Information sheet

Question Title

The aim of this project is to investigate the catfish phenomenon from the perspective of their victims. Although we are primarily interested in the experiences of catfish victims, individuals who have not fallen prey to catfish are also eligible to participate.

The term ‘catfishing’ is used in modern-day language to describe the actions of a person who engages in self-misrepresentation online in order to deceitfully lure others into a false relationship or for personal gain (for example: altering photographs to make him/herself appear more attractive, using photographs of other people instead of him/herself, misleading others about career or wealth, misleading others about hobbies or interests etc.).

If you participate in this project, you will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires which will ask you about your previous experiences of being a victim of catfish (if applicable).  In addition, you will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires which will allow us to ascertain if there are distinct psychological variables which may predict catfish victimhood.

Data will be fully anonymized and stored securely, accessible only by the research team. Please note that you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time up until the point of completion. As you remain anonymous throughout the study, you will not be able to withdraw once the questionnaire has been completed and submitted.

Although we do not anticipate any serious risk to individuals participating in this project, we will be asking you questions about your previous experiences of catfishing. Therefore there is the potential that participation will bring up unpleasant memories and feelings for some individuals. Because this is an international project, we cannot recommend any specific counselling services in such an event. However, if you are affected adversely through participation you may want to consider seeking professional support through counselling services in your country of residence.

Please take your time to decide whether or not you wish to take part in this study. We anticipate that the questionnaire will take approximately 20 minutes to complete in full. If you have any questions regarding the study, do not hesitate to contact the lead researcher:,  and we will do our best to answer any query you may have.

Thank you for your participation