January 21, 2013
From Katharine Brooks at Psychology Today:
The recent story involving Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o’s fake internet girlfriend has brought the term “catfish” to a mainstream audience. The Urban Dictionary defines catfish as “someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” But the loathsome practice of catfishing can also be applied to individuals who pretend to be employers and set up false identities to deceive or steal from vulnerable job seekers.
The least damage a catfish job scammer will do is waste your time. The worst is that they will empty your bank account and steal your identity. Catfish jobs are often phishing scams: thinly veiled attempts to get you to part with personal information that can then be used to steal your identity. Therefore, do not send your credit card numbers, social security number, birthdate, etc., unless you are absolutely sure the company and the opportunity are legitimate.
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