A catfish is a person who sets up a false or fake profile on a social network or dating site for the purpose of deception and fraud. Generally speaking, the goal of the person who is creating the fake account— known as the catfish, is financial gain. 


In a recent sextortion blog posted by Covert Results, a lot of people got interested and reviewed the blog. We had multiple calls with individuals admitting that sextortion had happened to them. We know this is a problem all across the world, with AI and technology getting a lot better. People have to be more cautious about what kind of information they’re putting out on the internet.

It sounds very simple that people need to just have their own due diligence process, but that’s actually where a private investigator comes into play. At times, Covert Results is hired to simply do a background check on an individual— to know whether it’s a real person, if their intent is real, and know what their background is. Quickly, when we run a background report and research on a person; we will find that most of the time the person is real but there are times in which we’ve found that it’s a totally fake person. Typically, we advise the client to cease speaking with the person, because it’s likely that the outcome is monetary. It’s only going to go down a dark and potentially expensive path if they continue to communicate with a person that doesn’t actually exist. 

We had a client from the Middle Tennessee area reach out to us based on one of our previous blogs. The client expressed that they think a catfish deceived them, but they also professed that they didn’t want it to be true. This client has been engaging and speaking with a person for 6 months, and paid the catfish over $10,000. It was in the forms of Cash App, Venmo, and directly paying invoices that turned out to be falsified. The client had not yet met this person, and only saw a beautiful face of a female individual; whom the client believed to be the person that they portrayed. 

Our client finally said: “I’m tired of paying, you keep on saying we’re gonna meet up and we never do.” “We talk on the phone, but we mostly text.” “I want to meet up, if you don’t want to meet I’m not paying for anything else.” That’s when the catfish responded that they have access to the social media profile of one of the client’s family member’s children, and said: “Tell your family and I will attack them if you do not pay me.” It quickly turned from a catfish seeking money to threats. Just because the client had obviously paid in the money, the catfish hooked them and now the client was in a tough spot. 

The client relied on Covert Results to devise a plan to guide them to safety, hoping for a good outcome. After assuring them everything is going to be okay, we put our plan in place. Our plan included: a full background and workup on the potential catfish, figuring out that this person is, in fact, fake, then relaying all the information we acquired to the client. We attempt to gain all the intel, open source intelligence, and their real identity. When we get enough information about the catfish, we can then set our hook and make a phone call to the catfish to let them know that they are caught and that we have identified who they truly are. Basically saying what they are doing is a crime, and it will be their choice if they want to involve the police or not— this particular case included several offenses including mail and wire fraud, which are federal crimes. 

Covert Results had a conversation with the catfish, and gave them the definition of mail and wire fraud, citing that they could go to federal prison. We then informed them that this activity had to cease right now! And if not, then the client would absolutely pursue state and federal prosecution. We strongly specified that the catfish should no longer text or call my client or his family – or else – they will be prosecuted. The client has not heard from the catfish again. 

If you have any challenges like the story above, we have a specialized unit with Covert Results that has numerous partners and operators working together to catch these criminal catfish all over the world. Email contact@covertresults.com to have a Catfish Task Force member contact you today.

Covert Results is the premier private investigations, armed security, cyber security, and training company you’ve been searching for. Our team of highly skilled experts has amassed over 100 years of experience in all fields, from investigations to security concerns. Being a member and working within a global network called The Entrepreneurs Organization allows us to provide excellent service anywhere on Earth – truly bringing peace of mind through our world class services! Be sure to follow @CovertResults across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the latest information regarding investigator expertise as well as lighthearted moments shared by our community! If you need us to guide you to that peace of mind you are looking for, call or text 615-861-1680 or email contact@covertresults.com.