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Catfishing – What it is and how to avoid it
Terry Brock -- Achievement Systems Terry Brock -- Achievement Systems
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Orlando, FL
Monday, October 30, 2023


This is a different but important episode. Catfishing is a terrible deceptive game that you need to avoid. First, know what it is and how to avoid it for the of your well-being, your health, and even your life.

Our guest, Jim Feldman, has studied this and learned how to help protect you from catfishing. Enjoy this episode and discover what you need to do to avoid the dangers.

Share this with others to help them avoid this terrible fate. You don’t have to be victim of catfishing.

Stay tuned to our Stark Raving Entrepreneurs channel to get more ideas that can help you as an Entrepreneur. Learn what you can do to avoid dangers and achieve the freedom you want.

For your convenience, here is an unedited transcript of this. You’ll want to pay careful attention to this as the Catfishing plague is sweeping through the Internet. This transcript can help you. Please let us know what you think. Thank you for joining us.

Terry Brock [00:00:00]:

As an entrepreneur, you know it’s important to live in the real world. The real world means we gotta hustle, we gotta get out there, take what we can do to give to help others, let their lives get better, and we need to protect ourselves too. There’s something going on right now that I really wanted to talk with you about today because it’s something a little different than we normally do here at Starke Raving Entrepreneurs, and it’s gonna be about a thing called catfishing. You might wonder what in the world is that. Well, hi. I’m Terry Brock, and I’m here to help you with my friend Jim Feldman. Catfishing is something quite different than where it was growing up out in the country where I grew up, going out and getting some catfish and having those for dinner and all that. This is not that.

Terry Brock [00:00:36]:

These are people who are deceiving others, taking their money, hurting them, and sometimes even worse. And we’re seeing a lot of things happen. I wanted to share this with you because when Jim was telling me about what’s going on and the extent to what it is going on, it really concerned me. So pay attention to this. This is something that’s a little bit different than we normally do. It’s something that’s gonna be really important. You or someone you know could be involved and could be vulnerable to this, where people are deceiving others and hurting them badly on the Internet. Stay tuned to this as we talk to Jim Feldman about the important concept of catfishing.

Terry Brock [00:01:10]:

You You know, as entrepreneurs, we’re using the Internet a lot. Well, duh, of course, we’re doing that, and we wanna connect with people. Connecting with people is really important. We talk about relationship marketing here. And as star craving entrepreneurs, that’s a real key factor of what we wanna do, we wanna humanize the virtual experience, we say. But we’ve gotta be careful because sometimes there’s people that are, well, we’ll call them bad actors. They’re out there and they’re up to no good. They’re out to take your money and they’re using some ploys that people like me I know you probably are like me in many ways because you’re watching this, you want to get along with people, you wanna help out where you can.

Terry Brock [00:01:46]:

Well, there’s a term going around that I had not heard of until Our guest today told me about a good buddy of mine and he said, yeah, Terry, there’s this thing they do where they get out on different places. For me, I experienced it and continue to experience it on LinkedIn. When I’m there where someone is saying, hi, Terry, they wanna become friends and they wanna be nice and all that. So for me, For whatever reason, they tend to be at least a picture of an oriental Asian woman, an Asian woman that’s there. And, usually, they’re from Singapore and are visiting Toronto and they have parents in Florida. I guess it’s a coincidence. And they’re there and I’m thinking, what is going on? Well, today, you’re gonna learn something that’s really important as an entrepreneur because we’ve got someone joining us today, Jim Feldman, who has joined us from his offices up there in the Chicago era, he is an expert on this. Jim, welcome aboard.

Terry Brock [00:02:37]:

Glad to have you with us.

Jim Feldman [00:02:38]:

Thank you, Terry. Always a pleasure to be with you, my friend.

Terry Brock [00:02:41]:

Yes, this is something really good. I wanna thank you publicly here as we’re going out with this on all the interwebs out there, for helping me to be aware of this. And I kind of suspected there was something going on, the jaded journalist in me was going, oh, this is happening. But you told me a whole lot. On a 1 to 100 scale, I’m probably at a 1 or 2 on this. I’ll put you at a 99 on a bad day. You’re good at a 100, you know what’s going on. Tell us, first of all, what this thing is.

