social media accounts.
Four years is a very long time to find out that someone has been living your double life without you even knowing it. It seems even longer for that person who had to keep up appearances until he finally slipped up and was caught. This not only affected the victim, but his family as well. Imagine the shock they must have felt when they were told that same person was not him and this has been going on for many years.
Catfishing has gotten so big over the years that the major cable channel MTV has created a television series titled "Catfish". The show is fabricated in some aspects, but it gives real life situations that many victims of catfishing have gone through. The effect of being catfished has a very strong impact, not only on someone's personal life but his or her professional life as well. Imagine losing your relationship with your significant other because of someone posing as you and getting to close with others, which will ultimately cause a rift with you and your partner.
The effect it can have on your professional life can be very damaging. I always talk about being careful when you are posting things on your actual account, but when it is an account you didn't even know was created, that can put the nail in your professional coffin. We know employers are looking at social media accounts more than ever. If you find that you are qualified for jobs, but not even getting so much as a courtesy call then you should check your social media accounts. Make sure that the only accounts out are the ones you control.
Catfishing is the ultimate online reputation destroyer. It is one thing to ruin your reputation yourself or have customers complain, which will damage your reputation a bit. But, when you have someone who you don't know and an account that is out there and being falsely run by someone other than you, it makes you seem helpless. Like I said earlier, you should always check your social media accounts and be absolutely sure that you are the only one who has access and control of them. With identity theft on the rise and social media being a prime target for it, no shortcuts should be taken when it comes to protecting your online reputation.
There is nothing scarier than not being able to control your online reputation. It is your responsibility to make sure that you can protect yourself against false accounts that can destroy your reputation.