What is a ‘Catfish’?

What is a Catfish?

Urbandictionary.com defines a ‘Catfish’ as:

Someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.’

The term was created by Nev Shulman’s experience of having a longterm online relationship with a woman he thought to be young and single. The reality was, Angela was in her 40’s and married. Now the executive producer of MTV’s show ‘CATFISH’, which came off the back of the 2010 American film documentary of the same name, at the end of the film, Vince (husband of the lady that ‘catfished’ Nev), tells a story. He says that when live cod were shipped to Asia from North America, the fish’s inactivity in their tanks resulted in only mushy flesh reaching the destination; but fishermen found that putting catfish in the tanks with the cod kept them active, and thus ensured the quality of the fish. Vince talks of how there are people in everyone’s lives who keep us active, always on our toes and always thinking. It is implied that he believes Angela (Nev’s online romance) to be such a person.

The Independant in a recent article about Nev:

‘To be clear, ‘catfishing’ refers to the act of luring someone into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona with fake personal information. The term emerged from the 2010 American documentary Catfish which follows Schulman on his journey of falling in love with a girl he has met online and later finding out she is not the person she claimed to be. ‘

Not all ‘fake profiles’ are Catfish. Some fake profiles are created with a purpose to ‘troll’ others online (which is a criminal offence), or to hide the owners of illegal business transactions (also a criminal offence). Some are legitimate in reason where anonymity is needed from an abusive ex partner or similar. Some people are mistaking ‘Catfishing’ with identity theft. It’s not. Identity theft is where a criminal will literally collect and steal another person’s real life personal information. This is explained by Action Fraud:

‘Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.’

When the criminal uses this information to get money or other using your details, they are committing identity fraud.  You can read more about this here.

Catfish are not into identity theft as such…

What Catfish will do it trawl the internet for a suitable picture to use on their profile. Some choose to steal an everyday person’s pictures from a public Facebook Page or similar,  some will go for ‘catalogue shots’, model’s pictures which are readily available in ‘stock image’ settings online. These often allow the catfish the option of having several pictures of the same person. Some will choose to use an actor/tress’ picture, maybe from another country where the actor/tress is not known…like mine. Some go for military personnel and keep their name too. Some (like many in the show Catfish) use photos of people they know and admire…

However, they don’t want ‘Joe Blogs’ life story. They want to create the image of a life that is going to touch the emotional aspects of their targets. They want to create someone who can get inside your head. This is the common thread between all Catfish. It’s how they manipulate you to get what they want BUT what they may want as a result of their scam can be very different. There are many misconceptions about Catfish here too.

Catfish are not all after the same thing. There are many variations to these individual’s incentives.


What do they want from you?

I will never be able to list every motive and intention of a Catfish here but if caught by one, none of them will end well for you. Without doubt, new incentives and cover stories, whether financially motivated or personally motivated will be created constantly but we are seeing some as the main culprits that have been used for many years now and are big business, financial fraud. The other type of Catfish motive is very personal. It has nothing to do with financial/personal gain as such (although they can achieve this in their game), but it’s not their primary incentive. Their incentive is to get their needs met, whatever they may be…and not get caught out while doing that. However the only outcome for the victim is hurt and humiliation on many levels.

I was aware of the kind of romance scam with financial fraud being the primary motivator. If at any point my Catfish had started asking for money, I would have been suspicious because I had been fortunate enough to have seen and read about these on top of training when I worked at a bank in my teens, when Nigerian money fraud very first started. I was alert to this kind of ‘game’. 

Not everyone is so fortunate and the ‘hooking technique or love bombing’ used by all the Catfish is the same. You can read more about love bombing Part 1 here and love bombing Part 2 here.

Of course my Catfish didn’t stay online either…he became an ‘offline Personal Catfish’. I had an ‘in person’ relationship with him for several months after our initial 3 month online introduction. Is this the new breed of Catfish?

You can read my post about Romance Scams with Financial Fraud here.

You can read my post about Personal Catfish here.

 


 

 

The shocking truth about Tinder! It’s more than just a Hook-Up app!

Dating Apps and Websites-What can you expect?


For those that have never explored the world of online dating it can appear like a cattle market and certain online dating sites seem to hold more Kudos as ‘better’ than others.

After the break up of the relationship with my children’s father and after waiting over 2 years before feeling in a better place to try again with someone new, I thought I’d give online dating a try. I was a single mum with 2 children, the youngest less than 2 years old and I was back at work part time as a teacher, which has a lot more hours than most think.