Terry Brock [00:03:06]:

I think we call it catfishing, which where I grew up out in the country, catfish meant a whole different thing. But this is something on the Internet, you explain it to me. Jim, Tell us what catfishing is, and what’s going on with this thing?

Jim Feldman [00:03:19]:

So catfishing is where someone takes an image of someone else And pretends to be that person. And so often, they will go onto the internet, find a good looking man, a good looking woman, And then start the conversation as if that face was theirs, as opposed to The fact that they are hiding behind it, which is the term catfish, because catfish is a bottom feeder. It’s it’s, One of those fish that just kind of is a scavenger, and that’s how this all started out. And so people are falsifying The visual, while trying to elicit a romantic interest, which ultimately leads to various forms of risk that people should be aware of.

Terry Brock [00:04:12]:

Wow. So, let’s get a little bit deeper in this. You in another conversation that you were telling me about it, I was dropping my jaw. This is more than just, oh, they’re pretending to be someone that they’re not. There’s some real dangers in this. Tell us what you know about that, what you’ve seen happen in the real world.

Jim Feldman [00:04:29]:

So let’s take the population and start with, let’s call it people 13, And run it up to people that are 90. I’m just making, obviously, a wide range of what we’re gonna call young adults to mature adults. So young adults in 13, 14, 15 are constantly on their phones, And they’re typically on dating sites meeting people. Whether you look at something as a Facebook or a Twitter or a TikTok, It ultimately is a social engagement, and the social engagement often leads to let’s get together. And the let’s get together is where the danger lies, because you really don’t know who you’re talking to, and they say, well, why don’t we meet in this Place, which may be an empty park or under a viaduct, and that’s where you potentially have abuse. And the abuse could be physical, could be verbal, could be sexual. On the opposite end of the scale, you’ve got elderly people that May have been married and their significant other has passed away, and they’re lonely and they’ve got extra time on their hands, and again, They’re talking to someone who has expressed a romantic interest, and then comes the sob story. And the sob stories can be, I need money because because my mother is in the hospital, or I’d really like to come see you, but I need to get a medical exam and a passport.

Jim Feldman [00:06:00]:

The stories are pretty creative. And in between the 2 are, let’s call them, college age students up Through middle age, and I’m just gonna use middle age as 30, 35, these are people that aren’t as focused because they’re going to school, they’ve got jobs, etcetera, And suddenly they’re having a conversation with this attractive person who starts to talk about, o m g, I’ve met the person, you know, that I wanna spend the rest of my life with, and I can’t wait to meet you, but I’m gonna need an airline ticket, blah blah blah blah blah. Now, Terry, this is the scary part. In the United States, the FBI set up a whole division just For people to complain about money issues.

Terry Brock [00:06:47]:


Jim Feldman [00:06:48]:

For 2021, back 5 years, It was about $2,300,000,000, $2,800,000,000. That’s with a b. Now the first time I heard that, I said, well, What about the people that didn’t report? What about the people that were too afraid or only lost $100 or $500 and didn’t think it was worth their time? Nevertheless, that was from 2021 back. 2022, it ramped up to over $5,000,000,000. And in 2023, and the year is not over, it’s over $10,000,000,000.

Terry Brock [00:07:26]:

Woah, that’s serious. We call that serious money back home where I grew up in the country. And so they’re taking this much money, how are they getting using those sob stories, I need the money for this and that, and then people just do it. Are people that naive?

Jim Feldman [00:07:41]:

Terry, it’s not a matter of naive. It’s a matter of Loneliness, it’s a matter of the disconnect of meeting people in person due to COVID. It’s a matter of I’m on my phone, I’m on my laptop, I’m on my tablet, and suddenly this person has Accidentally found me. I mean, one of them that I get very frequently is, hello, Bill. How are you doing? And I’ll go back. My name is not Bill. It’s Jim. Oh, I’m so sorry to bother you.

Jim Feldman [00:08:13]:

That was very nice of you to Bond, my name is Alice, and we’re up and running.

