Instagram and Twitter, along with other socials medias, are a big part of a bloggers life. We share and post constantly, using it as a way to connect and stay in touch with our readers. You don’t really consider the idea that anything you post anywhere can be used maliciously.
An ignorant tweet? Maybe. But a selfie? You don’t give it a second thought before pressing ‘post’.
Now, what i’m about to delve into isn’t the first time I’ve been used as a Catfish but it is the most interesting time… Because I found out who it was.
“Someone’s pretending to be you on Tinder.”
I reread the text my friend messaged me.
I’ll clear something up quickly, at this point, I had never had Tinder because I didn’t agree with it, still don’t in fact, even when I had an account, there was just something about it that made me uncomfortable. People being able to curate the perfect profile and only post the best images… I don’t know man, there’s just something about it that never really sat well with me, hence the continual deleting of the space consuming app from my phone home page but anyway, I digress. I also had a boyfriend at the time so an active Tinder account under my name made me look super trashy to anyone that knew me and found it. It isn’t exactly the kind of behaviour I endorse.
I was sent some screenshots of the profile to analyse and noticed that some of the pictures were rather recent which meant 1. The person behind the account was still using it and 2. They had me on several different social medias because some of the pictures weren’t posted on other profiles.
And then there was the bio.
“Stupid gullible slut”
Nice, tasteful. They really paint a whole picture there.
I sat back, trying to figure out who I’d pissed off recently but at this point in my life, it’s not like I socialised on a regular basis and anyone I had bothered certainly didn’t have the time to create an entire Tinder profile just to mug me off on the off chance I would find it.
So, I took a deep breath and brushed it off. Realistically, how much damage could they actually do? Besides, anyone that matched with the account would eventually find out it wasn’t real anyway so why bother worrying too much about it?
At least, this was the mindset I had until a few months later when one of my readers found the profile and had interacted with the imposter. At this point, I couldn’t overlook it because it meant it could interfere with my blog and other personal things. I don’t care about people who like to pretend to be someone else, my name isn’t even Charli, but don’t fuck with my image.
Thankfully, I’d spoken to the reader before and she was aware that this wasn’t me so I asked her to keep talking to the person until she got their phone number. Once she had obtained their number, the conversation swiftly moved on to exchanging nudes.
The stranger sent one first.
Now, I took photography at school, I’ve been taking half decent pictures for my blog for a minute so I know my way around a camera but not only was this person completely dragging my name through the dirt by how they were behaving behind the profile, they were also sending terrible nudes. Like, when does the disrespect end?
After they sent the (half arsed) nude, they began demanding pictures in return, getting rather manipulative and acting as though they’d been forced to send the picture and now they felt used because they hadn’t received one in return. Even though the reader, we’ll call her Annie, wasn’t the one that had instigated the topic of conversation in the first place. At this point, as you can imagine, I’m pretty annoyed because if two people I knew had found this account then who else had the fake me been speaking to like this?
This was enough for me to get Annie to send me the number.
The fun and games was over. It’s not exactly difficult to find out who is behind a phone number when things like WhatsApp exist so I ran the number through that which lead me straight to the owner. My stomach dropped.
It was someone I considered my friend.
Someone who, just a few days prior, had wished me Happy Birthday.
For the sake of this post, we’ll call him Alex.
Alex had sat next to me in one of my college classes, he didn’t speak much but when he did, he was really funny and quite easy to get along with and was always supporting my blog, even though he knew what he was doing behind my back.
What a dick.
However, rather than crying and asking “why me?” I decided to hatch a plan. I invited him to come visit for a drink. We’d spoken about it plenty of times before so it wasn’t like the proposal was going to raise suspicion and luckily for me, he agreed.
Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.
A few days later, we met up and headed to the pub where my friends were waiting for us. I introduced him and we sat in the corner of the beer garden.
“Alex, are you pretending to be me on Tinder?”
To save myself from typing out the whole conversation, he went onto explain that when you owned up to something like that so calmly, most people just assumed to were joking because it was absurd but I persisted, making him aware that I already knew it was him. He shrugged uncomfortably when I asked why?
Whilst I can’t remember the full conversation, one part stood out about him not feeling confident enough to talk to people as himself which, to me, was ridiculous because he was genuinely one of the funniest people I knew. That’s when my anger subsided. Whilst this doesn’t excuse his behaviour and how he spoke to Annie, it made it easier to comprehend the entire situation. We sat and spoke for a while, he apologised and I tried to explain that he didn’t need to have such low self esteem if he would just let people get to know him and that I’d appreciate it if he never pretended to be me again. He agreed, apologised once more and left shortly after.
This whole experience is wild and I’m definitely more cautious nowadays as to who I talk to because you never really know who sits behind the screen and I hope you guys are just as wary.
As I said, this wasn’t my first time being used as a catfish so I might post the other story at some point so if you enjoyed reading this or have a similar story, let me know in the comments and plz don’t pretend to be me, or anyone else for that matter.