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By Dr. R M Wolf PhD
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What is this about "Catfish"? Internet scams.

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The internet is a vast array of information, but it is also a vast array of MISinformation. More and more of what is on the net is pure nonsense. You cannot believe half of what you read on the net, and further research is always needed. Add to that the fact that you will get a “slant” of the publisher of the page, not 100% truth in many instances, adds to the confusion. I remember during the election telling people that getting any information from a partial site (like a party site), or slanted news service was pure intellectual suicide.

Last week I alluded to the fact that the internet is not a place where you want to take any one stab in the dark and believe it. It may be a page that is 100% true, but having backed up that information is invaluable. There are sites that will help you find if things are true or not, like Snopes or Truthorfiction. They research and find the source and are 100% unbiased. They have no reason to lie to you, and will tell you if something is true or not , or even partially true.

Sadly there are a bunch of sickos out there that get supreme pleasure in trying to attack and discredit successful businesses and people. They have meaningless , unpleasant lives and get their jollies out of making large companies or famous people look bad. Harming a person’s business out of pure lies and pleasure is sick, disgusting, and criminal. Laws have been enacted to prosecute internet bullies and slanderers. I say , it is about time!

Yet there is a step deeper into internet lies, deceit, and hate.It is a behavior that is deplorable. We all know that there are people on dating websites who play themselves up. They may even have a picture from 10 years ago, or a description that makes them look irresistible. My clients fall for them all the time. Did you ever wonder what all those Prince Charmings are doing on a website, yeah me too. The fact is, dating websites are a joke. They can advertise in ways to lure you in like “more weddings”. Ok, so your site had 3% instead of 2.5%, and none of them lasted? Great statistic. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

So, we all know dating sites are full of people playing up their best (or imagineed attributes), and downplaying the bad side. People fish hoping to catch that one gem in the ocean. They prepare for that, so what? The” what”, is that there are people out there who totally and completely fabricate a persona, and never intend to meet the person they are communicating with. The reason, psychosis. They are called “catfish”.

Recently in the news was a person who had 30 plus women that they were communicating with. There were phone calls, texts, pictures, email, but never a face to face meeting. Every time the face to face meeting was arranged, there would be a disaster that would keep the two from meeting. The reasons included surgery, near death of family members, illness, accidents, and being stranded somewhere due to weather, or other serious issues.

These relationships would seem monogamous to the person involved. There would be talk of marriage, even gifts sent, but the meeting would never happen. The reason why? The person who for months on end was courting these women, was another woman. She was doing this for her own twisted, evil amusement. She is a catfish.

There is no financial gain, nothing but pure trickery in order to amuse themselves. Catfish are becoming more and more prevalent on the internet. This one was even “brave” enough to suggest to a girlfriend that she contact “this guy” (who was actually herself),  who was really sweet. The girlfriend was very savvy and not desperate at all. She figured it out when the attempts to meet were always thwarted by major issues. She caught on right away.

The pictures this woman was using was from the internet, a man who is a local singer and model who had many pictures on the net. She “became” him. When the made up persona had “serious accidents”,keeping him from a face to face meeting,  his “sister” (the catfish) , would call and tell the poor woman who was being played that her “brother” was in a serious accident, or some other dramatic reason they could not meet.

When one girl caught on, she asked for a picture taken that day with a newspaper or some other non alterable item with the current date on it. She never got the picture, because the catfish could not create that.

This woman had the time to play out these 30 women over time, one girl up to 30 months.

There are people in this world who get nervous about dating again, they get funny about meeting up. Yet, 30 months? That is way too long. Two meetings cancelled by the same person for the original meet up , should be the maximum.

Dating outside the country is also asking for trouble. There are not only catfish galore, but people who will try to scam you out of money. One man told a client he needed money to pay his taxes to leave the country. That is pure BS. Another wanted citizenship , and another a job here. If you think for a moment these people will not pull out all the stops and promise you the moon, you are highly delusional. This is very important , heartbreaking stuff here.

Do not internet date a person from another country, one you have not met in a reasonable amount of time, or one that says they need money first for ANY reason. They are all scammers.

The catfish are, to me, the sickest, as they just do it for personal pleasure. So if you have a hard time believing someone will make a sign for Facebook with information that isn’t true, think about Catfish.

The internet is a place where people can hide. They sometimes become bullies, scam artists, or even Catfish. Beware any internet predator, it is a jungle out there!

Peshaui Wequashimese

(C)2012 Dr R M Wolf. May not be copied, reproduced, or shared without credit or prior written permission.


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