The Alarming Trend in Online Dating: 1 in 4 Brits Catfished

Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska Senior Editor
Penka Hristovska Penka Hristovska Senior Editor

Almost a quarter of Brits who went online to find a match have been catfished, a recent ExpressVPN survey revealed.

The survey by ExpressVPN included 2,000 UK residents aged between 18 and 50 who reported on their experience in different platforms, including exclusively dating sites and apps like Tinder and Bumble, as well as other popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and TikTok.

The results of the ExpressVPN survey showed a 49% awareness of catfishing, a type of scam where a person creates a fake identity.  in the last year. 22% of all respondents have been on the receiving end of catfishing, while about 40% of them said they know someone who has been catfished.

The 37% of respondents who have been catfished found out about it before they met the person behind the fake persona in person, and 31% only after they met them. 14% of the respondents said the catfisher was someone they already knew but pretended to be someone else entirely, and 12% fell victim to financial or gift-related fraud.

A whopping 25% of the victims of catfishing disclosed they developed deep emotional connections and experienced significant betrayal after engaging with their catfisher for more than a year. 7% said they shared nude images with their catfisher, 6% fell in love, and 5% said they were later blackmailed by the scammer.

When broken down into platforms, Facebook is the most common target for catfishers. According to the survey, 35% of the catfishing accidents took place on Facebook, 31% on Tinder, and 26% and 25% on Snapchat and Instagram, respectively. Reddit was last on the list at just 3% in the ExpressVPN survey, right behind X (formerly Twitter) at 8%. It’s important to note that the lower presence of catfishers on these platforms doesn’t necessarily indicate their absence. Rather, it may simply mean that they’re less frequently used for dating purposes.

Catfishing is just one of the numerous challenges users in the online dating world encounter. 34% of the respondents in the ExpressVPN survey said they’ve created a fake profile for various reasons, like checking on their current or former partners. 37% said they used AI and have lied on their dating profile, including about their age, relationship history, and even current relationship status.

To protect yourself from identity theft and other cybercrimes, avoid sharing personal information and opt for dating sites that come with identity verification features.

About the Author
Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska
Senior Editor

About the Author

Penka Hristovska is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She was an editor at several review sites that covered all things technology — including VPNs and password managers — and had previously written on various topics, from online security and gaming to computer hardware. She’s highly interested in the latest developments in the cybersecurity space and enjoys learning about new trends in the tech sector. When she’s not in “research mode,” she’s probably re-watching Lord of The Rings or playing DOTA 2 with her friends.

Leave a Comment