Have you ever been “catfished” before? It’s happened to many people. They meet someone online, begin to have feelings for them after seeing a picture or a reading an online profile, and thus begin a relationship that doesn’t leave the computer screen.
But things are not as they might seem. A catfish is an informal label for someone who creates fake online personas to trick another person. They might be a man posing as a woman or vice versa. Sometimes the motive is greed and financial manipulation; other times, it’s the thrill they seek by playing with people’s emotions.
Some of these catfishing stories led to simple heartbreak. Sadly, there are others that led to murder. Here are the 25 Craziest Catfish Stories of Lies and Betrayals.
Dr. Phil interviewed a woman named Sarah, who said that she keeps sending money to her online boyfriend in Africa.
The thing is, she never met him. Every time he was supposed to meet her, apparently, he kept getting arrested. Dr. Phil revealed that her boyfriend isn’t real. Better luck next time.
Vengeance on a Stranger
A man was catfished by someone in another country posing as a swimsuit model. After getting swindled for a lot of money, he decided to get revenge.
Because he was unable to get revenge on the person who conned him, he decided to kill the person who was in the picture. Luckily, the police were able to stop him.
One person on Reddit said that he was catfished by a girl who made up stories of having a deceased twin. She told him that her twin had died along with her father in a car crash. She claimed her mother had also died and she was forced to live with her uncle and work in a gentleman’s club at only 16 years old.
Eventually, the boy discovered that the girl not only lied about her entire life, but she was a completely different person than the one in the picture she had sent.
The Graphic Designer
Some people get catfished by someone using another person’s picture. Then there are those who get duped by a very talented graphic artist, who takes her picture, makes herself look 200 pounds lighter and has flawless skin.
In this particular case, the catfish also tried to guilt-trip the man after she deceived him.
The Underage Catfish
There are plenty of sick people online. People need to be aware of sexual predators entering chat rooms.
One kid pretended to be a 15-year-old girl and was hit on by a 54-year-old man. When the boy told the man that he was 13, the man didn’t mind and still wanted to meet up.
The Repo Catfish
We understand people have a job to do, but this takes work a little too far. A woman who calls herself “keeper801” works for a repo company.
She creates fake online profiles, makes dates with guys who are past due on their payments, and repossesses their vehicle. All in a day’s work, right?
Happy Ending Catfish Story
A user got catfished by some of his dormmates who sent him a Facebook request with a fake picture. When he went to meet the girl at a coffee shop, she obviously wasn’t there.
In the end, he met the girl whose picture they had used, and she wanted to go on a date with him.
Faking an Illness
There is no depth to the greed some people have. A girl named Kari pretended to have cancer, had someone make a donation page for her, and got people to send her gifts and money.
It turns out this girl not only didn’t have cancer, but she used a picture of another girl who actually did have it!
Catfish and Cyberbully
The details are sketchy regarding what really happened between reclusive Jenelle Potter and an engaged couple, Billy Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth. The three all unfriended each other, possibly due to online harassment, which is what Jenelle claimed.
Jenelle created an online character named Chris, a CIA agent who was apparently protecting her from cyberbullies. Sadly, Jenelle’s parents got involved, and her father, possibly believing Jenelle’s safety was at stake, murdered Billy and Billie. Now Jenelle and her parents are serving life sentences in prison.
The Catfish Mom
After Lori Drew’s daughter had a fight with her friend, Meghan Meir, Lori decided to get revenge on Meghan.
She and her daughter created a fake profile of a boy named “Josh Evans.” They then began an online relationship with Meghan. After the boy started sending negative online messages, Meghan took her own life.
Lori Drew was charged but eventually acquitted for her role in this sad story.
Plenty of Catfish
Brandon Wentzell was an online member of the dating site “Plenty of Fish.” It was on this site that this young man met “Clarissa”.
