Ultra isn’t just a pretty face. It seems that Apple was rather conservative in outlining its limitations.

      Water pressure

      Let’s talk about diving pressures first. Device reviewer DC Rainmaker pushed the device to the limit in a pressure chamber to simulate deep water dives. While the Apple Watch Ultra displays a “Beyond 130ft” warning on its screen when reaching that depth and beyond, this isn’t a hardware issue. Instead, it seems that Apple is sticking to the recommended depth of a recreational dive.

      The actual simulated depth during the test was 159 feet or 48.5 meters — 8.5 meters over Apple’s 40-meter guideline. More impressively, the watch was fully functional after the test. You’ll unlikely damage the Apple Watch Ultra during a recreational dive.

      Drops and scratches

      You won’t have to worry too much about dropping your Apple Watch Ultra from hand height. YouTuber TechRax did just that on a paved driveway. The watch’s screen was undamaged, but the chassis did show pitting and scratch damage. The YouTuber also rattled the watch around in a bottle full of screws and nails to simulate… something. Again, the device showed no signs of critical damage.

      For more realistic conditions, ZDNet‘s Matthew Miller put the Apple Watch Ultra through the Tough Mudder. This obstacle-filled endurance marathon includes “an ice-cold water pool full of shocking ‘Electric Eels’ and mountains of mud-filled barricades.” It sounds like a fun weekend out, so how did the Apple Watch Ultra do? “To my surprise, it held up really well and I still cannot believe that the display is flawless,” wrote Miller.

      Blunt force

      In the same video, TechRax hammered the Apple Watch after it survived the drop tests. Impressively, the device endured several violent hits directly to the lens, but the table the watch is sitting on broke first. After around 12 hits, the Apple Watch Ultra’s display switched off, but the lens remained unscratched. This suggests a component within the watch broke before the chassis or lens. That’s pretty remarkable.

      YouTube channel iupdate also tested the Ultra’s shock resistance against the Series 8. The two watches were put through a series of extreme “tests.” Both devices mostly survived general durability tests, including falling, rock and gravel rubbing, and river soaking. The Series 8 came out rather injured, with several scratches and dings to its lens. The Ultra was mostly untainted.

      More extreme tests included smashing both devices against a wall. The Series 8 broke immediately. The Ultra endured 38 throws against the road before the titanium chassis displayed weakness. After “50 impacts,” the device was still functional, bar a few dead pixels. It failed two smashes later.

      How easy is the Apple Watch to repair?

      Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

      Of course, if you’re planning to smash you device against a mountain face for a few hours, you may have to have your Apple Watch Ultra repaired. But how possible is this, and how much will it cost?

      According to iFixit, the Apple Watch Ultra is among the more tricky wearables to fix. While there’s considerably less strong adhesive in use, and the presence of screws is a welcome sight for home tinkerers, the screen is difficult to remove and battery replacement is also particularly tricky.

      If you aren’t interested in fixing your own watch (highly understandable), Apple offers Ultra repairs at a premium. You’ll pay $99 for a battery replacement, while “other damage” will cost $499 without AppleCare Plus or $79 with it.

      Is the Apple Watch Ultra worth buying?

      FAQs

      Screen protectors are always a good idea, but the Apple Watch Ultra likely won’t require additional protection for its sapphire crystal lens.

      Apart from its rugged build, the Apple Watch Ultra also sports a larger battery than any other Apple Watch. In addition, it features dual-frequency GPS, a depth meter and water temperature sensor for diving, unique features for hikers, a skin temperature sensor, and a programmable Action button.

      Yes. All Apple Watch Ultra models feature LTE connectivity, but you must pay for the data plan separately.

      How To Customize The Watch Face On Apple Watch: A Detailed Guide

      Feeling festive, blue, missing someone, or need tons of data handy, instantly switch your Apple watch face to match your mood, occasion, or requirements. Set photos or animated Memoji, add varied complications or change it as per a schedule. Thankfully Apple gives you several ways to customize your watch face. Here’s how you can do it.

      How to Change Watch Face on Apple Watch

      There are two effortless ways to choose a different watch face on your Apple Watch quickly.

      Credit: Apple

      Lift your wrist to light up the screen. You may also tap once. From the left or right edge, swipe horizontally to easily switch to a different watch face from your collection.

      Press firmly on your current watch face. Now, swipe left or right to see all the available watch faces from your collection. Tap on one to set it.

      Now, let us see how to add helpful features to the Apple Watch face.

      Add Complications to the Watch Face

      According to Apple, complications are ‘special features‘ that you can add to some watch faces. Once you do that, you can see information like battery status, weather, stocks, heart rate, etc. at a glance. Complications also let you quickly trigger an action. For example, get to the Phone app quickly. Here is how to add complications to the Apple watch face.

