I’ve Been Used as a Catfish…For the Third Time
It's happened for the third time. I get a Facebook message from someone I don't recognize. I accept it to find out that "I" have been hitting on them. My identity has been borrowed.
This is, for whatever reason, a repeating pattern. The note comes in from a name I don't recognize, in a city I don't live in (or in the other two cases even live remotely nearby), and "I've" not only been contacting people at random, but asking for some pretty intense "dates."
This time, the victim decided to do some research before engaging with "fake me" in much depth. The fake account reached out and began asking to contact her and set up a date, but didn't have more than four or five friends established at that point.
They had stolen some details correctly (like my son being nine years-old), but missed on me being from Mississippi, or my middle name being Gilbert (and then the wrong spelling of Connell).
In the past experiences, fake me had set up a GoFundMe for a battle with cancer, and another had some very intense direct requests for hook-ups. I was grateful to be warned in both occasions so those pages could be blocked, and I notified GoFundMe of the fraudulent profile.
As I thought about it though, it's a little disarming that they did look enough to know how old my kiddo is, and the picture choices were interesting. I know it's the risk of being open on social media, and I do commend and appreciate how quickly Facebook shuts it down.
There are great parts of connecting on social, and overall, I'm very grateful for it. At the same time, it does hit me how quickly your name, image, and what people might perceive to be you can be hijacked.