That’s catfished capital. My apologies.
It seems that Alaskans are looking for love in all the wrong places. Or, at least, we do it more per capita, than anyone else in the United States. All those dark, solitary, winter nights, alone in the cabin with an internet connection… What’s an Alaskan looking for love to do?
Stay offline, apparently.
Catfishing, for those not in the know, is basically the attempt to swindle via a faked romance. The Better Business Bureau reports that 1 out of 7 dating profiles online are frauds. Dating profiles are created, using stolen photos, in order to manufacture a “relationship” with the goal of cheating the lonely out of some hard earned cash.
Per capita, eight out of the top ten states to fall for catfishing are in the west, with Alaska leading the way in taking the bait, hook, line and sinker.
Luckily, for romance seekers in the Far North, Alaskans are not anywhere near the top in dollars lost. North Carolina leads the way here, with $47,886 lost per swindle. That’s a lot of chocolate.
According to the FBI, $323,952,461 was lost to catfishers in 2018 alone.
Some tips from the FBI:
Don’t send money to a person you have never met.
Keep conversations online for as long as possible. Once you text or call, you’ve given out personal information that can be used against you.
Be wary of giving any personal information out online. Most people do not really need to know your mother’s maiden name upon first meeting online.
And my favorite tip: If it seems to good to be true, you’re probably talking to a Catfish.
Graph Credit: HSI; stats from the FBI Internet Crime Center