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Why Do They Call it Catfishing?

Who hasn’t come across a romance scammer and how many have fallen for those frauds? Men and women have lost their hearts and large amounts of money to those online romance scammers, falling victim to the catfishing nets.

catfishing

I have also fallen for one of them who pretended to be a person from my past; someone who even had the photos to prove it, and the job the real person had been studying for in the past. How that guy did that is beyond me … Although there were warning signs that it was a scammer and I was very well aware of the frauds out there, and I had never fallen for any of it before, I did fall for that one because I was convinced that he was someone I had known 18 years earlier.

A year later and a little wiser, I was invited to another poetry slam, and I came up with the idea to write a piece about catfishing. It is incredible how stupid those scammers sometimes are, setting up fake movie star profiles on Twitter and actually thinking that we believe those stars are contacting us. How many of you have gotten friend requests from “Tom Hanks” or “Keanu Reeves”? Lol.

While some of those scammers are foolish up to the point of being ridiculous, others are quite clever and have outsmarted some of the smartest people. I hardly trust anyone online and yet, I fell for it too.

internet-scam

So, here it is, my newest piece. I wrote the original version in Spanish. I will translate it to English here, although it may not always rhyme when translated or come out the same, but I’ll do my best 😉

When I presented this poem at the last poetry slam, I made the audience laugh, which had been my intention. Since I am not reading it to you out loud with my facial expressions and different tones of voice, it may have a slightly different effect, but I hope that it will at least bring a smile to your face 🙂 I wanted to show you a video of my performance, but the person who filmed it didn’t press the record button … 😉 So, next time I’ll do better 🙂

English version

Catfishing

Why do they give fake internet love that name?

is it because the cat fish takes the bait and holds on, biting again and again?

Until you give it a prize?

How many have not fallencatfishing

in the catfishers’ nets?

How sweet how beautiful, they swear love forever

After only two days

They promise a life together

After only a week

They plan their first visit

Ha! Only if you give them money

Because the poor guy made up a whole drama

to take away your cash

How sweet, how beautiful

those who greet you on social media

With those profiles of “honest” and “hardworking” men

“Surgeon”, “general”, or “doctor”

“Simple”, and “be happy”

With just 1 tweet and 0 followers

All those “soul mates” on Twitter and Instagram

I’ve blocked those “loves” one by one

Now what will I do if there are no more left?

Will I run out of them one day?

And don’t remind me of all the “opportunities” I’ve lost

Man, how they play with love

How many superstars look for me on Twitter

How could I refuse them?

Tom Cruise faced a mission impossible

to obtain an answer from me

With speed, I kicked out Keanu Reeves

I gave Prince Harry the royal silent treatment

Tom Hanks didn’t even offer me a box of chocolates,

but he asked me for money

Robert Downey Jr. oh, if only he were Ironman for real …

All those chances for eternal love

that I wasted in a chat

So, girls, and boys

Be very careful with catfishing on the net

If Leonardo Di Caprio talks to you

Or boys, if Emma Stone is looking for you

If no one ever warned you before

I’m telling you now,

Press that button

Block, block, and block

And better go out to a bar

scam-alert

Version español

Catfishing

Por qué lo llaman asi al amor falso en internet?

Porque el pez gato se aferra, mordiendo una y otra vez?

Hasta que le des su premio?

Cuantos no han caído

En las redes de los catfishers …?

Que lindo, que bonito, juran amor para siempre

Después de solo dos días

Prometen juntos una vida

Despues de una semana

Planean su primera visita

Ha! Solo si les mandas dinero

Porque el pobre invento todo un drama

Para quitarte tu lana

Que lindo, que bonito

Los que te saludan en las redes sociales

Con esos perfiles de hombre “honesto y trabajador”

“cirujano”, “general”, o “doctor”

“Simple” y “be happy”

Con solo 1 tweet y 0 seguidores

A todos los “almas gemelas” en Twitter y Instagram,

Los he bloqueado, a estos “amores”

Ahora, que haré si ya no quedan mas?

Algun dia se acabarán?

Y no me digas las “oportunidades” que perdi

Pero como juegan con lo de amar …

Cuantos famosos en Twitter me buscan a mí

Como los puedo rechazar?

