7 Shocking Stories About Being Catfished That You'll Gawk At

by Korey Lane

As Forrest Gump would say: Online dating is almost like a box of chocolates ⁠— you don't always know what you're going to get. While using dating apps is a wonderful way to get to know new people, you should still use caution when talking to a stranger on an app. Not everyone will have honest intentions, and sometimes, people may not be who they say they are. Fake profile pictures are just the start, and these stories about being catfished prove that it's important to use your very best judgment.

Catfishing, while unfortunate, happens more often than you might think. In fact, a whopping 54% of people who use online dating platforms and apps think they've come across someone who lied in their profile, according to Scientific American. It truly can happen to anyone, from your college roommate, to the internet's boyfriend, Noah Centineo. The actor was vocal about his experience with catfishing while promoting his Netflix original rom-com, Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Centineo described the situation, saying, "I developed this, like, what I thought was like, you know, an intimate relationship with someone. And we were just like talking and really getting to know each other, and it turned out that they just were not who I thought they were. I still don't know to this day who they were."

The actor is far from the only one. These real stories from Reddit users might make you think twice before revealing too much online. Read on, and remember: Swipe carefully.

Um, What?
Mauro Grigollo/Stocksy
Many years ago I started talking to a guy called Zack. He lived in Pennsylvania. Nice lad. We spoke daily on MSN. We did this for a year or 2. We never bothered going on webcam with each other.
He told me about his family. His mother and sister had left him alone. He had never met his dad though had heard stories of him being a complete d*ck to his mum.
One day he came online and just didn't seem right, I was asking what was up, had something happened at school? with friends? etc. He told me he had to go on webcam. So He did.
So webcam turns on and theres this girl. She looked about 14. He was 16. Anyway. I had been talking to 'her' the whole time. Except i hadnt at the same time. Zack died a few years back. When he died (I have no idea what had happened to him) his little sister took on his personality. She had finally told her mum she has been speaking to me and her mum explained a few things to me. She believed she was zack a lot of the time. Spoke like she was him, told people she was him.
So the whole time i had been talking to a personality of a mentally ill girl. I was shocked and upset. I really enjoyed speaking with Zack, but to think he was never actually alive in the time i was talking to him.
Its a pretty strange one, I still struggle to get my head around it. i just wish I was a little older at the time so i could have understood more what was going on. This was about 10 years ago now so I can only piece together bits of the story.


Drama, Drama, Drama
When off at university, I was led on by a girl for about 1.5 months before coming home for the Christmas break. She said stuff like, "I love you and miss you". I was a bit suspicious, since while I did have her on FB, I couldn't recall when/if I'd actually met her. But at the time, I was in a bit of a poor state emotionally, so to feel like someone gave a crap about me felt amazing.
We talked on the phone when I got home, had long talks (including phone sex, rawr), and tried to set up times to meet. Then, she just up and vanishes. No messages, txts, calls, etc. Poof, just like that. I give up trying to get ahold of her, and go about my business.
Couple months later, I'm back at uni, and she resurfaces, claiming she was in the hospital. I'm still a bit cautious, but I let this slide. We keep on chatting and such, she's dropping her usual "I love yous". It's not too long before I go home, so I want to confront her when I'm back. But nope - POOF - she's gone again. Not to mention that a buddy of mine at uni told me the she'd been going after him as well.
Fool me twice...


The Reason Why The Catfish Joined A Dating App To Begin With Is Already Questionable
Evil Pexels Photography/Stocksy
A couple years ago I was chatting with a "very good looking" guy on OKC for a bit. He would make plans with me then have to cancel because something would come up with his kid. One day I saw a pic of him on Pinterest that a friend pinned. Turns out the "very good looking" guy lived somewhere else with his wife and they had a successful blog (hence the pics). I confronted the guy about it and he said he'd join OKC to keep an eye on his ex-wife (kid's mom) and found me in the process. He said the goal wasn't to catfish me, but he'd already put himself in this situation with the fake account. His loss.


This Is Just Not OK, At All
I got catfished once. Was about 19 at the time. This guy had used pictures from at least five years prior when he has been in the military, and he had gained a considerable amount of weight in that time. He also lied about his height, and ended up being a few inches shorter than me.
I went through with coffee and met up with some of his friends who happened to come in and had a pretty good time. Except when one of his friends said something he didn't like. He completely freaked out on them and started yelling at them in public. At this point I excused myself as gracefully as I could and went home.
He asked me out again a few days later. I politely declined. For the next year I would get random friend requests and messages on Facebook from profiles he made, as well as texts telling me how awful of a person I was for being so shallow, not going out with him and giving him another chance. I had to block him on my phone, but it didn't stop the Facebook harassment for a while.


