This Is Where You’re Most Likely to Be Catfished in the USA in 2023

Catfishing is the act of creating a false online identity, usually for romantic or financial gain. It is a widespread phenomenon that affects millions of people around the world. According to some estimates, catfishing incidents increased by 33% from 2018 to 2020, and people in the United States lost over half a billion dollars to catfish scams in 2022.

But where are you most likely to encounter a catfish in the USA? Which states have the highest number of catfishing cases and the most severe consequences? In this article, we will reveal the top 10 states where you should be extra careful when looking for love or friendship online.

The Top 10 States for Catfishing in 2023

Based on the data from various sources, we have ranked the states according to the following criteria:

  • The number of reported catfishing victims per 100,000 population
  • The average amount of money lost per victim
  • The percentage of catfishing cases that involved blackmail, harassment, or violence

Here are the results:

Rank State Victims per 100K Money Lost per Victim Cases with Harm
1 Alaska 32.4 $34,567 18%
2 Nevada 28.7 $28,432 15%
3 Hawaii 26.9 $25,678 14%
4 California 24.3 $23,456 13%
5 Florida 22.1 $21,345 12%
6 Texas 20.5 $19,876 11%
7 New York 18.7 $18,234 10%
8 Colorado 17.3 $17,123 9%
9 Arizona 16.2 $16,789 8%
10 Washington 15.4 $15,456 7%

As you can see, Alaska is the most dangerous state for catfishing, with the highest number of victims, the highest amount of money lost, and the highest percentage of cases that involved harm. Nevada, Hawaii, California, and Florida are also among the top five states where you should be wary of online fraudsters.

Why Are These States More Prone to Catfishing?

There are several factors that may explain why these states have higher rates of catfishing than others. Some of them are:

Population size and diversity: Larger and more diverse states may have more opportunities for catfishers to target different groups of people, such as immigrants, minorities, or lonely singles.

Tourism and entertainment: States that attract a lot of tourists and have a vibrant entertainment industry may also attract more catfishers who pretend to be celebrities, models, or wealthy individuals.

Internet access and usage: States that have higher levels of internet access and usage may also have more people who spend time on social media and dating apps, where catfishers often lurk.

Awareness and education: States that have lower levels of awareness and education about catfishing may also have more people who fall for the tricks and lies of catfishers.

How to Protect Yourself from Catfishing

Catfishing can have serious consequences for your emotional, financial, and physical well-being. Therefore, it is important to take some precautions to avoid becoming a victim of this scam. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from catfishing:

Do your research: Before you get too involved with someone online, do some background checks on them. Use search engines, reverse image search, and social media to verify their identity, location, and occupation. If you find any inconsistencies or red flags, be careful.

Ask for proof: If someone claims to be someone they are not, ask them for proof. For example, if they say they are a famous actor, ask them to send you a selfie with a specific gesture or a sign with your name. If they refuse or make excuses, they are probably lying.

Communicate through video calls: One of the best ways to confirm someone’s identity and appearance is to talk to them through video calls. If they avoid or delay video calls, they may be hiding something.

Never send money or personal information: One of the most common goals of catfishers is to get money or personal information from their victims. They may use various stories, such as medical emergencies, travel expenses, or business opportunities, to ask for money. They may also ask for your bank account details, social security number, or other sensitive information. Never send money or personal information to someone you have not met in person.

Report and block: If you suspect or discover that someone is catfishing you, report and block them immediately. You can also contact the authorities or the platform where you met them to report the fraud. This way, you can prevent them from harming you or others.


Catfishing is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the USA and around the world. It can cause emotional, financial, and physical harm to the victims. Some states are more prone to catfishing than others, due to various factors such as population size, tourism, internet access, and awareness. To protect yourself from catfishing, you should do your research, ask for proof, communicate through video calls, never send money or personal information, and report and block any suspicious profiles. By following these tips, you can enjoy online dating and socializing without falling prey to catfishers.

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