For a while, things were going great yet Clarissa kept canceling plans to meet up at the last minute. Sadly, the last time she canceled, Brandon took some pills with vodka and overdosed. He never learned that she was, in fact, Jessica Boudreau, an 18-year-old girl who used a fake identity.
Catfish from New Zealand
Natalia Burgess served over two years in prison for scamming and having phone sex with underage boys, all while using fake online personas and names.
She even “killed off” her fake identities, leading to at least one of these teen “boyfriends” to commit suicide.
Football Player Gets Catfished
Even somewhat famous people get catfished. Manti Te’o played football for Notre Dame. He became involved with another college student online, who used the name Lennay Kekua.
After Te’o told several media outlets that his girlfriend had died, investigators discovered that the girl had never existed. The persona was created by a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who confessed to this hoax.
Catfished by Ex
A divorced woman’s ex-husband just couldn’t accept that the marriage was over. He created a fake account and began corresponding with the woman.
She figured it out when he began showing up at places she only told her online boyfriend about.
Money scams from other countries are not that uncommon. An Illinois man had sent thousands of dollars to his online girlfriend over the course of their relationship.
Then the girl told the man she had been kidnapped and needed ransom money. When he went to the police for help, it was discovered that “she” was a “he” and a scammer from Nigeria.
Catfish and Gifts
Sebastian Pritchard-Jones was every woman’s dream. He was good looking, had a great job, and spoiled his dates with gifts; however, he was not real.
Jones was actually an overweight woman who loved to prey on the emotions of vulnerable women.
Gangsters and Catfish
MS-13 gang member Carlos Melara used catfishing on social media to lure gang rivals by posing as a girl.
When the unsuspecting rival would show up to meet, Meleara would pretend to be a friend of the girl, then drive them to a spot where other MS-13 members would be waiting to kill them.
The Catfish Love Triangle
A woman catfished two men. One of those men murdered the other and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The bizarre twist to this sad story is that the woman was a fictional persona. She was a divorced woman who used her daughter’s photos to create this online profile.
The Murder Plot
Patra Williams decided to “catfish” her niece in order to keep tabs on her. She created the identity of “Tre ‘Topdog’ Ellis.”
When the two began talking more, Williams’ niece asked Topdog to murder her aunt. The niece was arrested for solicitation of murder.
A McDonald’s worker in the U.K. lured a young girl from California. He pretended to be the lead singer of a popular band. He lured the girl to a forest, blindfolded her, and cut her neck.
The girl thankfully survived, and the man was sentenced to prison. He actually had Googled “how to kill someone and get away with it.”
Circle of Trust
One man went the extra mile to keep up his facade. He even created a circle of friends to go along with his fake profile. Tony Bushby created these profiles to gain the trust of Catherine “Katie” Wynter.
When the trust was earned, he met with her and murdered her. There was no motive other than pure evil.
Edmundo Guzman Jr. was sentenced to prison for the murder of Eddie Leal. Leal met up with Guzman, thinking he was meeting a beautiful woman named Rebecca.
Guzman created the page and profile to lure men in order to rob and kill them. The judge said Guzman was a thrill killer.
The Millionaire Catfish
Darin Schilmiller pretended to be a millionaire named “Tyler.” He convinced a group of teens to rape and murder their friend for $9,000,000.
The girl they murdered was the best friend of one of the teens.
A professor killed himself after being blackmailed by someone posing as an underage girl. The professor, thinking the girl was a minor, sent sexually explicit pictures to her.
It wasn’t an underage girl but a 37-year-old man named Daniel Timothy Duplaisir, who was charged with extortion and sentenced to a year in prison.
Catfish the Documentary
Interestingly, a documentary coined the term “catfish.”
In 2010, filmmaker Nev Schulman began a corresponding relationship with a woman named Angela, her young daughter Abby (who she passed off as an art prodigy), and Angela’s beautiful half-sister Megan.
Schulman began to pursue an online relationship with Megan. After many months of deceit, Nev discovered that Angela invented Megan, and it was she who had been talking to Nev the whole time.