Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get.
And unfortunately, so is online dating. Until that telling first tryst, you can never be entirely sure the cute person you're spilling your life story to is actually who they say they are.
For those who haven't devoted hours of their lives to bingeing MTV's Catfish, catfishing is a deceptive practice where a person creates a fictional persona or assumes a fake identity on a social networking platform. Catfishes will typically lure their target into a relationship for a number of reasons, such as financial gain or to intentionally upset their victim.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of catfish lurking in the often murky waters of online dating. However, there are precautions one can take to mitigate the risk of being catfished - hook, line and sinker.
One woman who almost took the bait recently shared her experience to TikTok in the hope of educating others. The woman, who goes by the username @jjustjocelyn, had been looking for love on the dating app Bumble - a service which requires the woman to make the first move in order to avoid unsolicited advances from their matches.
Planning to meet her would-be Romeo, the eagle-eyed woman immediately backtracked after noticing a key, incriminating detail.
In the clip, Jocelyn said the guy appeared "good-looking" and she agreed to meet him for dinner shortly after they matched.
"He's good-looking, I'm into it,'' she said in the video, which has since amassed more than 1.2 million views.
"Obviously, I don't want to talk on the app - I want to meet in person and see if I even like him," Jocelyn, who is based in the Canadian province of Ontario, continued.
"I give him my number and I say to him, 'Text me when and where'."
Shortly after sharing her phone number, the woman received a message from her match.
"And I see [the message] is green - now, why does that matter?''
Jocelyn proceeded to share a snap of the person she thought she had matched with - a man dressed in activewear, a black cap and crucially, an Apple Watch.
"What does green mean? [It] means he doesn't have an iPhone,'' Jocelyn pointed out.
When two people are communicating via Apple devices, texts typically send via iMessage, an instant messaging service that was developed by Apple and functions exclusively on Apple platforms, such as macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS - the operating system of the Apple Watch.
To differentiate between a standard SMS and an iMessage, iMessages appear on iPhones in blue, while SMS messages appear in green.
On high-alert, Jocelyn continued to investigate her prospective beau. She decided to do a reverse image search - a tactic often used by the hosts of the television show Catfish to determine the source of the person's photos.
To perform the reverse image search, Jocelyn took the photos the man had uploaded to his Bumble profile and placed them into Google Images to see what results they returned.
"And what do we have here? An Instagram model from New York," she announced.
"I live in Ontario - so [the] maths is not mathing."
Following her detective work, Jocelyn was satisfied that her match was not the person they claimed to be, and instead was hiding behind the photos of another individual - a model named Ron.
"Thankfully, I hardly spoke to this guy and invested zero percent of my time,'' Jocelyn added, before urging online daters to remain vigilant and do their due diligence before meeting with a match.
In a follow-up video, Jocelyn said she didn't tell her match that she had uncovered his secret, but he hadn't followed through with their arrangement anyway.
"I'm thinking he maybe saw the TikTok, 'cause you guys blew that up [sic]," she mused. "I did report the account."
Jocelyn's story - which has been liked by more than 150,000 people - has resonated with a number of viewers, many of whom were quick to share their own experiences.
"FaceTime first dates have worked really, really well for me," one woman advised, with a second adding: "My daughter won't meet in person with a guy until they've FaceTimed first."
"It's happened [to me] several times. If the guy is really good-looking, that definitely means something is up," another pointed out.
"I matched with this guy also! Lol same BS story," a fourth shared.
Jocelyn's video also came to the attention of Bumble's official account, which responded: "We're so sorry to hear about this!
"We've found the member and permanently removed them."