Because I like to quote the Urban Dictionary…
A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.
So catfishing is a thing, and a very very annoying thing.
It’s even such a thing that a TV documentary/reality show has been made in America about it. It’s absolute madness.
Luckily, I’ve never fallen victim to a catfisher… not to the full extent anyway. I’m far too suspicious of men online as it is, so I question things when they don’t seem normal. It’s pretty obvious when someone is fake because as soon as you ask too much, they disappear.
I recently watched “My Online Nightmare”- a series that’s been shown on Channel 4 and it’s actually quite terrifying. The lengths people go to to disguise themselves is amazing. It blew my mind a little bit!
Months and months ago, I match with a guy on Tinder. He was ever so handsome, dresses well, looks well travelled… his info says he’s a professional online poker player. Yeah right, course you are mate.
I questioned him… A LOT. I asked if he makes enough money from it to not need a “proper” job. I asked where he plays it. If he ever leaves his house. If he ever loses. If he’s ever lost a huge amount. What’s the biggest amount he’s lost. If he’s ever played it in a casino with actual people. I asked everything I could think of. All his answers seemed genuine and believable. He even said “jeez, no one ever asks THIS many questions”. We chatted for a few days, he tells me he lives in Salford Quays which is very close to where I work. Handy, I thought. However this guy was SO into fashion that I had decided there was no way that I could ever meet him. I am not the fashion kind of girl. I am a jeans, tshirt, trainers kind of girl. He’d see me and run. It wasn’t until he suggested I went over to his for a game of strip poker that I decided to stop talking to him.
However last Friday, he reappeared on Tinder! His profile said that his job was a “semi professional model”. I decided to see what happened if I swiped right on him… “It’s a Match!” flashes my phone…
I got chatting to a girl in work about Tinder and she was telling me how she’s discovered that you can put images into Google Chrome and find out what they are and if people are real. As an example, she screen shot a photo of George Clooney, put him into the search and obviously it came up telling us it was lovely the George. So I decided to do it with this guy.
It came back telling me that he’s a German model. Living in Germany. Not in Salford Quays. He’s actually pretty famous over there. That explains his very good looks and his very good dress sense. I look more into him and he has over one million followers. However back over on Tinder, this guy C********** has an Instagram account under a different name with almost 8,000 followers which in itself is terrifying. Has he conned 8,000 women into believing he’s real?!
He sent me a message before I’d had chance to decide what to do about it…:
Firstly… if I was the kind of girl to “definitely hook up” with guys, what would have happened when I turned up and realised he’s not who he is in photos? Secondly, as if he had the cheek to say someone was using HIS photos…?! And thirdly… well, there isn’t a third because after the message I sent about him being a twin, he instantly deleted and blocked me off the app because I’d clearly caught him out.
I decided to let the handsome German model know via an Instagram message that someone in the UK has stolen his photos and is pretending to be him on Tinder. Sadly he didn’t reply.
Bizarrely enough though, the EXACT same thing happened to me last night on Plenty of Fish. A guy sends me a message:
K******: Hi Shells, nice profile and photos. You look like fun xx
His photos instantly looked suspicious to me- firstly a watermarked image of a guy on a motorbike and secondly a blatant model shot of a man and a dog. The lighting gave it away.
I popped those imagine into Google Chrome and BOOM. Another bloody catfish!!! He’s literally googled “hot man with dog”! It’s a Stock photo! It’s used on a UK and an Australian website about dogs!
I decided to reply- of course.
“Is that really your neighbour’s dog?”
K******: Yeah. I look after it when they go away! They don’t know I’m using it to enhance my chances of dating haha.
Me: “what kind of dog is it?”
K******: I’ve been trying to find out what dog it is, the best I can say is a cute one.
Me: “You seem to have made it onto an Australian website about dogs with that photo…”
Me: Indeed. Seems also in 2014, you made it big in an article online about one man and his dog in the uk…
K******: Still a cute dog though x
Wow. Just wow.
What is wrong with these people?! Surely this should be made illegal?! Are they murderers? Are the just lonely guys who want a chat? Are they guys having a laugh with their mates?! Who are they????