Thorns and Rocks

screenshot-2017-02-23-at-14-26-20A 41 year old from the UK got catfished after a year old relationship turned out to be a fake one.

Anna Rowe contacted a guy named Anthony Ray on the notorious dating hook-up app Tinder. Anthony Ray used pictures from a Bollywood star Saif Ali Ray while “convincing” Rowe that she would be Mrs. Ray, “my future wife” among other smooth talking words. After Ray told Rowe that his mother suffered a stroke, he disappeared prompting Rowe to hire an investigator. She was shocked, devastated and angry after the investigator found out that Anthony Ray is a married man and also have different women on top of that by using an alternate phone for encounters.

While many were criticizing on her lack of her “common sense” on social media, by name calling, denigrating names and also blaming herself for her choices. I’m very sympathetic with women like Anna. Lonely women and men who the only thing that could make their lives meaningful is a real companionship of a nice suitor. But in the dating world, the road isn’t all bed of roses. It’s also thorns and rocks along the way and wolves dressed in sheep clothing ready to pounce on the innocent.

I too felt the “magnetic” attention of a scammer three weeks ago while posting an ad on another notorious classifieds Craigslist. I could get a profile on any dating site, but with restrictions like you have to be a paid member in order to read your messages among other things, Craigslist is the free approach to meet something, even if it’s a frog. After a dozen of failed candidates because the most important thing about it, they don’t follow instructions, for example, write just one or two sentences instead of paragraphs followed by the lack of a pictures, obscene photos of their junk and when they send photos didn’t feel like there’s a connection. I caught my attention by seeing an email from a guy that it was too good to be true. Late 40’s with peppered hair with a nice smile. In his e-mail his ex wife cheated on him and he is divorced with gained custody of her daughter. We basically texted back and forth just to know each other for aprox. 4 days. Getting my guard up, there were something odd that didn’t add up and my intuition was right. So I started playing his game to see what’s happens next. Pretending to be interested with this stranger. Because there were a lot of inconsistencies that made me doubt about the whole thing. Like for example, having problems on his end when I tried to call him and his voice was cutting out severally. Also, repeating the same photo from his e-mail twice, and the last thing, telling a sad story that his daughter was in the hospital with a severe deadly condition and he didn’t have the whole money to pay for her care. I asked him a lot of questions, like why don’t he have insurance, and you can ask for a loan for that among other things. I cut the communication with him entirely. He kept texting me the next day like nothing happened, still I didn’t reply at all.

But for women like Rowe, falling in love even with the good intentions could lead into dangerous waters that can offer mistrust, heartaches and a lot of tears. After that traumatic situation, Rowe went into an intensive counseling and it’s not fair that women and men for that matter deserve to be fooled by scrupulous suitors that want a cheap thrill because their marriage life is boring or unhappy or they want to take advantage of their weakness or kindness creating this sad story to fill their empty pockets.

Since Cyberbully, Identity Theft or Cyberattacks are punishable by law, why not Catfishing? It’s constitutes fraud by pretending someone that it’s not real because these perpetrators use other people’s photos while scamming innocent people to the point that they get away with it after they caught their prey. It seems to me that in order to keep our safe space when it comes to meeting people online, we have to severally vigilant about if the person is real or not, even with private investigators, or with background checks, still the authorities should have to do something that could put a lot of scammers behind bars.

Read: Middle-aged Victims of the Tinder Scam

Anne Rowe wants Catfishing to be Illegal

Petition to make Catfishing Illegal

Also, Tricks to Avoid being Catfished