Catching the Catfish: Finding the identity of your online date

This USC student used Google's reverse image search to discover the girl contacting him behind this photo was a phony.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- With the growing dishonesty in online dating, more people are using a free tool to discover the true identity of their online admirer, and it's helping them steer clear of phonies.

The act of pursuing deceptive online romances, or catfishing, shot to prominence when the news broke of Manti Te'o's imaginary girlfriend, but catfishers are just as easily being avoided with a tool that is as simple as Google itself.

Reverse image search software, included on Google, Tineye, or the app "PicFind," is being used to reveal all the locations where an image has been located on the web, and the FBI is even using it in investigations.

"It's all we do that within the FBI," said SC FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas. "Of course we've always looked at fingerprints. That's how we identify people, but of course we're looking at different ways of identifying people now, and facial recognition is certainly one of those."

Still, Manti Te'o would not necessarily have been able to reveal the false identity of his online girlfriend. The software only reveals information about photos already located on public websites.