A Tom Cruise le parecio una misión imposible

Obtener una respuesta de mi

A Keanu Reeves lo saque con máxima velocidad

A Principe Harry le di el tratamiento royal silencioso

Tom Hanks ni siquiera me ofrecio una caja de chocolates

Pero me pidio dinero

Robert Downey Jr. , ay, si solo fuera Ironman de verdad …

Todas las oportunidades para el eterno amor

Que desprecie en un chat …

Entonces, chicas, y chicos

Con el catfishing, mucho cuidado

Si les habla Leonardo Di Caprio

O chicos, si los busca Emma Stone

Si nadie antes les advirtió

Yo les digo ahora,

Presione ese botón

Bloquear, boquear, bloquear

Y mejor sal a un bar

bar

Lila C Duville

27 Comments

  1. Hello Lila,

    It is kind of scary to have someone to pretend that is someone you know from the past, having your images and all! So glad you managed to figure it out and write a poem about it too! I think I loved it because it describes catfishing in a poetic way. I wish I knew Spanish, I think I would enjoy it even more! 

    • Hi Kate,

      Yes, it’s so scary that these people get such personal information … We have to be so careful. 

    • I am just ending a catfish relationship. ..his name is even “Cater”, I let many red flags sail by, starting with his name, and many thousand dollars in 6 months time. I have been in my own little fantasy of at last finding my Prince Charming.! I have been putting my heart, hope, and money into an Impossible Dream…he , or they, were so romantic, charming and caring, just what I needed , I thought it would be a harmless, safe way to interact with a kind stranger who befriended me on Instagram. I had just prayed for God to find me a true love, and there he appeared…just one emergency ager another, always an answer for everything, love bombing me for days, then dropping the emergecy when he had hooked me in better each time. If only it were true, he “can’t wait to see me” to be with me forever, by my side always, forever, and to celebrate my birthday next week. Oh, but I must be his mule to be repaid my money, there’s a final hook, another proof of my love…no thank you, I must cut my losses and move on…lesson learned!!!

      • Kate, I’m so sorry! This is terrible. These people have no soul, putting innocent women through such heartbreak just to get their money … I’m really sorry you had to go through that.
        You can report this guy. Do you have his email, Instagram profile? Any other info? There are online report sites for this, to find these scammers. I will let you know the website later, I’ll look for it. I had it noted somewhere.

  2. Hi, this is my first time hearing about this. The internet is filled with many strange people indeed.

    So if Emma Stone tries to ask me out for a date then it is a scammer? Dang!

    I bet that would trick a lot of people. Has that one actually happened? Good work taking this issue on. I wish you the best with this.

    I had no idea there were actually all these people losing money to “romantic” internet scams.  Maybe it is best to stick to meeting people when you go to the grocery store. At least this way you know what you are getting. 😊

     Thanks for this.

    • Hi Jake, I totally agree. Meet people at the grocery store or any other real place. Some of these internet romance scammers have cheated people out of thousands of dollars … It’s scary

  3. Hello, you have a poem that has really captured so much but most importantly, it has spoken about a problem many people face this days but young and old. The internet as we all know is full of different people and this people have been taking advantage of what they can for a very long time now. It is very important that people learn to do what they want to do discreetly and as you have said when there are any warning signs, block block, block.

    • Hi Henderson,

      indeed, block, block, and block. The internet is full of people taking advantage. We have to be careful.

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hello Lila, it’s nice reading through your poem and it seen so real as i too have been a victim of this online scam people. It all happened 6monthhs after me and my girlfriend had a breakup and there came love from the “Instagram woman” i never knew and was telling me she lives just few blocks away from my house. I fell for it and was sending gifts to the person whom i thought was mine on the other time. It’s sad to play with the heart and when it all came down i realized how much being in true love can be important. Nice poem.

    • Hi Benson,

      It’s discouraging to go through such deceit, I always say that those scammers have no heart, no conscience. The good thing is that you can report them, and I read that members of an online scamming group in California  were arrested a few months ago

  5. I can’t read French but the English version is worth book marking and saving to read later, again. I have to say I enjoyed reading this and maybe this is because I am a poetry person but the catfish poem really is on point. I don’t think I will ever try to find love online plus also after falling for quite a number of different scams I would rather keep away. Thanks for the heads up about these money hungry fake lovers on the net.

    • Hi Donny,

      It’s best to meet people in real life, isn’t? At least you know what you’re getting 😉

  6. Everyone goes through a different set of problems and because of this, it is very important to understand the concept of catfishing. There are many people who have been scammed online over the years. It is very true that some of them are not smart while some did a very thorough assignment. Your poem had its intended effect on me. Nice post worth sharing

    • So many people fall for these romance scams, it’s frightening … We have to be so careful …

      Thanks for your comment!

