So, have you ever been 'catfished' in real life?
According to Urban Dictionary, the definition is:
[quote]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.
I'm watching a rerun of Dr. Phil, and there are women talking about how some guy did this to them. One woman is quite attractive; I find it hard to believe she'd need to go online, but I guess dating online is the 21st century.
This is the guy the 'catfisher' from the Dr. Phil episode was using as his identity. I can see why straight chicks would fall for him - he's purty. But ladies... seriously... frosty locks, gallery full of shirtless shots... We all know which way this is going.
And even better - the catfisher was a WOMAN!!!
Niv Schulman ("The Catfish" movie guy) plays for our team.
I find these cases really interesting. I saw Catfish the movie, the Dr. Phil show mentioned upthread and a documentary called "Talhotblond". In all these cases, the perpetrator was a woman. Talhotblond was especially sad because it ended up with the murder of an innocent man.
I find both sides very sad - someone creating multiple identities and stringing people along with words of love, making plans, etc. Then the gullible ones who fall in love "long distance". There were 3 women on Dr. Phil who 'fell in love' with someone over the computer, living on a dream of happily-ever-after with a guy they never met in person. One let this go on for 2 years. She got so crazy from this 'relationship' that she became a cutter to relieve the stress.
Anyone know of any interviews with the catfish-er -- the person who gets off juggling people? I'd love to hear them explain their actions.
I have an incident of being catfished but not a relationship situation.
I was on a message board about a TV show. This was in the late 90's. It was a friendly group and this member named blairspanda posted all the time. Over time, she put out more and more personal information. Little things, like family issues, health problems, etc. I've learned that this is a common phenomenon with catfishers; they love drama and calamity. This person had the following happen in two years: knee hurt, broken leg, multiple hospital stays for seizures, kidney problem, cancer, sister ran away, met man of her dreams (his name was Luke Standingfeather!, a tall, dreamboat Native American), Luke proposes, she's pregnant, Luke dies in car accident, she has miscarriage, back in hospital with heart issues. She would routinely log on from her hospital bed and regale us with daily goings-on with the nurses, etc. Then the group gets a message on the board from her sister(!) that blairspanda has died. A few weeks later blairspanda comes back online! Her explanation was that her parents thought she was spending too much time online and they made the sister tell everyone she was dead. So now she's estranged from her family, grieving her dead fiancee and dead child and all she has is her friends online to keep her together. She routinely gave out her address asking for cards, to "cheer her up".
I finally had enough and logged on (anonymously) to say that we were all being duped. OMG the backlash was amazing - how could I be so harsh? I did have a few people reply to me that they were having doubts but the negative feedback to me was incredible.
Then blairspandas health took another turn. She wrote from her hospital bed again, saying that the doctors said she didn't have long. Shortly after "her friend" wrote to the group that blairspanda had REALLY died this time. There was a newspaper obituary, but who knows if that was even for real. blairspanda was martyred on the group for months, but never heard from again.... under that name.
Wow, R7. I've across some psychos who don't have a life so they invent one in order to get sympathy/empathy, but that one takes the cake.
With the proliferation of webcams and video chatting doesn't it seem like this would be much more difficult to pull off?
R9: The 3 bozos who were on Dr. Phil were asked about getting webcam evidence, etc. They said that the fake boyfriend (FBF) would always have an excuse as to why he couldn't do video. Then he'd have some emergency or something so the women would get sidetracked/feel it wasn't appropriate to be demanding during their FBF's "time of need". One woman who was getting suspicious asked the FBF to take a picture holding something with the date and he refused. She let it slide cause she was in 'love with him'. Dummy! On top of that, all 3 fools said that they sent nude pics to the FBF. Sad sad sad, so stupid and NEEDY.
The guy Nev said that having tragedy, emergencies is a classic tactic used by catfishers - it stalls off the gullible fool when they start getting trying to flip the script.
After I saw the doc Catfish, it reminded me of the craziness on that board. Out of curiosity, I went back and looked up the addresses that blairspanda had listed. I Google-mapped them and Googled the name she gave to put on the notes and cards. Google maps showed a typical small town in Georgia and the name didn't really show any hits.