It seemed like an ideal way to start communicating with the other sex again. It would afford me the opportunity to have 10 minutes here and there  to scan over a few profiles and see if anyone sparked an interest, whilst not investing too much of my valuable free time and limited funds on dates with people I could have nothing in common with (should I magically find someone to go on a date with, being a single mum with 2 kids, 100% of the time the ordinary way that is). This way, I could interact with others myself, or chat with those that messaged me and this phase could last for as short or long as I wanted, dependent on how the banter was flowing and how our interests/views/values/morals matched. This bit was very important to me. I absolutely wanted to know that there was potential longevity through having a fairly lengthy communication period before I took the step to meet someone in person.

I know what I’m like as a person. I haven’t fallen in love many times in my life but, when I do, I fall fast and I fall hard-my relationships have all been long term. I have the opposite of an Attachment Disorder; I get attached to people very quickly-there is nothing I can do about this and it’s not just in romantic situations. New friends too, if I get on with someone, I will do anything I can to help them out. My close friends know they can rely on me. I believe there are some that I don’t know that well that will say the same. I have a strange and overwhelming sense of loyalty to people I’m ‘in a relationship with’. I’ll always give 100%. Do I let this show in romantic relationships from the get go? No, not at all. I would nearly always wait for the other person to show their hand first before I would reciprocate that knowledge.

Having a slightly detached way of getting to know someone in the first instance was good for me. It allowed me to be less attached before taking the next step.

The first dating website I tried was Guardian Soulmates. It seemed to have the most credibility. Each month I tried a new one. I wanted to get a feel of them and the kind of people using them. E Harmony, Match, Elite Singles, I tried them all and very quickly realised that, most of the faces were the same, on every site. A neighbour was also looking to date again so together, we tried a new website attached to Facebook-this one was Zoosk. It was the first website that seemed to make sense. I paid a month subscription and quickly started chatting with some nice guys. A few weeks in and A LOT of cheesy chat-up lines later, someone was pushing to meet up. I have to say I wasn’t feeling it from his pictures, nor his profile really. I’m not a looks person but there has to be ‘something’. Eight weeks later and after laughing a lot over jokes and shared stories I gave myself a kick and said ‘if he makes you laugh that much, it’s got to be worth meeting up’. It was the first date I ever agreed to. A few weeks later, he drove from Sussex to Kent and I met him for lunch. As I walked down the high street, I chanted to myself ‘please let there be a spark’. I walked up behind him as he stood outside our agreed meeting place, tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘Hello Mr P’. He turned around and instantly I knew the spark was there. We talked for over two hours before ordering lunch and it was over two and half years later that we said goodbye due to circumstances beyond our control. We still chat from time to time though.

A year on, I thought it was time to venture into something new. I went straight back to Zoosk. There were some new faces, A LOT of old faces and I quickly had lots of messages. I never went on any dates arranged from that month’s subscription but I am still friends with three guys I got on really well with.

Tinder had just hit my radar. I was hearing mixed reviews. Some said it was a Hook-Up app, others said it had moved past these initial reviews. There were also friends and friends-of-friends that were in long term relationships, or even married, from this website. I decided to take a look. It was easy to set up on my mobile through Facebook. I set some parameters-distance and age then started to swipe. I quickly noticed the same old faces from all the other websites! Also there were people I know that work in the police and friends from FB, and the profiles also showed if you had mutual friends on FB so you could go and ask questions about what they were really like first. The guys I had made friends with from Zoosk were also on there and so was Mr P. There was plenty of space for a decent sized written profile and many people specified what it was they were looking for. Some men with a headless profile picture or poster picture, admitted to being married and only looking for fun. Other profiles stated they were only looking for friendship being new in the area and others that were looking for something more meaningful.

I went back and ensured this too was really clear on my profile.

I didn’t match with many on Tinder. I wasn’t a serial swiper, and very picky about who I swiped right on. I only matched with probably 15/20 people over the period of four months. I stayed chatting with around five of them-the others, the banter wasn’t there or it was very quickly apparent that we had nothing in common. I went on three dates-one was grim. The other two were lovely and I had, as always got to know them for a while before we met in person. I’m still in touch with one. Then I matched with ‘Antony Ray’ my Catfish, BUT, there are some really nice people on Tinder. It gets a bad rap.

The understanding of what a real Hook-Up App is, is very misunderstood. Researching over the last few months I’ve seen some that would count as real ones and pornographic isn’t the word.

I was sacked from my job when I went public with my story to promote my petition. You can sign here . I was told I had “bought the school into disrepute”. The Head Teacher sat there and looked at me in disgust as she said “It said you met on Tinder. It mentioned the word sex”. She was one of those that judged without knowing anything. But don’t take my word for it -read this great article about Tinder by Antonio Borrello, PhD. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Read his post here

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the need for reform in today’s society. Is lack of reform enabling abuse?