      Press firmly on the current watch face. Tap on Customize. If your Apple Watch is running watchOS 7, tap on Edit.

      Swipe left till you reach the end screen. Tap on one of them.

      Press the Digital Crown to save the changes.

      Finally, tap on the watch face to set it.

      Add Complications from Other Apps

      Third-party apps downloaded from the App Store can have their complications for the Apple Watch. Here is how to enable and make use of them.

      Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Tap on My Watch tab, if not already.

      Tap on Complications.

      Tap on Edit.

      Under DO NOT INCLUDE, tap on the green plus icon for a complication.

      Tap Done.

      Now, this third-party complication is ready to be used with compatible watch faces. Follow the above steps for this. It is the same as adding any in-built complication.

      Note: watchOS 7 allows you to add multiple complications from the same app to view different pieces of information at a glance.

      For instance, if you use the Dawn Patrol app for surfing, you can set up a watch face that shows the water temperature, swell, and wind speed predictions for a beach of your choice.

      Change Watch Face Colors, Symbols, Dial, etc.

      On supported watch faces, you can change the accent color, style, dial type (analog, digital), number system (Arabic, Indian, Roman, etc.), and more. Here is how.

      Press firmly on the current watch face.

      Tap Customize. Or swipe left or right to select the desired watch face and then tap on Customize.

      On top of the screen, you will see SYMBOLS, DIAL, STYLE, COLOR, etc. The options here depend on the watch face. Some have, some do not.

      Turn the Digital Crown to make the changes.

      Swipe left to right to select a different heading. Again rotate the Digital Crown to customize it.

      Press the Digital Crown to save the changes, and finally tap on the watch face to set it.

      Set Photo as Watch Face on Apple Watch

      There are two easy ways. You can use saved pictures on your Apple Watch to create and set it as a watch face. Or, use the Photos app on the iPhone. Let us look at both.

      Using Apple Watch

      Open the Photos app and tap on a picture to open it in full screen.

      Press firmly on the image.

      Tap on Create Watch Face.

      Choose Kaleidoscope or Photos.

      The image is set as the watch face. Press the Digital Crown to see it.

      Using Photos App on iPhone

      Launch the Photos app → Albums → Recents.

      Tap on Select. Now choose one image or any number up to 24 (It will change every time you lift your wrist). Next, tap on the Share icon.

      Scroll down and tap on Create Watch Face.

      On the next screen, you can customize it with colors, complications, etc.

      Finally, tap on ADD. The new watch face is set.

      With watchOS 7, you can share watch faces too. So, if you have a beautiful watch face with photos of your kids, you can share this with your wife’s Apple Watch.

      Add a Watch Face to Your Collection

      Suppose you want to sport a new watch face every day (or frequently). For this, you should add them to the collection, so it becomes effortless to switch among them. Here is how to do that.

      Press firmly on the current watch face.

      Swipe all the way from right to left. Tap on the plus icon.

      Use touch or Digital Crown to see the watch faces. Tap on one to add it.

      Note: When you create watch faces, for example, from photos, they are automatically added to your collection.

      View Your Watch Face Collection

      You can view your collection from the Apple Watch or the paired iPhone.

      Delete a Watch Face From Your Collection

      You can remove watch faces straight from your Apple Watch or the iPhone. Here’s how.

      From the Apple Watch

      Firmly press on a watch face.

      Swipe left or right to select the desired one.

      Now, drag it up (just like you force close apps on iPhone). Finally, tap Remove.

      From the iPhone

      Open the Watch app → Tap on My Watch.

      Tap on Edit next to MY FACES.

      Tap on the red minus icon and then tap Remove.

      Change Time Shown in Watch Face

      Many people, myself included, like to keep the wristwatch 5 minutes ahead. You can do so with your Apple Watch as well. Please note that thankfully, this change does not affect alarms, the time shown in notifications, world clocks, or any other time. Pretty neat!

      Open the Settings app on your watch.

      Scroll down using touch or by rotating the Digital Crown. Tap on Clock.

      Tap on +0 min.

      Turn the Digital Crown to set your watch ahead. You can choose from 1 minute to up to 59 minutes.

      Finally, tap on Set.

      This new forward time is visible only on the watch face. The time everywhere else, like in the upper right corner of the Apple Watch Settings app or other apps, will continue to be the actual time.

      Automatically Change Apple Watch Faces According to Time and Location

      Launch the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.

      Go to the Automation tab from the bottom of the screen and tap on ‘+’.

      Here, tap on Create Personal Automation.

      Tap Time of Day and choose the time and the repeat cycle accordingly.