  7. Hi Lila,
    I’m sorry to hear about the scam that was pulled on you. Is this something that just happens in Mexico, because I had never heard the term here in the United States?
    If it happened anywhere else in world it would probably be in California where I live. The state is well know for the number of scams and frauds happening every day.
    With all that said the article was well written and very interesting. I thought the poem was great, you must have put a lot of thought into it.
    It sounds like you have it figured out so that it won’t happen to you again. Your warning should save a number of people a lot of heartache and money.

    • Hi Don,
      This happens everywhere in the world, also in the United States. Apparently thousands of people have fallen victim to this … A few months ago I read about an online scammers ring that was arrested, I think it was in California but I am not sure. You can report them if you know of them or have been a victim of a scam. I believe that it is now handled like a crime in certain countries and states.

  8. I have heard of the online romance scam. Once awhile these scams will be reported over the local news. The victims lost their life savings to the scammers. How sad? What made them transfer all their hard earn money to these casanovas? Police reports have been made and published and yet you will still see people falling victim. Anyway, I love your poem, bringing in celebrities with their characters.

    • Hi Sharon,

      True, it has been on TV, and several months ago I read that an online romance scamming ring had been arrested. There is more information about it now than there used to be, yet they still find victims … So sad and evil how they destroy people’s lives …

  9. Thank you very much for this Lila. I’m actually new to social media so I was unaware of the scams and the term catfishing. I found your post to be very detailed and articulate. I absolutely enjoyed your poem very well done! And just to think when I saw this heading, I thought you were talking fishing lol! In any case, thanks for enlightening, entertaining me, educating me, and making it fun and light-spirited.

    • Lol, nothing to do with fishing 😉 but the term is confusing, yes 😉 I always wonder how they came up with it 😉

  10. hey Lila

    Oh heartbreak is so cruel and hurtful, Ive never been cat fished hopefully keeping the status quo, but my heart has been smashed to pieces, yes ! I thought I had my very own knight in shining amour, lol how wrong was I and how protective and guarded I have now become to the man dressed in shinny tinfoil. 

    My opinion to people who hurt for laughs and control, are deeply hollow, so dark they cant tell themselves that they have darkness but who am I to tell them so, everyone has a journey to path and learn and most of us are good people, the  hollow ones are destined for more misunderstanding and emptiness.

    Great read having an empathic soul my healing heart tingles at the mention of emotional painful abuse, a very silent killer.

    • Hi Erika,

      I agree, people who hurt for fun are hollow, they have no soul. Anyone who uses false pretenses of love to rob someone of their money is empty and low … Causing such emotional pain is just the worst.

  11. Lila. I have heard about this scam stuffs several times. As a matter of fact, I see people doing it every where. If there’s anything I hate most, it’s something like this. They’ll use the picture, the name (especially if the person in the picture is popular or another name if the person is not popular). They’ll make fake identity cards pretending to be this and that. They’ll claim they love you. All they are truly after is your money.

    Ladies really need to be careful.

    Don’t fall in love with someone you have not seen in real life. The internet is a jungle.

    • Hello,

      Yes, the internet is a jungle, so very true! We all need to be so careful. I’ve heard horror stories about people who have been scammed …

  12. I never knew that another name for these internet scammers through love is catfishing. The name really got me curious. I only know cat and catwalking, lol. Do you know phishing? Well, that’s by the way.

    I dislike this act sincerely. Many ladies are broken hearted due to this; they wanted to be loved genuinely but they weren’t lucky enough.

    By the way, that poem is so funny even without me seeing your face. Lol. You nailed it 😆

  13. Being deceived by some online guy is not good at all and sadly they can’t be easily noticed due to their well-structured plan to get the victim they are targeting and in most cases, the individual is in their hook already. Yes, the emotions can be played on because of what it wants but it’s not good at all to get someone emotionally fooled just for your selfish purpose. I am happy to see your poem on it and I hope this wicked act stops soon.

    • Hi Bella,

      Scammers play with the victim’s emotions and fool many in that way … fooling someone emotionally for your selfish purpose is not good at all, I agree, I find it despicable. I am glad that more legal action is taken action against online frauds, and I also hope that this will either stop or decrease soon.

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