One of the best things about online gaming is being able to do it with people all over the world. Meeting people through games can be really rewarding, as there is a guarantee you have at least a few things in common with them, and it’s good to have people to play with that you’ve gotten to know in that space.
However, sometimes, not everyone is what they seem behind the screen. With online gaming, you never get the opportunity to actually see them, or really tell if what they are telling you is true. So we’ve put this together to help you identify some of the red flags of a catfish, or even a predator.
- Do they try to get personal information out of you, like how old you are, what your real name is, where you live and who you live with?
- Have they ever said anything to you that made you feel awkward or uneasy?
- Does something not quite add up in their stories they tell you?
- Do they refuse to speak over a headset, even though you and others have been using one?
- Are they weirdly somehow ALWAYS online when you log on?
- Have they ever pressured you to send pictures, or meet up in person?
- Are they sending you gifts for no reason?
If you are unsure:
- Talk to a trusted adult – whether it be a parent, older sibling or close friend. Talking about how you feel can really help make sense of your emotions and a situation.
- Ask the person why they need to know your personal information.
- Make your profile private, and deny friend requests from people you don’t know.
- If they become persistent, block them on your chat platform. Even if it’s only for a few days, give yourself time to reflect on what they are saying/asking.
- Trust your instincts, you don’t have to say anything you don’t want to. If something doesn’t feel right to you, you don’t have to reply.
How to protect yourself:
- Never give out personal information.
- Ensure your screen name does not contain personal information like your name or birthday.
- You could even come up with a cool name to use in games that’s completely different to your real name.
- Keep a record of anything they do that makes you uncomfortable, you might need it in the future to report them.
- Report them as soon as you suspect they have bad intentions, you can find out how and where in loads of the most popular games here.
For more information and support for gaming and gamers, check out the our Unite Gaming hub here.
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This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.
If you are being abused when you are playing Fortnite, please click here on how to report it.