      After selection, tap on Next.

      Now, tap on Add Action.

      Search Set Watch Face and select the action.

      Here, tap on Face (the box at the end) and select the watch face from the list, and tap on Next.

      Now, turn off the toggle next to Ask Before Running off.

      Select Don’t Ask from the popup & then tap on Done to create the shortcut.

      The tutorial is focused on Time of Day, you can easily do similar for a location as well. This is very slightly different, Just repeat steps 1 to 3 and then choose either Arrive or Leave → Choose, and enter the location.

      After selection tap on Done → select whether Any time or Time Range → Tap on Next → Add Action → search for Set Watch Face → Tap on Face → select the watch face → Next → Done.

      As and when the shortcuts created by you will run, your Apple Watch face will switch. Isn’t this hack super simple and massively handy; And the best part is that you can create as many scenarios as you want, one for home, office, movie, parties, gym, and what not…

      Customize the Apple Watch Face to Match your Mood

      This how you can play with different watch face settings to make the Apple Watch reflect your personality. Feel free to explore the possibilities on your own.

      Besides, we also have a list of best Apple Watch alternatives. In case you are planning to get a wearable for a friend or family, make sure to check our recommendation.

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      Author Profile

      Dhvanesh

      The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

      How To Use Spotify On Apple Watch?

      How To Use Spotify On Apple Watch? How To Use Spotify on Apple Watch To Play Music Directly?

      Being an Apple Watch owner and Spotify fan, you can do a lot more with this fabulous combo wherein you can listen and control your favorite music tracks through your wrist. This amazing duo will not only let you do pause and skip tracks but also you can do a lot more through Apple Watch. You can play with the custom playlists and Spotify Connect at your end.

      Spotify can be streamed anytime and anywhere including smart speakers, smart displays, smartwatches, gaming consoles and many more. With Spotify Connect, you can select which device you want to play Spotify on including wearables and select anything to play from your recently played tracks.

      Steps To Install Spotify on Apple Watch Quickly

      Note: To play music through Spotify on Apple Watch, make sure that you have with you an iPhone (iOS 10 or later), and an Apple Watch (WatchOS 4 or above).

      Follow the steps below to get Apple Watch Spotify App:

      Open ‘Apple Watch App’ on your iPhone.

      Now, on your Apple Watch, open apps and find Spotify. This will enable app as soon as you start playing music from your iPhone.

      What Can You Do With Spotify On Apple Watch?

      Play, pause, and skip, both music and podcasts.

      Control the volume.

      Get info about what’s playing.

      Play from Recently Played.

      Save your favorites.

      Use Spotify Connect to play to another device.

      What Is Yet Needed To Be Featured For Spotify On Apple Watch?

      4G Streaming: Spotify on Apple Watch is currently not offering LTE streaming straight from Apple Watch to your headphones. But we are expecting Spotify and Apple Watch to allow this feature soon.

      Offline Playback: The Apple Watch Spotify App is currently not featuring offline playback. It is unable to save music on Apple Watch and therefore, restricting you to listen music offline. This means that no one can store music lists on the Apple Watch to listen anytime and anywhere.

      Limited But A Great Experience To Give A Try!

      For all Apple Watch users and Spotify lovers, trying Spotify on Apple Watch is something not to be missed. If you’re a music lover and a wearable fan too, you can try listening to your favorites directly from your wrist. The current version of Spotify for Apple Watch is although limited, it is worth giving a try. To access the app from your smartwatch, press the red bar graph indicator from the top of your watch’s home screen.

      Next Read: 

      Best Apple Watch Chargers and Docks 2023

      Best Apple Watch Games You Can Play

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      Akshita Gupta

      What Is Catfishing And How To Recognize It On Social Media

      While the public face of social media is all warm and fuzzy, it’s a class of internet service that has a serious dark side. Not only can social media destroy your productivity, damage your privacy and have negative mental health effects, but you can also become the target of scams or bullying. Catfishing can do all of these.

      Catfishing is a complex phenomenon that can be hard to spot. It’s a form of identity fraud where a person (or group of people) create a fake online persona and then target individuals, trying to start a (usually) romantic online relationship with them. 

      Table of Contents

      The results of a catfishing scam can be devastating, but if you know the signs you could save yourself a lot of heartache.

      What Is “Catfishing”?

      It seems that the origin of the word “catfishing” to describe this unique type of internet fraud originally comes from a documentary titled Catfish. In that film, we see a young man who develops an online relationship with a woman on Facebook who turns out to be completely made up. 

      The title came from a story told within the film describing how cod shipped in vats are kept active by pairing them with catfish. The analogy here is that the people who perpetrate catfishing keep us all on our toes.

