Experts offer advice on spotting signs of catfishing

Experts offer advice on spotting signs of catfishing

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Parents with children on social media are being told to listen up. How do you know if you or your child is being catfished?

The most recent catfishing scheme in the Toledo area involves a high school senior who police say was lured by 19-year-old Cameron Vaughn. The suspect is accused of using Snapchat and the app Kik messenger to take advantage of a teen boy.

Vaughn is now facing several felony charges including rape, extortion and kidnapping.

"This needs to be addressed so that even school teachers are informed, and they should be able to see if a particular student is going through some issues and so on," Ahmad Javaid, an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Toledo said.

But how do you spot the signs? Experts say if the person cannot send you photos of him or herself or if he or she avoids video chatting are two signs to be on the lookout for.

"The parents, that they should talk to their kids very clearly, that we need to be aware of who your friends are and who you're talking to," Javaid said.

Experts say parents should often talk to their kids about the potential dangers of talking to someone they do not know online. They say being better informed could possibly prevent a dangerous outcome.

Catfishers often do not reveal much information about themselves, but may want to know everything about you.

"It's just very easy to, you know, basically become a victim when you need a friend or you need someone to talk to," Javaid added.

Another bad sign is if you are asked to give money to someone.

Overall, experts want parents of children who use social media to know that it is always best to monitor your children closely.

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