Hook, Line, and Busted! Or, my Catfish experience

This one is a bit hard to write about because I got mad even though my gut knew exactly what the deal was…way before my brain was willing to admit it.  Please don’t do too much psychoanalysis on me on this one…

Here goes.  Remember The Traveler? He is featured in:

I guess the benefit of writing a blog is that I KNOW FOR SURE that I knew what was going on…since in one post in September I wrote “On the extreme other side, perhaps he is some old fat guy using a hot guyโ€™s photosโ€ฆno intention to actually meet in person but instead is totally duplicitous.  I suppose itโ€™s possible.”

So…here’s what happened.  The Traveler – who said his name was Steve (yes, for real.  I have no compunction using his first name since a) it’s so common and b) I’m certain it’s not his real name anyway) would contact me every once in a while by text or on the online dating site.  He said he was stuck in Washington due to the financial crisis and needed to try to preserve his contracts (he was a VP in a manufacturing type sales role).  So that was the new reason for never being able to travel to my city (and there we go – we’ve ruled out Washington as my city!).

I had unsuccessfully gotten him to send me a photo of his face, or his body, except for on two occasions.  The first photo was this one:

Steve

At the time I thought hmm…suspiciously high production quality.  Even asked him about it.  He said it was from August and his ex-girlfriend took it and she was a photographer.  Uh, okay.   And I got the same cock shot twice.  Both times with the text “me jerking off to you”.  Lovely.  First time I believed him.  The second time when he sent the exact same photo and oh yeah, it was nighttime and the light was streaming through the window, I called him on it (that can’t be right now, it’s daylight) and in classic Steve style, he suddenly had to go.  At this point dear readers, not to worry, I completely knew that there was something wrong.  But I’m a curious sort and was dying to know how far he would take it.

So fast forward to a long weekend away and a girlfriend tells me about a) the show called Catfish, and b) Google Image Search.  How was it that nobody told me about this amazing thing from Google?  So I get home and take that above photo and boom! up comes seancody.com and this lovely profile of this man, whose name is NOT Steve.  It was even nice enough to include Steve’s profile bod shot from Yahoo Messenger.  OMG did Steve know he was being impersonated?  So here my friends is how far this guy would go to try to preserve our “relationship”.  Here’s the short version of our text and email exchange:

  • Me:  Hey, is your real name Steve?
  • Him: Yes
  • Me: And is this photo really you? [I text him the photo above]
  • Him: Yeah. Told you before, that’s me in August. My ex took it.
  • Me: Then can you explain this?  http… [I send him the link]
  • Him: What’s that? I can’t get the page
  • Me: Your profile photos on a website. Different name.

There’s a pause. Big shocker.

  • Him: I used a buddy’s [online dating site] profile.  I didn’t know I’d meet someone I liked so much.
  • Me: Give me a break.  Send me a  real photo right now. [just to see…]
  • Him:  Sure, I will but gotta run right now am on a call be back to you.

Uh-huh.  Right.

  • Him:  I just yelled at my buddy I had no idea where those photos came from on his profile.
  • Me: Steve, that photo was the one you sent to me saying it was you.  And the other from your yahoo messenger profile is there too.  They weren’t from the [dating site] profile.  Do you think I’m a moron?
  • Him:  Didn’t we  have a great connection?  What happened to you in the past that got you this way?

Seriously?  This is where I would have loved to have been having this conversation in person.  This man is obviously…shit I don’t even know how to describe the personality that would make this situation about me and my response.

  • Me: I feel sorry for you that you couldn’t be who you really are. Was everything you said a lie?
  • Him: No baby. We had a connection. I will be your slave.  I honestly am feeling ill right now and will be back to you and will make everything right.

That was the last I ever heard of him.  He hasn’t been back on that dating site since that day.

I really do hope that my friend Steve will be the biggest liar I encounter.  I did check out the show Catfish and boy, do people get seriously duped.  It is a good lesson for me to know the lengths that some people will go to deceive…but a better lesson that my gut is right and as much as I like the pursuit…I should listen to my gut and move on when it tells me. I’d love to hear if anyone has any crazy experiences like this as well.

