How Profitable is Catfishing in Washington State?
Catfishing. It's become a cultural phenomenon that has arguably wreaked more havoc than most others. I'm not referring to the actual fishing for catfish, I'm talking about the catfishing that came in to popular culture around 2010 thanks to a film of the same name.
What is 'Catfishing'?
Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines catfishing as "a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes". One of the most famous catfishing victims was former Notre Dame and NFL Linebacker Manti Te'o. It's been the subject of a TV show since 2012 and it can be very lucrative if you know how to do it.
How Do People Make Money 'Catfishing'?
It's another way to scam people out of money, especially online. People need to be very diligent about the email they read and the online conversations they have with people because unless you know the person on the other end, you could be their next victim.
The following are the States with the most money lost to catfishing scams...and yes Washington is among them. This is a record or reported cases of catfishing, many also go unreported so it's safe to bet that the amount of money lost is actually greater than listed.
Population alone is the main reason you see California at the top of these lists. The highest population usually translates to the greatest potential for financial loss. The Golden State had 3,023 reported cases of catfishing that cost victims $183,928,230 total.
Florida is a state growing in population, and growing in potential victims. Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens in the United States. Right or wrong, they are also the group most targeted by scammers. The Sunshine State had 1,738 reported cases for a total loss of $70,483,554.
The Lone Star State could also be the State with many lonely people. Texas is the second largest state in mass and in population. It also has the second highest amount of catfish cases reported with 1,752. The total financial impact is over $5 million less than second place Florida though at $65,430,519.
4. New York
The State that holds 'The Big Apple' means it is also a big target for catfishers. While we don't know how many victims that lost money were in NYC, we know that statewide the number of reported cases was just 1,168 cases. While the number of cases may seem small, the financial hit of $57,577,392 sure isn't.
5. Washington State
You could argue The Evergreen State may be The Ever Trusting State instead. Washington State had 657 reported cases but the targets of the catfishers must've been whales. The amount of money lost by Washingtonians was $31,958,914.
Researchers at KyrosAML.com compiled the data from publicly available data provided by the FTC and the FBI. if you would like to see how the other 45 States fared against catfishers, you can find the results here.