If you’re looking for love in Nevada, this is one of the states where you’re most likely to be catfished, according to a new study.
We’ve heard about catfishing before. It’s where someone fraudulently starts building a relationship with you — sometimes for years — then tries to scam you out of your money.
The new report used FBI data to look at which states had the biggest issue with this type of fraud and Nevada ranks number two just behind Alaska.
According to the new report from HighSpeedInternet, they found in 2016, 200 cases of catfishing were reported to the FBI. Per capita about seven people in every 100,000 in Nevada are victims of catfishing.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects about this data is they found catfishing is a bigger issue in western states.
“So, it was really interesting to see that you’re less likely to be catfished on the East Coast. Report can’t say for sure but maybe people are spread out a little more and turning to social media dating apps and the Internet,” said Victoria Merinda, HighSpeedInternet.com
Here’s how you can protect yourself.
Experts say never give money to anyone you haven’t met in person.
Do your research. There are a lot of ways to verify the person you’re talking to is really who they say they are. Look up social media accounts, make sure their photo isn’t a stock photo. You’d be surprised how often that happens and make sure the account wasn’t started recently.
Finally, make sure to talk face-to-face. Almost every cell phone has a camera nowadays. You can also Skype, Facetime anything to verify the information.
And if you are catfished, make sure to report it to the FBI. You may not be able to get your money back, but you can help other people from falling victim to the predators.