I’ve always thought the word “catfishing” was comical when its connotation referred to anything other than a couple of grandpas lazing around on the lake with their tackle boxes, fisherman hats, with a couple of brewskis in hand (ok maybe I’ve watched Grumpy Old Men too many times). When I initially heard about the documentary Catfish that spawned this new implication of a catfish (i.e., someone who creates a false profile on a social networking site for deceptive reasons that are typically romantic in nature), I didn’t think much of it at first.

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Though some catfish are just bored and apparently have nothing better to do with their free time than to spend it duping others and snickering to themselves about how their clever they are, there are many documented cases of catfishing that have had grave consequences. Catfishing is a form of cyber-bullying and should be taken very seriously.

Read on to learn a few tips on how to spot a catfish and get the scoop on some of the most famous cases of catfishing.

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