Terry Brock [00:08:19]:

And, Alice, I guess we could put that in air quotes there, Alice, Yes. Because, if I and I think you were telling me sometimes these are not real women. Is that correct?

Jim Feldman [00:08:28]:

That is correct. Often not real women. In fact, during COVID, 2 things happened for me personally. Most of my clients were C suite executives, and when COVID hit so hard, Many of them were given opportunities for early retirement, mergers and acquisitions, etcetera, etcetera. I started losing my clients en mass. So I had time on my hands. Also, being single and not in a relationship, I went on some dating apps, and lo and behold, Here’s a good looking woman talking to me. I’m flattered.

Jim Feldman [00:09:05]:

She seems to be interested to me until we start with the ask, The big ask. Well, where do you live? Oh, I live in London. Oh, do you ever get to London? No. Well, I’ve never been to the United States. I’d love to come spend some time with you. I don’t have a passport. To get a passport, I need to get a medical exam. To get a medical exam, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Jim Feldman [00:09:29]:

And suddenly the ask is $100, $500. Now, initially, When they’d asked me for $25, I thought, you know what? I’d spend that taking them out for coffee. Why not? I’m keeping them engaged, and it wasn’t a big deal. Well, $25 started to become $50, $50 started becoming $100. And then I started seeing the similarity from woman A to woman B to woman C. I could almost plot the trajectory. I went online, did a lot of work on the dark web, and I found the Romance Scam Dating Handbook. It’s literally a script that you can buy for $10 that teaches you how to scam people on the Internet Using romantic indicators.

Terry Brock [00:10:21]:

So they have that in print on exactly how to do it. Yes. Woah. It’s a construction man. Yep. Woah, that’s terrible. Well, now the other thing is it seems like I know for me, my experience has all been with women, doing that. For me, it’s always just, Look, I’m in a very wonderful relationship right now.

Terry Brock [00:10:39]:

I have no desire for anyone else. So for me, it’s more of I’m just being nice and I’m kinda curious, the journalist in me is saying, what’s going on here? I wanna find out. But you were telling me that this is not exclusive to women doing it or men claiming to be women. It’s gonna go the other way as well. Is that correct?

Jim Feldman [00:10:55]:

Actually, the monetary losses occur in women more often than men, which was very surprising. And the target group that has the most frequency of monetary losses, college students. Once again, shocking to me, Because college students theoretically are bright, they understand the Internet, they understand all these tools that are out there, and yet they seem to be getting scammed more often than any other demographic group. Now let’s look at another group that really is susceptible to the Physical abuse, and that’s the LGB community. Because often, the catfish is a man talking to a woman or vice versa, And they wanna get that person to a a location where physical abuse takes place.

Terry Brock [00:11:48]:

Wow. That is serious. That’s getting really close. Well, this is a very serious problem. What can we do? What information would you give to someone to say who’s An entrepreneur or maybe they’re not entrepreneur, but just hearing about this, so to say, wait a minute, I need to stand back. What would you recommend?

Jim Feldman [00:12:06]:

Well, there’s certain red flags that crop up all the time. The first one is if they send you a picture, do reverse image searches, use TinEye, And see if that belongs to somebody else. You’ll be shocked to see

Terry Brock [00:12:17]:

And what is 10 I? Tell us spell that out and tell us what it is.

Jim Feldman [00:12:20]:

It’s it’s a it’s a reverse search. You put up the picture and it scrubs the Internet to see if it appeared somewhere else. And it’s And

Terry Brock [00:12:26]:

how do you spell that?

Jim Feldman [00:12:27]:

T I n e

Terry Brock [00:12:29]:

y. T I

Jim Feldman [00:12:29]:

n. T tinai. And The other one that does a really good job is called Social Catfish. They do charge for the service, but Social Catfish is much more robust. They can do images, they can do social media, they can do phone numbers, and be prepared, because sometimes you’re not happy To find out that the person you’re talking to is really an ex adult film star that retired 20 years ago, They found the picture of this attractive man or woman, and that’s what they’re using, figuring, listen, that person’s out of the business. They’ve probably gotten married and have a life, aren’t paying attention. And so you’re talking to this avatar, in essence, that was scrubbed from the Internet.