0 thoughts on “Hook, Line, and Busted! Or, my Catfish experience

  1. Pingback: Turns out, the Personal Trainer was a bailer. | ann st vincent

  2. Pingback: Hook, Line, and Busted! Or, my Catfish experience | ann st vincent

  3. I was catfished once, a long time ago, before my first marriage. This was back in the days before internet dating was a thing…but online bulletin boards (BBS) systems were. This girl and I started chatting, things got frisky, and soon we were an “item.” An item that never met, but I was young and dumb and totally head over heels with her. She’d call, and god, she had the sexiest voice. All soft and slightly husky but very deeply feminine. Every time I wanted to meet though, there was a different excuse. And then finally, I had enough, and told her I was done if we couldn’t meet face to face. She gave in. She told me to meet her at the local library in an hour. I said I’d be there.

    I got there. I had a picture of her (that she snail mailed me, back in the day before photo paper printers existed!) and I waited, looking for the girl with the blonde curly hair, thin, tanned, busty, and the sexiest green eyes I’d ever seen. And waited. And waited.

    Finally, an older woman (maybe 12-15 years my senior) approached me. Her hair was dark and straight. Her skin pale. Her eyes deep brown. Her body, bluntly, morbidly obese. She said she was my paramour’s aunt, and that she was terribly sorry she couldn’t be there, but that she had emotional trauma from a rape experience and…well, you know, I’m not going to go into the whole story. I accepted her word at it for the time, and went home, upset, confused.

    But I am a clever man, and was then too. Her voice…she couldn’t hide her voice. And it clicked. That woman, the “aunt”…that was my paramour.

    The sad thing is, she didn’t have to lie to me about who she was. I am not, nor have I ever been, the type who is wired to be attracted to pure physical appearance alone. And indeed, I can be and am attracted to women of all shapes and sizes. What matters most to me are the things she already had. The passion. The personality. The myriad of ways we clicked mentally. That, to me, is what really turned me on.

    Alas, she stopped talking to me after that. Years later, a friend confirmed for me the case, as she had drawn in yet another user on the board, who found her out through shadier methods.

    And it has happened since, from a couple other catfishers. Perhaps I’ll recount it on my blog, as I fear I am already chewing up so much of your comment space. ๐Ÿ˜‰ To this day, I have no tolerance for such things. I don’t present myself as anyone different from who I am, nor will I accept it when another does. The one thing that always made me laugh while dating was when I’d show up and my date would say, invariably, “Wow! You look just like your picture!”

    Imagine that.

  4. I had something similar happen to me on FB, though I’d already been told about Google picture search by Nick (comments on Hy’s blog around the Jiminy Cricket’s time). I engaged him in conversation, tried to learn a bit more about him. He supposedly was a painter, had been in an exhibition in Moscow, was from X City. I used Yellow pages, didn’t come up with anyone with his name in that area, nor any painters… I even went as far as checking Moscow exhibitions. Then I remembered I could search with a picture. So I checked the painting he’d sent me. No such luck. And finally, I realised I could search his profile picture (I know, it took a while for the coin to drop, what can I say, I’m sh*t at IT and very trusting)… and sure enough he was known as using fake pictures on his FB profile. I asked him about it, and I think eventually I told him that I wasn’t interested in people that are not honest. Since then, I have had a few more requests for friendships (something about a ‘it’s complicated’ personal situation that attracts them like magnets. Let’s say I am even more cautious now than I was the first time around ๐Ÿ™‚
    I don’t usually friend people I haven’t interacted with on FB before, so I avoid a lot of disappointment that way. And sinnce I’m not on any dating site, I don’t offer them Catfish many opportunities to lure me ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. About 6 or 7 months after my divorce was finalized, I decided to give online dating a try. I started with one of the mainstream sites & it wasn’t long before I was contacted by a guy named Max. He claimed he was in the US Army & stationed in the Middle East but that he was getting ready to come home for good. He sent me pics of himself, as well as pics of him with his fellow soldiers. He also sent me pics of him with his two kids, who were currently living with his sister until he got home. We would chat online & he’d tell me about his daily life over there. He’d tell me that he wouldn’t be available for a day or two ’cause they were going on a mission. I’d worry about him the whole time that I didn’t hear from him. After about 3 weeks, the subject came up of me purchasing something & shipping it to him. The shipping address was the first thing that waved a red flag. It was somewhere in Africa but he explained that it was a sorting site for mail being shipped overseas to soldiers. I have a friend that used to be in the Army, so I asked her about that. She asked a friend whose husband was currently overseas & was told that she was able to ship stuff to the base he was stationed at. They had never heard of a place in Africa where packages were sorted. When I asked him about it, he started giving me all these excuses. I told him that I believed he was trying to scam me & to not contact me anymore. After another message from him, I blocked him & never heard from him again. I reported him to the dating site & his profile disappeared.

