f you've ever gone through the experience of looking for romantic partners on a dating app, you've probably encountered profiles that just screamed catfish—aka a fake profile, robot, or other type of scam. But research suggests some personality types are more likely than others to fall for a catfish.
Catfishing, aka online romantic fraud, is still alive and well these days. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, online romance scams reported to the FBI tripled between 2012 and 2016, and the Better Business Bureau reports that Americans have reported losses of nearly $1 billion due to romance scams. One company that screens profiles for dating companies told the BBB that 500,000 of the 3.5 million profiles it scans every month are fake.
In a new review published last month in the Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health journal, researchers culled the scientific literature to identify common trends in the types of people who tend to fall for catfishes. They found and analyzed 12 relevant studies. From these, they found that 63% of social media users report having been a victim of catfishing at least once.
These were the personality types most likely to fall for a catfish:
1. Romantics (aka people who tend to idealize romantic relationships and romance in general)
2. People high in neuroticism (aka anxious people or those who deal with a lot of negative feelings in general)
3. Sensation-seeking people
4. Impulsive people
5. People with addictive personalities
6. People with codependent tendencies
Women and middle-aged people were also generally more likely to fall for catfishes than people of other genders and ages.