Terry Brock [00:13:12]:

Yep. Well, Jim, you have helped me a lot on on this. And for those of you watching this, this is a man you wanna get to know. You wanna find out about what he’s doing. He’s a brilliant genius in the world of AI and helping people with their business to grow it. And now this is something he’s kind of stumbled into, seeing it, and he’s helping many people there as well. So stay in touch with them. Now, Jim, one other thing that you told me about that I found happens over and over, I mean, consistently, for some funny reason, like, for example, on LinkedIn and I’ll meet these people, in my experience, usually there on LinkedIn.

Terry Brock [00:13:41]:

We’re chatting back and forth. And after a few conversations, suddenly, they wanna continue on WhatsApp or Telegram, and it’s always WhatsApp or Telegram. And I respond back, oh, I’m okay right here on LinkedIn. And I say, oh, I hardly ever use LinkedIn. I wanna get back on there, and I wanna get to know you more. Where do your friends and your family? Why WhatsApp and why Telegram?

Jim Feldman [00:14:04]:

Because they’re encrypted from both sides Of the conversation and very hard to track the footprints to be able to give it to let let’s just take the worst case scenario. FBI gets involved, or some other organization gets involved. In WhatsApp and Telegram, it’s very, very difficult to go back and find the IP address, etcetera. The other part of it is, if you met somebody on a dating app or LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever, stay there. Don’t don’t leave. And the more they encourage you to leave is the more reason you wanna stay. The other part of this is that Do your homework. I refer to it as trust but verify.

Jim Feldman [00:14:48]:

With the advent of ChatGPT, Jasper, Everyone else and the AI, you don’t need to go out and catfish anymore. You can create an image, And you can create a voice, and you’ve got all these tools that they didn’t have a few months ago, and so the bad guys are using the AI As much as the good guys, so you’ve gotta beware. And now there are AI detective sites that will scrub that because it leaves a footprint. Yes. You can go on and find those AI detectives and use them to find out, is this really an AI generated image conversation, etcetera?

Terry Brock [00:15:27]:

Jim, I think you hit the nail on the head. That’s gonna be a solution for a lot of things because we talk about AI a lot here. We are concerned that, hey, I can get your voice, Jim, you and I are professional speakers, our voice is out there recorded. Somebody wants to get our voice and just hear it and get 60, 90 seconds of it, they can. And through wonderful tools that are meant to be used for good, and I love them, like 11 Labs, Murph, and others. I love those things, they’re doing a great job, but bad guys can get a hold of that and twist it around another way. I like what you’re saying. We can let AI check to see if it really is, this or not.

Jim Feldman [00:16:02]:

So, Terry, there’s a couple of rules that I think everyone should be Aware of. One of them, trust but verify. Number 2, if early in the relationship They start calling you my love, my honey, the the most start to be very leery of that. You know, how quickly does that happen in real life? If they ask you to move to a different site, be very leery of it. If they ask you to send money, especially gift cards, Or a a Cash App, or a Zelle, where it is almost impossible to retrieve it, Don’t do it. If you’re gonna send money for any reason whatsoever, try to do it with your credit card because at least You’ve got a slight chance of recovery. Now, if you voluntarily Send money using your credit card Zelle or anything else. They don’t wanna help you.

Jim Feldman [00:17:02]:

But if you go to them and say, I was scammed, Then they are almost always willing to try to recover. No guarantees, but at least you’ve got a fighting chance, where with Cash App and Venmo and some of the others, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Terry Brock [00:17:21]:

Yep. Good words of advice. And I would quickly add in there, same with Bitcoin. You know, you give someone Bitcoin, there’s no go to the Bitcoin office and ask them to give it back to you. No, it’s not there. You gotta be responsible for this. And I think we just need to be aware of this is the way it is. Throughout the centuries, unpeople have tried to take from others and violating what we call the non aggression principle, In AP, we believe strongly and live and let live.

Terry Brock [00:17:47]:

This is not doing it when someone is scamming and stealing from other people.

