#CocoDating – How I turned my Catfish experience into a not so scary story

Whether you use dating sites or not, the term Catfish is thrown around quite a lot in the modern world. Whether it’s your work colleague telling you you look WAY hotter online than in person or even just watching the hit MTV series, you never think it’ll happen to you. Our #CocoGirl tells her honest account of finding out somebody is not who they say they are, with a surprising outcome…

“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 never thought I’d say this, but I was tricked. One night a few weeks ago I decided to go back on Tinder. Tinder has been a very love hate relationship for me as we all know the internet connectivity issues and also I met my ex on there (sigh). However, I met somebody on there who took my fancy. We’ll call him Jake*.

Jake seemed to be a really good catch. Junior doctor, 24, about to move to the city centre, good sense of humour, pretty keen, dark hair, decent body & of course, the holy grail…a beard. The thing that struck me was that yeah he was very good looking, but not over the top. Seemed like someone you could genuinely date and not be worried they’re gonna spend more time in the bathroom than you.

We talked for about a week on the app, and everything seemed to be going well. We exchanged numbers & thats when things seemed a little off. As a lover of Instagram, I asked for his username primarily so I could have a little stalk. What concerned me was that there was no presence of a Dr Jake Cafferey online at all & Cafferey apparently isn’t even a real last name. This screamed to me….Catfish. I questioned him & was fired back a ‘selfie’ with his ‘sister’ and told that he isn’t a fan of social media and to stop worrying. After this, he got a little bit full on as naturally he was panicking that I was doubting him. He was begging to come round late at night and even asking me to meet him in random places….thankfully I said no as that is the first rule of meeting someone offline, B-U-S-Y B-A-R. 

The next day at work I just had a feeling that something wasn’t right and thought back to old Catfish episodes i’d watched. I reversed image searched the selfies he’d sent me – nothing. I typed Jake into Facebook a million times – nothing. But finally, lightbulb moment.

I’d heard that if you type a phone number into Facebook, theres a chance it may be linked to the Facebook account who owns it. I tried my luck & to my absolute horror, a profile came up. Not just any profile, somebody who I had mutual friends with & who lived in my city. This is where it really gets scary. Lets call him Tyler*.

Tyler was the complete opposite of who I thought I was speaking to. He was an unemployed, long haired My Chemical Romance fan with some very questionable facial hair. My heart was in my throat thinking this person knows where I work & has an idea of where I live….this could be really BAD. Immediately I screenshotted the evidence and sent it directly to ‘Jake’ with the quick little line…

“Hi Tyler, how are you? Do you call the Police now or do I?”

Naturally he absolutely pooped himself and began to back track on everything he had ever said. I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t sad, I just felt really really annoyed. The first text from him read: “Ok ok, I’m not Jake, but he was speaking to you last night. He’s got a girlfriend so he has to speak to you through me….i’m sorry if you feel deceived“. I didn’t buy it one bit, so threatened with the police again and finally got the truth, even if it was sinister.

“Would it make you feel better if I told you that you were Catfished and now I’m going to go back to my sad life alone and do god knows what.”

Now I will admit, that worried me slightly. Had I been talking to somebody completely emotionally unstable? I mean, this person knew where I lived and everyone has heard those stories about the dangers of physcopaths online. Either way, I went for self-preservation and stayed completely calm. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he was ever to use the Jake profile again or if he ever contacts me again, the police will be called. He then proceeded to remove me on every form of contact and disappear completely. It was a relief.

A few days passed and I began to think about the person behind the pictures. I mean, if it wasn’t Tyler….then who the hell was Jake? Was the guy in the pictures even called Jake? I mean it’s a long shot but could this be someone that Tyler knew? Surely he’s not that stupid?

I went onto Tylers Facebook (horrendous privacy settings for somebody who clearly wants to hide) and typed in J-A….and he came up. The person behind the pictures, the person who’s identity had been full on stolen for Tylers benefit & possible sexual gratification (shudder). Now he wasn’t called Jake, so lets call him Jack*. Now this may of been a big risk, but I decided that Jack really should know that one of his Facebook friends is pretending to be him and potentially sending some pretty embarrassing pictures. My message to him read:

“Hi Jack, i’m so sorry to message you like this but you really need to know something about somebody you’re friends with on Facebook called Tyler. He’s been using your pictures on Tinder & when I matched with him, he completely pretended to be you. Calling himself Jake & saying he was a doctor….I almost met him which terrifies me!”

A few days passed and I got the usual post-message worries. What if he thinks I’m completely weird and fancy him? What if this profile is Tyler AGAIN but on Facebook? The usual paranoid stuff, until he messaged back. Now maybe I should leave the Jack chapter for another instalment, but i’ll give you a hint of whats happened. Tyler & Jack used to know each other a long time ago and it turns out Tyler used to admire Jack quite abit, hence the impersonation. When confronted, Tyler said a few different stories: A) My phone was stolen and they’re doing this to embarrass me. B) It was a social experiment that people go for ‘looks’  that went way too far.

Now we all know that this isn’t true, but his own self belief actually put an end to all of this. Tyler changed his number, deleted his social media accounts & has gone on with his life with no changes. After a few weeks of talking, i’ll leave you with this message from no other than Jack himself…

“This will sound weird but imagine if we were dating right and people asked how we got in contact haha…I kinda wanna meet you now. How about Manchester?”

 It’s actually funny how friendships & relationships can come about from the weirdest situations. Now I’m not jumping the gun….but he is fit though!”

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