We hear this term “catfish” often with the popularity of online dating and social media. Technology has made us all exposed, whether we like to be or not, to a plethora of experiences, both good, and bad. One such experience is the catfish. What is a catfish? A catfish, essentially, is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not by using a false identity in order to get close to someone and/or start a fake and deceptive online romances with them via social media. I know what that’s all about, it’s happened to me. Well, kinda, sorta. Someone attempted it and I let it happen, I knew what it was, but wanted to see what they would do and say, so I could share it with you my readers. Yes, I put myself in the line of fire for the sake of learning, here is what I learned.
My Own Catfish Adventure
My own catfish adventure started on FaceBook. I have a pretty public profile because I don’t really post anything about my personal life on there, as such, I have a lot of subscribers and people adding me that I don’t know. I don’t usually add people I don’t know, but people are free to subscribe if they wish to do so. The people who add me are pretty random and they usually don’t interact. Sometimes, some will send me messages and I don’t answer unless I’m bored or intrigued. One such occasion I answered one man. He was quite attractive and had several pictures on his profile doing different things. OK, I was bored. I checked out his profile further, it was a newer profile. All his friends were women young and old. He listed a hometown in the UK as well as a job, education and a telephone number. I figured, hey, why not … this could make a good story!
So we chatted a bit. Got to “know” each other. I didn’t really give any information out that wasn’t public but chatted nonetheless. He talked about his love of sports, his ailing father and his work. Then, he started being poetic. He would sing my praises all the time and how I brought sunshine into his life (um really, my short answers and words did that?). Then, he started getting clingy, sending me weird messages all day like “You may be out of my sight,but not out of my heart.u may be out of my reach,but not out of my mind.i may mean nothing to you,but you ‘ll always be special to me….hello suzie!” and if I didn’t answer he would keep sending messages over and over and over until I responded.
Needless to say that started to annoy me and I told him to stop. He did. He stepped back a bit, but still would send me poetry and tell me how much of a blessing I was in his life. He kept saying he’s never met anyone like me. That I was so beautiful. That one day we would be together. Blah blah blah. Ya sure. I just stopped responding regularly. One day I thought I would test him. I asked him in conversation what time it was where he was, he gave the WRONG answer. When I called him on it he said he didn’t see right on his clock. Hmmm. Then the next time I asked him what the weather was like where he was at. Again, wrong answer completely. Hmmm. Then I asked him to send me a live picture of him. He sent me one that was on his profile. Ya. Ok. You know what else I noticed? His vocabulary, the words he used, were not typical English, or even UK slang … it was different. I speak to people from all over the world and I can tell where they are from. This guy wasn’t from the UK. His number was a satellite number. All signs.
Hook, Line and … Never Mind
So I knew I had a catfish on my hands. The funny part was that I wasn’t even giving him stuff to work with, but he kept going on. One day, he sent me a random picture of himself. I said “Hi how are you?“, he said “not good“. I said “oh that’s too bad“. He said “yes I am very sad today“. I asked him “why?“. He said … wait for it … “the bank seized his money and he had no money and he had to pay treatment for his father and pay his bills“. “Oh that’s too bad“, I said. He said “Suzie, my beautiful kind hearted Suzie, I need your help“. HAHAHA … Ya Right!!!
So I responded “Sorry for your troubles but I can’t help you”. He kept pleading and begging saying his father would die if he didn’t pay for the treatment. He kept going on and on, one message after the other “you can surport me with anything you have…trust me i will give you back i promise“, then “please am not asking for too much money….just surport me with what you have that’s all i asked please i know you can help me that was why i asked you“, then “hey you can put smile,joy,happiness to my face once again…thanks“. What did I do? Why I blocked him of course. I wasn’t going to “surport” him.
What happened next? Nothing. Until another person subscribed to me. Very similar profile. From the UK. He kept sending me messages over and over, but I didn’t respond. Same type of messages the other one sent “A cup of hot hello, A plate of crispy wishes, A spoon of sweet smiles & A slice of great success – for u Enjoy they day! Good Morning!” WTF?? Another one … “A smile costs less than Electricity, but gives more light…Always smile as it is language which everyone understand…So keep smiling Good morning!” … wait wait another one LOL … “A true saying: when ur time is good,ur mistakes r taken as a joke..But when ur time is bad,even ur jokes r noticed as mistakes…..HAVE A NICE DAY .:-) Good Morning“. What the hell?! Weirdos. You think it’s the same person? I would bet on it.
How To Spot A Catfish
Well, who do catfish prey on? Vulnerable and lonely women and men. They keep adding and messaging them until they catch the one that will give them the time of day. They tell them what they want to hear just until they think they’ve got their affection enough to attempt the money grab. These catfish are masters at creating an ideal romance and the victims idealize them in their imagination. They choose to believe in something that isn’t tangible. My catfish was not very intelligent, I was very cold with him and didn’t give him reason to think I was interested romantically in him. He still tried. But it got me thinking, had I been someone else who was very lonely and in a vulnerable place in my life, would I fall for it? It’s very possible. That’s why I wanted to share my story with you. But how do you spot a catfish? Here are some tips to help you. You probably have a catfish on your hands if they …
- are very very attractive, not someone typically that would message you
- get quickly attached to you and tell you everything you wanted and needed to hear
- make you feel special and wanted
- don’t have many friends on FaceBook (magic number is less than 100)
- won’t meet in person or on Skype
- seem too good to be true
- always ask about you and your day, they seem a little too interested and a little too concerned (or angry) if you don’t answer
- talk about an illness (theirs or someone close to them)
- ask for money and promise to pay you back
Be smart my friends. Use your gut instinct … don’t let your loneliness or emotions or the feeling that you “struck gold” get in the way of reality. I know how hard it is to be alone and lonely sometimes and that makes you vulnerable for any type of attention. But, you need to make sure it’s the right type of attention. These people are strangers! Remember that! Unless you’ve met in person and verified who they really are don’t trust anything they say to you. That goes for anyone you meet online. And for goodness sake DON’T GIVE MONEY TO ANYONE!!!! Don’t!!! Just don’t. You’ve all read stories of women and men who got swindled for lots of money by these catfish. Date smart and if you’re feeling lonely or vulnerable go get a hobby, try a meetup or call up friends and family. You don’t need a stranger to validate you. You are awesome on your own!!
Have you ever been catfished? Has there ever been at catfish attempt on you? Would love to hear about it in the comments!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva