Fake for whatever reason

29th April 2013 | Comments

Last Monday I got contacted by someone I didn't know before. That alleged girl sent me a friend request on Facebook and shortly after that started to regularly chat with me. After some research it was obviously a fake account. The profile picture was from some random nude girl photo set (you can use Google's similar image search for that), the friend list of that account was hidden and "she" only got likes from young, male Facebook users. But the profile was already created in 2009.

I still got interested and played that game. We had a quite open discussion about a lot of things and that person shared a lot of common positions about society, politics, interests etc. It isn't that I just got consent about my opinions after I said them first, it also was the other way around.

On the other hand that person sent me some nude pictures pretending it's her and was implausibly open about her sexuality. Still no reason to give up, I wanted to know how well the fake profile was played. And it has become clear that it was a pretty professional virtual character. She attended an existing university course, had a plausible place of residence, was well informed about the news and also the mobile number was at least valid. The memory about things I already told that person was good. My collocutor even voiced concerns about sharing "her" nude pictures on Facebook and used some faked Gmail address instead.

Finally I sent that person a link to an also faked picture on my web server and therefore got the used IP address which was an IPredator exit point. I also purported the wish of visiting her, so that we would see us in real life. Even that wasn't handled as a problem, but I haven't got a postal address. Also no wish for money or something was given.

After sending me another nude picture that was again from some photo set on the Internet, I confronted that person with the facts. Within seconds, the Facebook account was either deleted or I was blocked, Facebook just says that the profile isn't available.

By the way, reporting something on Facebook is quite difficult if the content isn't available anymore, especially if you are blocked and can't see it. Still there is some form in Facebook's help labyrinth and I'll see if someone reacts there.

After all I'm just wondering why the person did this. Is it just an insane one? A male or female? Old or young? Someone not having the guts to contact people with a real identity? Someone how wanted to get recognition?

Shared information wasn't confidential and also it doesn't seem like a specific attack on my personality. At no time was a wish for financial support. A gay playing a female character? I don't think so, too. So either it's the pure lust of faking identities, the person has some serious problem with its personality or … I just don't know.

Update: The English language already has the term catfish for this phenomenon. And a German newspaper recently published the article "Liebeslüge im Internet: Verliebt in einen Fake" about a more intensive case of fake online romances.

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