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Image Search for Catfish, Spot the Fake!

A reverse image search has a lot of limitations; however, an image search works great for discovering catfish accounts. This is due to the fact that a social media catfish account will often use a photo that was acquired elsewhere on the internet.


An image search works the best when searching by using an image that also exists on the internet:

  • Catfish accounts often use stolen images off the internet.

Think of it like this:

A photo has a good chance of finding its twin on the internet, or triplet and so forth.

If someone is new to online investigations, then an image search of a suspected catfish account is a good place to start.

However, there is few more simple searches they can do such as a phone lookup, name lookup, address search, and email search.

reverse catfish image

Saving the Catfish Photo

To get the best catfish image search results the photo needs to be saved properly:

  • This means it can't be frame grabbed, that will slightly alter the image.

  • Remember, a photo's best chance for finding its twin is to remain a twin.

So, how does someone not alter an image or at least alter it the least amount possible?

  • The catfish photo needs to be saved to a device.

catfish photo search

Now that the catfish photo is saved as a photo document on a device the reverse catfish image search can begin. To get the best results, it is recommended to use all of the biggest reverse image search services:

To perform an image search with Google reverse Image search on a smartphone, the page needs to be put on desktop mode.

catfish search

Image Search for a Catfish + Phone

An image search for a catfish account that also includes a phone number can greatly increase the chances of discovering the catfish accounts origins. All one has to do to get started is a simple phone number search.


Image Search for a Catfish + Name

If a fake name is used for the catfish account, a name search can have a possibility of discovering information behind the fake name.

Image Search for a Catfish + Email

If an unscrupulous individual has multiple catfish accounts using the same email, a search of this email could lead to the individual.


Image Search for a Catfish + Address

If someone is fortunate to get an address associated with a suspected catfish account, this will greatly help the catfish investigation. However, an address search is a bit laboursome due to the fact that multiple variations on the address must be searched individually.

catfish search

If someone is new to using the internet as an investigative tool, then an image search of a catfish account is a great place to start. This catfish image search can work even better with a detailed search of the available contact information. However, if a catfish investigation is important to an individual, then a professional should be used.

About the Author


Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 14 years as a Professional Investigator. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting investigations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of many investigative training programs in various capacities. Peter has helped many individuals on their journey to learning to utilize search engines to their full potential including reverse image searches for suspected catfish accounts.


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