Thursday, February 18, 2021

How To Find Out if Someone is Using Your Pictures to Catfish

Catfishing online is a popular blackhat tactic for predators who pretend to be someone else. People use celebrities' pics as their profile pictures in order to avoid sharing their own pictures online. This is really a good idea to protect yourself on social media.

The main goal of catfishing is to obtain financial gains from other people. By keeping your profile picture on their profile, they can act like you and can communicate anything with your friends and colleagues. 

If they are involved in a financial scam, you will be getting into trouble without knowing what is going on. This is a big privacy issue for people who use social media. For celebrities, this may not be an issue because they allow their photos to be copied online. 

However, for common people, this is not the case. Stealing your identity online should be reported and before that, you must be aware of this.

Since we collaborate with our friends on social media, we need to be careful about sharing our pictures. It is important to safeguard your privacy.

How to find out if someone is using your pictures to catfish

How To Protect Yourself From Catfishing

If someone uses your profile picture and creates a fake profile on social media to lure others, they are doing catfishing. They hide in a fake id and ask for money. They can even trick others to fall in love with them. They don't care about you and your privacy.

Do you know how to do fishing? You need to use a specific instrument and some worms to attract a fish. Then, you can catch a fish by deceiving. Catfishing is the same as catching a fish but here it is used on common people like you and me. They mostly avoid face-to-face contact.

There are many ways to protect yourself from catfishing. Let's begin.

Lookup on Search Engines Like Google and Bing

When you have a doubt about someone's identity, the first place you can look up is your search engine. You can check the name of the person in Google and Bing search results and in images. The search results and images may provide more information about the person you're searching for.

You can look at different social media platforms to look for the identity of the person. If you found the original id, you can differentiate between the fake and the original id.

Reverse Image Search

A reverse image search is the best way to find out if someone is using your photos to catfish. Popular search engines provide an option to upload images to find matching pictures. On the search bar, you can see the camera or snapshot icon to use this feature.

Once you uploaded an image into the reverse image search option, you will be having a 60-70% of chance finding out whether your photo is used somewhere else. Online mafias may use people's images and morph them to gain financial benefits.

I have written a detailed post on this topic. I recommend you to check out reverse image search on Google, Bing, Yandex, and Baidu

Apart from these sites, there is one more alternative site where you can perform the reverse image search. TinyEye is the image searching platform to find whether your photos are used somewhere else.

The reverse image search works on the web version of the search engines. The feature is currently not available on the mobile version. However, you can switch to the desktop version on your mobile browser to perform the task.

Linkedin Search

If you know the educational background or workplace of a person, you can search for them on the Linkedin website. Most professionals will have an id for them on Linkedin. You will have more possibility to find out the person. For example, if you have a doubt about someone who is so perfect in their identity, give it a try at Linkedin.

You can also find out if someone else is opened a fake profile in your name and using your photo as their DP on Linkedin.

What You Can Do If Someone is Using Your Pictures to Catfish

You or your friends or family member might be in a situation where their pictures are shared on different websites to lure others. Sometimes, this is an avoidable situation to face the consequences. Do not worry as there are possible solutions you can try to fix the issue.

Proceed to Report to Social Media

If you're sure that your pictures are being used for catfish, you need to take this action right away. Find the profile and report it to the social media platform. Ask your friends, family, and surroundings to report the picture used by someone and also report the fake profile. 

If your picture is used by some random website, reach out to the webmaster and request them to remove your picture. If you feel no improvement in this process and your picture is not removed, you will have to take strict action.

Also, if the problem is too sensitive and you don't want to share this information with your surroundings for reporting the fake profile, try the next method.

Inform the Police Without Hesitation

As discussed earlier, if the situation is worse, the last option is to report the issue to the Police. Possibly, they will contact the cybercrime branch to start an investigation for catching the scammer.

Protect Your Online Data

Some people share their location, pictures, and all important data publicly on social media. You need to understand that if you share sensitive data with the public, you are giving an opportunity for the predators to mine your data.

If you're a Facebook user, you can shield your picture from getting downloaded. You can also lock your profile and check other privacy settings. If you want to share your happiness by uploading your pictures, share them only with your friends.


People share their happiness on social media. It is the same place where predators are wandering. It is better to be safe than sorry. Check out your privacy settings on the social media you're using and protect yourself from identity theft.