      The term was then popularized by an MTV show titled Catfish: The TV Show. This was reality TV like Cheaters, where victims of catfishing confront their victimizers with the help of the show. That’s why we call it catfishing today.

      What Happens During Catfishing?

      While not always the case, it’s mostly the catfisher who makes the first move on the victim. They’ll usually receive a direct or private message with some sort of opener. “Hey there, handsome.” or “I can’t stop looking at your profile picture.” could be examples. 

      Should the victim engage with them, the catfisher will start to weave their web. It’s not uncommon for catfishers to play the long game. The scam may be perpetrated over lengthy periods of time, building trust with the victim.

      Catfishers can be experts at manipulating and exploiting the personal weaknesses of the person they are targeting. Such as someone who is lonely, lost a spouse, or is otherwise vulnerable.

      Why Does Catfishing Happen?

      One of the trickier aspects of catfishing is that the people who do it can have many different motivations. The most straightforward one is money. There’s a thriving online catfishing industry that scams thousands of people out of their money each year. Then there’s catfishing as an act of pure and sadistic cyberbullying. The idea is to humiliate the victim and otherwise mentally torture them. 

      Finally, the catfishing may not be intentionally malicious. Rather, some people use the anonymity the internet affords to create fictional personas that help them live out fantasies or explore their own romantic or sexual natures.

      For example, a married person may have a virtual fling with someone online while hiding behind a fake account they’ve created for that purpose. Despite the lack of malice in this type of catfishing, it’s no less devastating to the victim.

      How to Spot a Catfishing Attempt?

      Spotting a catfishing attempt can be incredibly tricky. First of all, not all warning signs apply to every type of catfisher. The motivations of the catfisher decides the type of attack on you. Nonetheless, there are some common things to look out for when your new online friend starts to make romantic overtures.

      Fake Profile Pictures

      Have a look at What Reverse Image Search Is & How To Use It for a quick lesson on how to trace images back to their origin.

      Complete Avoidance of Video Calls or Real-life Meetings

      Since the catfisher probably doesn’t look like their profile picture, you’d expect they wouldn’t want to show their real face. Which is why you’ll also receive an excuse about why a video call or real-life meeting can’t happen. If the person is of a different gender to the fake account or has a completely different than expected accent, they may also say no to a voice call. 

      If a catfisher is pushing for a serious relationship but won’t do something as simple as hop on Zoom to chat with you, that’s a big red flag.

      Poor Language Skills

      It’s not a universal sign of a scam, but you should be suspicious of someone who has poor spelling and grammar in their communication with you. Advanced catfishers can of course explain this away by creating a fake profile of someone who’s a second-language speaker.

      They are Unrealistically Perfect

      We don’t want to imply that you, dear reader, aren’t an absolute catch and couldn’t snag the person of your dreams. However, catfishers have a tendency to create fake profiles that are just a little too perfect. They may be beautiful, smart, qualified, skilled in every hobby and checking just about every other tick box you might have in mind for a partner. 

      Ask yourself how realistic it is that such a person could exist and that they are obsessively targeting you for romance in particular.

      They Have No Network of Friends

      A catfisher’s fake profile can be well rounded with details about their fictional life, but it’s much harder to fake a real social network. Do they have any other friends? Are all their contacts suspiciously like fake accounts themselves? Do they interact with anyone else? Trust your gut and judge the account for how authentic it feels.

      Sob Stories and Requests for Money

      After establishing some measure of trust with you and making sure there’s some romantic interest, you’re likely to get a request for money. Usually there’s a “medical emergency” or the person claims they’re about to get evicted.

      Whatever the specifics, the need for money is urgent and your newfound affection is used as a way to get it without too much critical thinking involved on your part.

      Different catfishers have different styles of fleecing money from their victims. Some might escalate a single incident into ever larger sums as the “emergency” gets worse and worse before disappearing. Others might take small amounts of money over a long period of time, keeping up the scam for as long as possible.

      Just remember that not all catfishing incidents involve money. So just because this behavior doesn’t happen doesn’t mean you’re free and clear.

      Where to Find Help if You’re a Victim

      If you suspect that you’re being catfished, the most important thing to do is block the account. Don’t continue to communicate with the person and report their account to the social media platform.

      In some cases, you may also want to contact the police. These days many police forces have specialized units for crimes such as catfishing. They can help track down the real person and provide other forms of support. Especially if you’ve been scammed out of money.

      You should also take care to consider any psychological harm that may have been done to you. Check to see if there are any cyberbullying support organizations that you can contact for support and further information. Of course, you should also reach out to trusted friends and family members for support if you need to. Never be embarrassed that a catfisher fooled you. It really can happen to anyone!

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