    So that was my first catfish experience. I never had any luck with the mainstream site. I did meet a few people through an adult dating website & I’m still friends with a couple of them, but nothing else ever really came from it.

    • Wow, I’m sorry that happened…but not terribly surprised. Now I find Google Image Search is a great tool to at least weed out the ones who are really lazy.

      At least you didn’t get too far down the path with him – it can and does happen to people and it’s terrible when you’ve made an emotional investment.

  6. I was cat-fished when I was in college. It was the mid to late nineties, and just like one of the other commenters, I met her through a chat room, not a dating site (since those didn’t exist yet). I was talking with this girl named “Sally” on a little computer with no ability to see images or anything. This was right as the internet was burgeoning, so there was no Google image search, no Facebook, not even MySpace had been invented yet! There was no way of knowing if someone was real, but I never thought anyone would pretend to be someone they’re not.

    She said she sent me a picture, but like I said, the computer I talked to her on couldn’t upload images. I asked her to send it to me again, and I would open it on one of the brand new computers in the lab from my email (also a brand new invention at the time). She scrambled and said she no longer had that picture as she spilled coffee on it right after she sent it. I was so young and trusting that I believed her. We got pretty serious and talked about a lot of personal stuff. Then, one day I got suspicious and asked her straight out (no pun intended) if she was who she said she was. She was not. “She” turned out to be a 45 year old MAN. I was probably between 18 and 20 years old at that point. He said he had depression and wanted someone to talk to. The picture he sent was of his friend. She let him borrow it, so when I asked him to send it again, he didn’t have it anymore. I sent him a scathing email and told him never to contact me again. Thankfully he complied with that!

    So yeah, I got cat-fished a looooonnnnngggg time before it was cool!

    • Wow that’s a crazy story! I know it happened from stories but haven’t known anyone who actually experienced anything like that. I realised after my own experience that online dating is the perfect venue for this kind of stuff, unfortunately.

  7. This post reminds me of the time I accidentally sent the same photo to the same woman on 2 separate occasions and she called me on it. I could have sworn I hadn’t shown it to her before! lol

  8. I’ve had guys and gals try to gaslight me in the way and, well, I never believe what they want to show me; I just wait to see them in person and if they don’t wanna meet, then I’m sure that what they showed me was a lie. It makes me glad that I don’t rely on appearance to attract me because I know that my eyes can deceive me so I shouldn’t trust them…

    • Ah yes, you’ve got a few themes there which are sadly familiar!!

      Google Image Search is amazing. I’ve found out a lot using it – some comical, but others just interesting. Good luck to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. hahahahaha!

    I could tell you about my catfishy experience, only it was more of a Master Class Cluster Fuck before it was over with. Some people can be so extremely devious, and some others (pointing at myself) can be far too trusting and naive.

    Google reverse image search is awesome, as is one called Tineye (you can get a browser plugin so you just right click on the photo and search for it).

    • Love the term “master class cluster fuck”. Did you ever write about it?

      I learned the red flags over time after experiencing so many of them. And I kept thinking each new time was different but eventually caught on that it wasn’t the case :/

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