Written by Alex Hughes

Online dating is now as ubiquitous as iPhones and white girls wearing Timberlands.  It’s just as common to hear about a co-worker meeting a cute account manager with a nice apartment in Park Slope over OkCupid as it is to hear that your cousin met their new long-term boo at their friend’s engagement party. With the dating algorithms, an endless amount of pictures to scroll through, “compatibility” matching, and straight-out stats about height, weight, ethnicity, and income, it’s almost disturbingly simply to find your ideal match…unless they’re lying.

Enter catfishing, the new phenomenon brought to light by the strikingly hairy New York City 20-something Nev Schulman who turned his pseudo-tragic internet relationship gone wrong in the documentary “Catfish” into a hit MTV show. Throw in a closeted football player in a relationship with a fake dead girlfriend and suddenly everybody with an internet connection is friendly with the term “catfish”:to be duped by somebody impersonating a different identity online.

So how can you avoid getting catfished and humiliated when you discover that hot male model who moonlights as a plastic surgeon in Paris is faker than Nicki Minaj’s ass? Although it may seem obvious (that profile of Jennifer Lawrence isn’t actually Jennifer Lawrence, no matter how cool she seems), it’s obviously not unheard of to get caught up in a web of weird-ass lies. Here are 19 signs that you may be getting catfished so hopefully you can avoid sending nudes to a guy in Alabama who lives in a shed.

Here are 19 signs that you’re probably getting catfished:

1. They don’t have Facebook or Twitter.
2. All of their pictures are modeling shots.
3. Their only friends on Facebook are their cousin and cat.
4. They don’t know what Skype is or can never download it.
5. They text you all day and all night, but refuse to call you.
6. They don’t have any pictures with friends.
7. None of their pictures are candid.
8. They seem too good to be true.
9. They claim to have an awesome job that seems far-fetched or unattainable for their age.
10. They look as if they could be mildly famous.
11. All of their pictures are blurry.
12. Their computer doesn’t have a webcam.
13. Their profile has less than three pictures.
14. All of their pictures were taken with a flip phone from 2005.
15. They always make an excuse to not meet up.
16. Their profile is so generic that it could be applied to anybody else.
17. They say that they’re “new to online dating and just looking to meet people.”
18. They don’t have a cell phone.
19. Their dating profile is littered with poor grammar.

If still you fear your Swedish supermodel crush isn’t who they say they are, you can also make use of Google’s best invention ever, which is a reverse image search. All you have to do is plug in the image URL and it will bring up every other place on the internet where that picture exists, making it fairly easy for you to find out if your online romance is a fake.

If you’re dating online, sit back, relax, and make use of this list and your functioning brain and don’t believe everything people say on the internet. Especially if they’re really hot.

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