I imagined this person as a shut in middle-aged female, sitting in front of her PC spinning these stories and living this alternate life. Wonder what she's doing now.
which tv show, r7?
Was Robin catfishing Datalounge?
The TV show was "The Sentinel" which starred Richard Burgi as a cop with heightened senses. It was a slash site; we shipped RB and his partner.
I was a bit off on the timeline; it was the early 2000's.
I was reading about some old closet case who would pretend to be a hot, female model and communicate with teenage boys, getting them to send him naked photos of themselves.
Seriously, why do straight boys fall for this? Do they really think female models are trolling the internet for naked pictures of them?
The Anderson Cooper threads on DL are full of catfish: demented straight women with an unhealthy love-hate relationship with Anderson, who pretend to be gay men posting insanely angry shit about him. The whole thing is very disturbing.
Are you kidding me? Attractive people don't have to go online to meet people? Are you high? Where should she go? Date all of the losers at work? No! Spend her time in bars meeting drunks? Do you think most civil people feel comfortable just going up to a woman to ask her for a date? No, pushy, vulgar men do that. Life is short with no time to play games. Online dating is a way to say who you are and what you want. OP sounds like a delusional queen. It must be hell on earth in that warped head of yours.
Wow, R18. Contain that rage. Save it for Republicans.
I was also catfished. But this girl wanted money out of me. She tried to get over on me. I finally realized after a year and never meeting her that i had to just give up on the fantasy that i thought id found the girl of my dreams. I dislike that it took me a year but at least she didnt fool me enough to take my money.
[quote]Was Robin catfishing Datalounge?
Fuck, yeah. Ditto for Susie Lee, that other DL con artist. Everything about those scenarios was classic bs, but don't try to tell their followers that. It hurts too much to believe they were duped, so they just dig their heels in deeper and lash out at those who dare to point out the obvious.
"Ditto for Susie Lee, that other DL con artist"
Who was the "real" Susie Lee? Was she just a housewife from Nebraska or something?
'CATFISH' IS NO MORE A DOCUMENTARY THAN 'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.'
No one ever figured out who the real Susie Lee is?
I'm male, and I chatted for a few years with who I thought was an 18 y.o guy. After chatting for two months (very intelligent conversations btw), "he" told me he was only 15. We continued chatting until he was in college.
We finally quit chatting, by mutal agreement, but curiosity got the best of me. I did some amateur detective work and found that "he" was in fact a woman. He claimed to be bisexual and sent me a pic of a girl he was interested in. I now believe that was a photo of herself.
15? How old were you, R27?
I guess I have been the catfisher? Way back in the olden days when AOL was THE gay portal to hook up, I would go into the M4M chat room and say I was a 17 year old high school drop out looking to experiment. Within about 30 seconds my mailbox was full of cock pics. Seriously, it was like a feeding frenzy.
I've been accused if being catfish, can you believe that?
Justin....that one loved to Catfish here.
I want to catch up on the 'Catfish' documentary and the 'Catfish' series.
I've never been 'catfished' myself, but I have two friends who are getting seriously 'involved' with online 'romances' right now and (to me) they feel 'sketchy'. I think both are trying to push for 'the meet' so that they can determine if these guys they're talking to are being completely honest or not. And it's becoming quite 'a dance'. Right now, one of them is quickly 'kicking to the curb' any one who won't agree to meet when he feels it is time (usually within a couple of weeks).
My first exposure to this phenomenon was with the true story of 'Tony Godby Johnson', which is what Armistead Maupin based his 'The Night Listener' book on. It is pretty crazy story and, to date, I haven't heard of one that 'beats' this one.
The link to the story that I first read TEN YEARS AGO is below. (AM wrote his book after this).
R32, are you aware that quotation marks are not decorative objects meant to be placed randomly wherever you think they might look nice?
Oh so sorry, R32. Back 'on topic'.
Robin, yes. She definitely catfished DL. I love how when asked gender, she would never say. Only, "It shouldn't be important!", but we all know it was a 50 something female. Certainly.
Who was Susie Lee? I have been here on and off since 1997 and must have missed that one.
Susie Lee was an older woman who claimed to be the daughter of an old Hollywood actor.
