JEM Marketing Blog

Have You Been Contacted By A "Catfish" On Social Media?

catfishAre you familiar with the term "catfish"? I have had a few experiences with catfish and thought I'd write about it, as a heads up to others who might not be familiar with the term. According to Urban Dictionary, a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. Catfish have been known to prowl on Facebook and on dating sites such as There was a documentary made and a subsequent reality TV show called "Catfish" that was created after one of its stars, Nev Schulman, fell prey to a catfish. A catfish creates a fraudulent profile on a social site, steals photos of someone else, creates a completely fake identity and then starts to interact with others.

There are many variations of catfish. Some are older people posing as younger people. Some are men posing as women. One of the most publicized catfish experiences was that of football player Manti T'eo, who became involved in an online relationship with a male catfish who was posing as a female. This particular catfish went so far as to disguise his voice to sound like a woman when calling T'eo.

Catfishing has now become more than just something that lonely people are doing to pass the time. It has become an opportunity for people to trick others into sending them money. Currently, many victims of catfishing are widows or middle-aged singles who appear to be financially secure. The catfish will reach out, try to make a connection, and start to engage the target with words of romance. The crazy thing is that many people actually are taken in by this and end up sending thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone they've never even met. Many of these catfish turn out to be young men sitting in an internet cafe somewhere in Africa, posing as successful American or European businessmen. Dr. Phil has done a few shows about this subject, including one where a woman was sending thousands of dollars in cash hidden in cereal boxes to someone that she thought was an American working in England. The money, in fact, was going to a catfish in Nigeria.

It has now become almost common place to be contacted by a catfish on Facebook. There are some things you can do to protect yourself from these people.
1. Look at their current friends to see if you have mutual friends.
2. Look to see if they are connected to a disproportionate number of (or only with) members of the opposite sex. This is a good indication that the person is a catfish.
3. If you've received a direct message or a chat, be aware of the way they communicate. Are they writing in plain English, or does their sentence structure seem a bit off? This may be because English is not their first language, and they are not who they say they are.


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How Do the New LinkedIn Features Compare with Facebook Features?

LinkedIn versus FacebookFor the past several months, LinkedIn has been undergoing some changes.  There is a new look, and some new functionality.  But is LinkedIn simply playing “catch up?”  Do these changes remind you of features that Facebook has already been using with substantial success?


New LinkedIn Features


1. Blue Box To See New Updates

When you click on the blue box under your status update box on your profile, you get a listing that looks very similar to a Facebook newsfeed with updates from your connections.  Is this similarity to the Facebook newsfeed a coincidence?  I think not.  Many of the postings here even have the familiar “Like – Comment – Share” buttons.


2. Images are Larger

Images with LinkedIn status updates are now larger which will enhance engagement with yourFacebook statistics have long shown that images get the most engagement with other users.  Is LinkedIn becoming more visually functional to emulate Facebook posts?


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New Features in iOS 6 Upgrade For Your iPhone or iPad

iPhone TipsHave you upgraded your iPhone or iPad to the new iOS 6 operating system?  If not, I recommend that you do so right away.  Apple is boasting over 200 new features packed in to this upgrade.  It does take a while for the upgrade to download and install, but I think you'll find it well worth it.  Here are some of the new features that I feel are useful, will make using your device easier, or are just plain cool!




The maps app on your iPhone and iPad now offers spoken GPS turn by turn directions.  Previously, it had turn by turn directions, but without the voice which made it difficult to use while driving.




Siri now has enhanced capabilities.  You can now ask Siri for the latest movie reviews and showtimes, get your team's scores and stats, and find restaurants and make reservations.  You can now ask Siri to open apps for you and even post updates to Facebook or tweets on Twitter.

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