LGBTQ+ community has a higher risk of being catfished than straight people, study reveals

Man using LGBTQ+ dating app. (Getty Images)
LGBTQ+ people experience higher rates of catfishing, posing, ghosting and 'cushioning' online. (Getty Images)

Those who identify as LGBTQ+ experience higher rates of 'bad behaviour' from other dating app users than those who are straight – including being catfished.

The online Cambridge Dictionary defines a catfish as: 'Someone who pretends on social media to be someone different, in order to attract other people', adding 'Online scammers and catfish usually have broad profile interests so that they can appeal to as many people as possible.'

When asked if they had experienced this before, 35% of those in the LGBTQ+ community said yes, compared to just 18% of heterosexual respondents, according to a new study by Currys.

Signs you're being catfished could include not finding who you're talking to elsewhere on the internet or seeing photos that don't match their dating profile, feeling like they're avoiding meeting up or any face-to-face contact (including virtually), being told conflicting stories among other clues.

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Woman looking confused while speaking to someone online, to represent being catfished. (Getty Images)
Does who you're chatting to online never want to FaceTime? You could be being catfished. (Getty Images)

This theme is similar across other 'bad' dating app behaviours. 'Posing' (pretending you're interested in a certain type of relationship when you're not) is something 24% of LGBTQ+ respondents have had to deal with, compared to 22% of straight ones.

Plus, the dreaded ghosting (ending all contact without explanation) has been experienced by a third of the community, but only a quarter of those who are straight.

Meanwhile, 'cushioning' (messaging other people casually in case a current committed relationship doesn't work out – also known as 'micro cheating'), has been experienced by 24% and 19% respectively.

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However, in a more positive light, the new study also shows that those who identify as LGBTQ+ are also more 'successful' on dating apps overall.

Some 13% of those in the community said they had 'met someone on a dating app who they then went on to marry/commit to long-term', whereas this is the case for just 8% of straight study participants.

So while it may be more challenging at times, it seems LGBTQ+ people have more luck with finding lasting love online.

The apps with the highest success rate for respondents in the community include Grindr (13.77%), Tinder, (11.59%), Plenty of Fish (10.14%), OkCupid (7.97%) and Happn (6.52%).