The Catfish

IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW REALITY: The Catfish (PART IV)

In Part III, the discussion was the evolution of the troll. In this article, we cover online dating scams, or “catfishing” if you will…on social media. Now in one of the previous articles, we did briefly talk about online dating scams and how people could possibly get taken. However, in this article, we will dive a little deeper into it.

What exactly is a catfish?

According to Urbandictionary.com, “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.”
Also, currently, there is a very popular show on MTV called, “Catfish.” Catfish basically chronicles instances in which people suspect that they’re being taken advantage of by online lovers, thus the Catfish cast takes it upon themselves to travel to the “purported” locations of the so-called online desired lover, to see what is going on. Nine times out of ten, the person is not who they say they are and eventually comes clean.

One has to really wonder, how could someone get fooled romantically by a phony lover on social media?

Well from the outside looking in, it always seems more outlandish than it actually is. You never know where a person currently is in their life. Secondly, based on occurrences, their mind could be in a thousand places. Thirdly, they may actually be a person who gets a rush from the mere thought of trying to get something that’s actually unattainable. Fourthly, they may be looking for a legitimate love connection after having endured various failed ones locally.

An attractive visual is how it all begins. And if you’re a person who is really “thirsty” for someone to take you to fantasyland, well social media is EXACTLY where you need to be. Thing is, as prevalent as the practice of swiping a beauty pic from somewhere on the internet is, and using it to set up a bogus account, PEOPLE STILL FALL FOR IT.

Additionally, if the pic bears “the look” that you’ve been longing for, you’re either going to think it’s too good to be true, or be so drawn, that you’re willing to make believe that it’s real, even though something in the back of your mind is telling you that it is not. But once the communication begins trickling in, they are going to instantly feel you out and check your vibe. For they want to make sure that what they say appeases you to the highest degree.

Once they find out what you like to hear, then that’s what you’ll hear. Then you’ll think, “Wow, they got the look, the personality, AND the conversation.”
Of course they do. These people are not amateurs. See, now they can slowly start reeling you in and eventually pull you out of the water.

Just say, things seem to be going well…

You’re exchanging pictures, texts, and talking on the phone just about every night. But one thing you’re probably thinking now is, “Man, I can’t wait to see them. But they’re so doggone busy.” At first, it doesn’t bother you; because you’re so smitten, you NEVER see any flaws initially. However, once the high starts to wane, that’s when the mind takes completely over. This is when you become very persistent in inquiring about visiting them. Note, I said, “visiting them,” because by now you realize them visiting you is out of the question. Well on second thought, they could probably come visit you; but they are low on funds…at least that’s what they tell you. Then you all set a date, and you send them the transportation funds, plus you’ve got a whole weekend of activities planned.

Well, the date arrives, BUT THEY DO NOT. You call and they don’t answer. The weekend passes and they finally contact you back; but they’re asking for more money; because the previous funds were stolen. You become very suspicious; but when they say, “But baby, I really want to see you,” you end up sending them more funds, but get the same result. This is when you realize you’ve been catfished.

Some people have to get burned numerous times before they realize that there are some folks in the world whose only job is to create social media accounts to scheme others out of their money. Hey, I cannot lie, someone tried to catfish me; but I did not send funds. It took one time and one time only. With that said, BE VERY CAREFUL when getting to know others better via social media, AND legit dating sites for that matter. Do your research on the sites, also visit online forums that analyze online dating experiences, and just use plain common sense.

-Poet/Author Marc Lacy

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