How To Tell If Your Online Girlfriend Is Real

Filmmaker and Catfisher Max Joseph on avoiding becoming the next Manti Te’o.

Don’t Date “Models”

“Claiming to be a model is the most common lie—and it doesn’t stop there. They’ll pad it with things like ‘model/doctor.’ Think about how rare that is.”

Dream Girls Rarely Exist

“Occasionally it’s someone you know—an old friend, an ex—that’s messing with you. They know exactly the type of girl you’re going to go for, so if she seems too good to be true, she probably is.” 

Study Their Background

“If she’s just sending you selfies or half-naked glamour shots against a white wall, that’s a red flag. And if no one else is tagged in her Facebook pictures, that’s another warning.” 

Use Your Name

“If she can’t video-chat, ask her to send you a photo of herself holding up a piece of paper with your name on it. That’s a picture you can’t steal through a Google image search!”

Their Life Is a Soap Opera

“Often these ‘girlfriends’ can’t visit you because of something dramatic: Their mom had a car accident or they have cancer and are relapsing and have to go to the hospital. They invent these grave scenarios which you’d have to be a dick to call them out on.”