Jim Feldman [00:17:52]:

The the problem for all of us, Terry, that don’t have a significant other in our life is loneliness. And that loneliness has a tendency to put down that radar of the too good to be true. You know, why is this gorgeous woman talking to me? Would she my acid test is, would she talk to me if we were in a bar together? She’s got choices of everybody in the room. Why did she pick me? Well, she’d like

Terry Brock [00:18:19]:

my top. Sorry. I I like it.

Jim Feldman [00:18:24]:

So for your listeners in mind, I’ve created a website called romancescamexpert.com. And all of this information is up there free. I’ve created about a half a dozen books targeted to individual demographic groups. So there’s one for young teens. There’s one for college kids. There’s one for your parents. And they’re all there with the hope that you’ll get better educated And understand how not to be scammed.

Terry Brock [00:18:53]:

That sounds wonderful. Please say that again very slowly and carefully so people can get that. And if you’re Watching this right now, grab that pen and paper or your note taking device of choice and write this down. Jim, real slowly, tell us that again how they can find you.

Jim Feldman [00:19:07]:


Terry Brock [00:19:12]:

Romancescamexpert.com. That can save you, dear listener, dear viewer, a lot of heartache and agony, let alone money and maybe even your life. You wanna be on top of this, be aware of what is there. One of the most peaceful and best things you can do is stand back and don’t get involved with the bad guys when they’ve identified that themselves that way.

Jim Feldman [00:19:33]:

And the other thing, Terry, is share it with your kids, share it with people that you know because often, The fact that they’re involved in it, they don’t wanna tell other people. And, you know, it’s a dangerous world out there these days. And so if you can just say, hey, I know you’re dating, I know that you’re seeing people on these apps, just take a look at this, here’s somebody you don’t know That is just trying to help you be aware, because there are some really good tools out there. For instance, there’s a tool that you could put on your phone That sends back a signal to your parents where your location is. It also has an a call button. You can just hit the button and it sends out an SOS to whoever that person is. Or you could set it up to say, Within 20 minutes, I want you to ring my phone. And so if you’re in a compromising position and the phone rings, You say, wait a second.

Jim Feldman [00:20:32]:

I gotta take this call. And you go, oh, really? I’m so sorry. I’ll be right there. And you go, sorry. I got an emergency at home. And then you have a way to get away from that dangerous situation.

Terry Brock [00:20:44]:

Very good words of advice. Well, this is important. And by the way, with holidays And birthdays coming up and all the time coming up, this would be something that would be really good that’s probably not as well known, but very necessary. Think about people who have, unfortunately, terribly lost loved ones to situations like this. They wish they could put down a few coins, get something that could help them, and now you have an opportunity to do that. Think of those people that you love that are around you. You’re just giving them information. This would be a good investment to help them.

Terry Brock [00:21:15]:

Jim, you have helped so many people, you’ve helped me. And, even though I’m not at risk at all because I’m in a different situation, but still, I wanted to share this with other fellow entrepreneurs and other people also that are interested in it. Any final words before we let you run away?

Jim Feldman [00:21:30]:

Once again, trust But verify and look for the red flags. When you go to the website, romancescamexper, You will see all kinds of materials, including a small printout trifold, a set of questions and answers, Things that you can start to say, well, you know what, it sounds a little too good to be true. Let me look at this list and see if I’m putting myself at risk physically, verbally, or financially.

Terry Brock [00:22:01]:

Jay and Feldman, thank you very much for being with us today. We greatly appreciate it, sir.

Jim Feldman [00:22:05]:

Thank you for having me, Terry.

Terry Brock [00:22:07]:

And for those of you that are joining us right now, think about how this is very important. It’s one of those things that we as entrepreneurs wanna be fully aware of. We’re gonna live peacefully, but we’re also gonna make sure we’re aware of what’s happening. What Jim has just said, really important, bounce over to his website, take a peek at that, see what’s there, and, yeah, put down a few coins, get some of the information he has that can help you, that can help others. Maybe you know someone who’s, younger and they might need some help with that. They might not know what’s going on. You have an opportunity now to help them. I’m Terry Brock here with Star Craving Entrepreneurs.

Terry Brock [00:22:41]:

We appreciate you joining us today. We look forward to seeing you again.

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