Catfishing on the rise, study finds

A common refrain you hear after a break-up is that "there are plenty of other fish in the sea," but a new study has found the sea is full of plenty of catfish, too.

A report from, a resource for verifying online identities, found that the number of fake online personalities created to scam victims for money, romance or cause physical harm - a technique colloquially known as "catfish" - has grown by 50 percent compared to three years ago.

Illinois ranked No. 9 in the country with 463 reported victims, according to FBI data. Vermont had the fewest with only 25 cases.

Experts remind you never to give money or information that you don't know personally and be suspicious of anyone who won't meet in person or do a video chat. And, if they do agree to meet in person, try to verify their identity with reputable online sources.

Top 10 states with the most catfishing victims
1. California - 2,105
2. Texas - 1,238
3. Florida - 1,191
4. New York - 782
5. Pennsylvania - 577
6. Washington - 493
7. Virginia - 480
8. Michigan - 461
9. Illinois - 433
10. North Carolina - 432
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