He had all kinds of old Hollywood gossip, some of which dated to when she was a toddler or before she was born.
I always assumed that she was telling the truth about her basic identity but exaggerating the amount of gossip she knew. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
Robin initially identified himself as a man; then got coy about it when some people began to obsess about it. I tend to believe Robin's story was more-or-less true, actually. I mean, what's hard to believe about a friendless, middle-aged shut-in with a zillion mental and physical health problems posting on Datalounge?
Never really read the Susie Lee threads; I'm under the impression she claimed to be some sort of Hollywood insider, r35.
As far as I know, neither SL nor Robin ever solicited/attempted to solicit money or gifts from DLers, so even if they were fakes, no harm done, IMO.
[quote]Robin initially identified himself as a man
Link please. I don't remember that either.
You are lucky I'm in procrastination mode, r38.In reply 374 at the link, Robin discusses having a male roommate in the hospital.
Not sure, however, why it matters whether Robin is male or female, or what bearing it has on the likelihood that he/she is a catfisher.
Why is is that people who are catfished are always in so much denial?
Because they really want to believe. We're all capable of self-deception.
I get this all the time on various social networking or hookup sites, although it's always someone trying to scam me in these scenarios. Fortunately, these guys are pretty predictable.
The most interesting thing about the Armistead Maupin 'catfishing' was that, besides internet interaction, he had been talking to 'the boy' and his 'foster mother'
Up to some point, Maupin's partner had only been talking to the foster mother, Vicki. When Maupin finally put Terry on the phone to talk to the kid, when he hung up, Terry said 'That was Vicki' .... which started the whole exposure of the lie.
Like someone said upthread, Maupin was so close to the situation, he couldn't even see it.
[quote]what's hard to believe about a friendless, middle-aged shut-in with a zillion mental and physical health problems posting on Datalounge?
[quote] Anyone know of any interviews with the catfish-er -- the person who gets off juggling people? I'd love to hear them explain their actions.
Agreed, it's the catfishers (not the catfished) who spark my curiosity. It's easy enough to look around and find examples of people who are gullible and/or vulnerable, who lack the basic skills of healthy skepticism -- even if in some isolated aspect of otherwise reasonably sound judgment.
The catfishers who perpetrate scenarios so elaborate as to go beyond having a laugh or killing a bit of time with some mischief, and all without any aim of material gain (or even R29's barrage of dick pics from the heyday of AOL chatrooms.) The business of all of the repots of illness and hospitalization and extreme maladies is probably most telling.
[quote] The business of all of the repots of illness and hospitalization and extreme maladies is probably most telling.
I think the poster tazber on BWW is a catfish. I've heard about the several posters he's befriended and each time they made plans to meet up, he'd back out at the last second. The reasons were always health-related, i.e. his mother went into coma, he was diagnosed with cancer, his twin brother died in a car crash. One time, he even said his older half-brother came to town and was terrorizing the family, running loose with a gun. It all became very suspicious.
At one point, he even had several photos presumably of himself on his profile, pictures of a hot, built twentysomething, but they never seemed to be of the same person. A couple people asked him why he looked different in every picture, and he chalked it off to different lighting, angle, etc. The strange thing is that he gave us his real name, and when I did some amateur sleuthing online, the only person by that name in his hometown was a man in his forties. And there was no record of an older brother and twin brother, and no obituary for the dead brother or any articles about a deadly crash.
This is my all time favorite article from Vanity Fair. It's from 1999 and in retrospect it was indeed catfishing although there was no such expression at the time.
What facinated me was the men this Miranda person "entranced" were wealthy, sophisticated businessmen and actors, etc. People that should have known better. Buck Henry. Robert DeNiro. The record producer guy that has been living with Jane Fonda the last decade (Richard something)
There was supposed to be a book on this but rumor has it DeNiro bought the rights so it would never be seen in public.
The Miranda Obsession. Would love to hear your thoughts after you read this.
Ooh, R45, I loved that Jesse Jubilee James catfishery tale. The remarkable thing is the girl who was being catfished had some good friends who exposed the catfisher. It is even caught on videotape for evidence. Check out this catfisher! Crazy!