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Our Definitive List Of Tips To Spot Fake Personas: Catfishing and Other Online Lies
Helping you and your family stay safe and thrive in our digital world is our mission at Tech Wellness--and it's a BIG mission.
There's so much to consider--especially if you have kids. That's why you'll find articles and videos about how technology and the way we use our screens can effect your health your safety, your privacy and your mental wellness.
We talk about avoiding tech toxins like blue light and EMF - and when tech gets toxic because of a cybersecurity breach or because we get addicted to looking at our social feeds.
There are also some emotionally toxic--and professionally toxic situations online that we need to be aware of them and know how to steer clear of them.
There are the Catfishers: Fake online personas and easily published untruths that have sprung up because, well, the internet makes it easy and for the most part, there's nothing out there stopping it.
You've probably heard of Catfishing. It's when someone pretends to be someone else. Usually a made-up name, a made-up life, along with a made up or "stock" photo that Catfishers use to convince you that they are someone they're not. Their goal is to get something--and it could be cash or your trust or any number of other things, that will benefit the Catfisher and hurt you.
We typically think about it in the online dating world because of that series called Catfished where various victims and Catfishers would be discovered and confronted.
But did you know that we can get "Catfished" by an online business or by books or informational sites?
The Washington Post did this story a few years ago,
"How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme"
about how book authors would make up fake names, fake degrees and career paths in order to sell books with catchy topics and titles online. They tell a story of just one of many authors with fake names - one of which wrote a pretty unimpressive language book called Learn Spanish in 7 Days that sold well because she called herself an Polygot and Professional Language teacher.
The rough part of being a Catfish victim is you don't get what you wanted or paid for; you can get bad or misleading information from a business; you get something that isn't close to 100% real; you get something fake.
And that's why we're sharing a list of how to spot and avoid fake personas or Catfish.
We all deserve to get credible information from a credible source when we need it. Especially when it comes to our well-being.
This is me, August Brice- in my laundry room showing you how to find hidden sources of EMF Radiation in Smart Appliances. You can find me on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn--just in case you're trying to verify I'm the real deal :)
Even if pretending you're someone other than who you really are for a "good" reason, when people who believe you are real and trustworthy, find out you're not, they call themselves 'victims."
So, Let's Not Be Victims: Here Are The Seven Things You Can Do To Help Keep Catfishers and Fake Personas Out Of Your Life.
1.Confirm that a business is a business- Businesses and the people who founded them or run them are usually proud to tell you details about their backgrounds. Professionals will provide their college and career backgrounds on LinkedIn or even on Facebook. Also look for articles written about the business or about the "expert" in charge of the business. It's good to check all social channels as well for more information and back up on the person or business credibility.
2. When you meet someone new online, notice how many different photos they have. The more the better. The photos should reflect different situations and life periods and be candid, with others sometimes and it would be helpful if they "matched" their "story" meaning their town, their job, their family.
3. Google Image or Reverse Image Search them. What an image reveals can be very informative and help you decide if you want to continue contacting or following them
4. Google them. The older they are the more likely you are to find out about them. Even if it's just from Facebook and other social accounts, if they've been out there a while you can start to see if the words, pictures and stories match.
5. Look for video content. Non business new friends should be able to video chat or call you at the least. A meet up with other is always a good idea. Businesses run by real people should have some video out there somewhere and if they are an authority in their space, their should be a podcast, a speaking event or book written by them.
6.Listen to them. Do their stories add up? If it's an online business read what they're saying and compare it to actual experts. People who have credibility in the field will not be solo and will have a robust LinkedIn following and will be or associate with scientists, researchers, engineers, doctors and other professionals in that field.
6. Be really mindful if they are asking for something from you. Are they asking you for money? Are they sending you to Amazon or to a product they are recommending to get a commission on everything you buy? Check the link url- for an identifier. If the URL has part of the name of the catfisher or his site, that's their Affiliate code. Sometimes you'll just see a series of numbers. And if its a someone representing a business, look at what they're selling, search that item and make sure you there is a reasonable return period.
7. Finally, when it comes to getting good information from what you're hoping is in expert: Check the content. If a"medical" expert is recommending a supplement for some specific health issue, visit several expert sources to confirm that the supplement is for safe and appropriate for you.
A Special Note to You- Who Do WE Look Up To And Trust?
Sometimes it's hard to know what to believe online. To be your trusted resource we consult with some of the world's foremost experts on tech toxins like EMF. Our understanding of man made electromagnetic radio waves continues to evolve. I encourage you to rely on websites and resources that are informed by trusted scientists and doctors. Dr. George Carlo who led the seminal research study for the wireless industry(his book is featured in our store) and President of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Building Biologists, Larry Gust are the two foremost experts I look to.
I also recommend the work of Joel Moskowitz and his site: SafeEMR, Americans For Responsible Technology is a great resource for tools to help battle you contact the people in your state and city's that make the laws allowing for more and more wireless antenna's and yes, 5g. There's the often quoted Bioinitiative Report and now Physicians for Safe Technology, Dr. Olle Johansson and the amazing Devra Davis and the entire team at The Environmental Health Trust and Ellie Marks and The California Brain Tumor Association whose mission is to safeguard public health These people highly regarded experts when it comes to the science of Electromagnetic Radiation. Looking for Certified EMF Education? If you're serious, enroll in the Building Biology Institute
Prepare to spend 400 plus hours learning about all manner of environmental toxins and an additional 120 hours to reach the gold standard of EMRS
Check the background of the people involved in creating the information you're using to make decisions regarding EMF and your health and make sure they're the real deal. There are some great authentic and accurate EMF sites, like emfanalysis. It's run by Jeromy Johnson and we have similar backgrounds. There seems to be a lot of interest lately in the topic I've been concerned about for 25 years and though I'm very happy and relieved that so many are now taking this topic seriously--and I'm happy some EMF resources embed Safertech and Tech Wellness videos in their sites- I'm concerned that you, (if you're concerned about wireless radiation and your health) steer clear of "experts" who may be trying to promote items that really don't do what they claim or entice you to visit their sites so they can sell ads based on high traffic or affiliate with unproven "emf protection".
It is a confusing and sometimes scary topic--I keep my earlier videos from 2007 on this site so you can see that my understanding has grown deeply. Please know that I take great pride in not creating fear or misunderstanding in this space and it's my deep desire for you to be healthy and well and live life in balance and safety with technology
Stay safe out there and Be Well!