This Person Was Catfished For Seven Years!
Yes, I have been catfished but not in a romantic sense.
About thirteen years ago, I met a girl named Amber on a Harry Potter board. We became friends and talked every day. She lived in England. As time went on, we became closer and she told me all about her family. She had an older brother, a twin sister, and a younger brother. After about 3 years of knowing her, she ended up telling me she and her sister had found out they were adopted and were actually named Alayna and Anouska. Around age 15, her sister Anouska became pregnant...and had triplets.
I had always had an inkling that the stuff she was telling me wasn't true, but it didn't really sink in until she sent me a picture of her and her twin. It was obviously photo shopped. She took it down after I called her out on it. Eventually, she started emailing me from an account that had an odd last name. I asked her about it and she said it was her cousin's. She sent me a song on iTunes that had the same last name, and I asked her about it. She told me it was a fake name her father used. When Deathly Hallows was released, she sent me a package with the British version, and again that last name was on it.
I'd known this girl since she was about 11. Finally, at age 18, I asked her if she was really Alayna. She told me no, that her name was Emma. She didn't have a twin or a younger brother, and that when she was little, her parents forbade her from using her real name and that she'd just made up a whole life to escape from her real one.
We are still friends and even though she lied to me for the majority of our friendship, we are still close.


The Lengths Some People Will Go To Are Unreal
I started chatting with an army guy who was a peace keeper in DRC. We just started chatting casually, I was 21-22 when we started and he said he was 27.
I really don't remember what we spoke about. But I developed a huge crush on him. He said he loved me. I said it back. He said that he'd use his break to fly to see me. He represented himself as a 27 year old single guy. And he came across as having very high morals and being an absolute toughie.
I started to almost worship him and I placed him way above me. I one day told him (and short while before he was supposed to fly to see me) about my drunken 21 year party where I told me 2 best guy friends that I loved them.
He got all quiet and became jealous and something changed after that. We couldn't talk as usual. At this point we had never even spoken to each other. Everything was on chat. One day we were just having a normal conversation and he suddenly threw it in my face that I had gotten drunk... like that was supposed to make me feel bad.
What I didn't like was that he used a thing like that to try and hurt me, like he was waiting for the chance. Anyway, suddenly he was no longer in touch and I was completely devastated. I couldn't reach him. I thought he had told me his real name so I kept looking for his name online and found nothing. I tried over and over again and found nothing. I was broken hearted.
Then I finally had brain wave and googled his id and found that he had lied about his name. He was 40 something. He really was a peace keeper. I also found that he was known to catfish other people, he even created fake dating profiles as a woman. Someone posted a comment on one of his profiles revealing his real name and position. I eventually created a fake Facebook profile and added him as a friend. I found out he is divorced and has a young daughter and his statuses show that he's a total d*uchebag.
He really was a lieutenant colonel though and has been mentioned in a UN web page. I got over it all real fast.


This Person Was Catfished By A Friend! What?!
Flamingo Images/Stocksy
It's a bit embarrassing to admit I was catfished... But I was.
About 10-11 years ago, I started talking to a guy on Myspace. I'm pretty sure he messaged me first, and at first we just talked about tattoos and stuff since I had JUST got an apprenticeship at a shop. The guy said he knew my friend ... Let's call her "Amanda." So I talked to Amanda, and she said she knew the guy and they grew up together and what not. Anyway, guy and I keep talking online and of course I developed feelings. We'd talk on the phone for hours and finally after a few weeks, we agreed to meet up.
This was before the show Catfish... And what do ya know? Guy doesn't show up. He wouldn't answer his phone and I was waiting around like a jack*ss. Hours later, he calls, saying he is sorry. His phone died and he got lost and we'd try again another day. I stupidly ate up the b.s., forgave him, and agreed to meet him another time.
The next time, I brought Amanda and her girlfriend to meet this guy. Even though Amanda vouched for this guy, he didn't show up again. Again, I'm feeling like an idiot and I'm crying, so Amanda and her gf drive me home. Immediately I go online and "break up" with this dude I never met.
We still talked for 6 months after that, with me questioning if he was real... But after that, he was supposedly vacationing around Europe and I wasn't trying to pursue anything anymore. I would still hang out with Amanda, and she would tell me that the guy called her and had some crazy stories about Amsterdam, or Paris or wherever.
Well, about a year ago I got a message on FB from a girl. She asked if I knew _____ (Myspace guy) and if I had ever met him. I told her no, I never met him. She messaged me back that Amanda told her I had met this guy and that she had a brief online relationship with the guy. Then, one night, this girl was staying at Amanda's house when she was sick and I guess her voice was hoarse. She said it sounded exactly like the guy she was talking to online. She confronted Amanda and Amanda came clean.
So, my "friend" of 10+ years catfished me while she had a gf. I always wondered why she was a little clingy for a friend and hated all my boyfriends. Now I know. I haven't confronted her yet, but I also haven't talked to her for a year. I feel like she most likely knows that I know now. It hurts that a good friend did that to me.


While several of these stories reference online dating or social networking platforms that aren't as popular as common dating apps today, it's still important to note that someone who wants to catfish will find a way to do it, even in ways that are hard to imagine. That said, swipe freely and happily, but do be mindful of who you're talking to, and try not to reveal too much personal information upfront. Try to not wait too long to meet in person in a public space, and take your online chemistry off-line. That way, you know exactly who you're dealing with, and you're not wasting any time talking to someone who isn't a good fit for you.