Strengthening the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Code of Conduct

19/12/17 by Anna Rowe


Since my Catfishing experience I have been nothing but stunned at the reluctance from those in a position of authority and power to step up to the mark and deal with the individual that abused and exploited us (I am 1 of 11 so far). This relatively unknown behaviour (termed as Catfishing in America) has grown exponentially as technology has made this form of abuse and exploitation as easy as walking into a very over stocked sweet shop.  There is that word again…abuse. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse. All of these behaviours are things that good, normal and honest people recognise as very wrong.

So when you discover, or experience, having been abused or exploited by a solicitor ‘the profession that is an integral part of our judicial system’ and still seemingly considered by the public as ‘pillars of the community’ you would expect for their regulators to take them to task to retain trust in the profession. Right?

Wrong.

My own and many other peoples’ experiences have shown, that when we alert the SRA to the misconduct of solicitors, and as their CEO Paul Philip claims “there are fundamentally important standards that the public, and I repeat, the public must demand of practicing solicitors, these standards include honesty, integrity and confidentiality” we are dismissed. Why? 

The research began. The findings were quite frankly, horrifying. Here is a report of some of that research.


The current role of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) with regards to the standards of governing issues of misconduct and whistleblowing.

There is increasing concern that the current regulation governing solicitors is not fit for purpose and that public confidence in the profession is incredibly low. This is due to the overly high tolerance of misconduct towards clients and non-clients. The current code’s criteria is restricted to cover complaints from consumers/clients and third parties/non-clients who are involved with the solicitor only in a professional capacity. It does not cover complaints from third parties/non-clients outside of professional capacity which would cover standards/conduct in private life.

This is particularly worrying as there have been a number of complaints of sexual abuse and other misconduct which are being either ignored or dismissed by the SRA without any investigation. In stark contrast, the police, teachers and MPs have to comply with standards in public life as well as professional. There is no justification for providing a cloak of ‘secrecy’ to lawyers than for any other profession. Just like doctors, lawyers are held in positions of trust – public interest in transparency is arguably just as critical for lawyers, as it is, for other public servants, such as, police and MPs.

Background:

The SRA are an independent arm of the Law Society and a self-regulated body funded through law firms and individual solicitors. A levy is paid which contributes to a ‘compensation fund’ and the salaries of the regulators. Individuals also pay for their ‘practising certificate’ which is admission to the roll (and obligation to abide by the code and principles). The SRA’s perceived role is to regulate the conduct of solicitors through ‘Principles and Code of Conduct’ by way of ‘risks’. The CEO Paul Philip, claims vehemently that: ‘the public must demand high standards of the lawyers they regulate’, as public trust is paramount to the profession.

Issues have arisen as we ‘the public’ attempt to demand these standards. Initial concerns arose from several personal case studies with similar themes (abuse against women) and the dismissal of us, by the SRA, to regulate this misconduct as it occurred in private life or as non-clients. Research into this regulator then revealed a much wider problem as it appears that despite the smoke screen of a Code of Conduct which visualises expectations of the highest standards, the reality is the exact opposite.

Research Findings:

Despite the ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Principles’ showing that a solicitor must ‘act with integrity’ and ‘behave in a way that maintains public trust in you ‘and’ your profession’ the SRA have simply dismissed several very serious cases, that revolve around private life/non-client scenarios. There are likely thousands more, as a request to see their version of FOI has uncovered that out of 11294 reports in 2015/16 alone, opened only 5081 investigations. This resulted in only 377 sanctions by the SRA, of which 236 were merely a letter to remind them of the code requirements. A FOI request was made to ascertain which ‘risks’ formed the 377 sanctions and the nature of the 6213 reports that were not investigated at all. They say the information is not available, however a table in the Annual Review shows the top 10 issues of cases. Only 129 cases from 11294 reports were considered ‘serious enough’ for tribunal (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal), and only 75 solicitors were struck off. This again shows the abuse of power and knowledge of the law being used to ‘evade reprimand and consequence’ as most cases put forward are cut and dried where the lawyer cannot wriggle out of it with threat of legal action. Other findings on what the SRA consider minor to serious in the report are frightening. A brief look at the public cases from the SDT shows some astounding cases including a solicitor charged, and in prison for attempted murder (notwithstanding he had mental health issues) but was given indefinite suspension (meaning it could be repealed), not even struck off.

Tolerance levels are too high:

The risk assessment methodology shows that a financial fraud of £5000 or less is considered minor, with a serious financial fraud reaching over 100K (catastrophic £500k+). However, the maximum fine for a solicitor found with their hands in the till is £2000. The minor £5k to that one individual which is considered as ‘minor’ to the SRA could be someones life savings. ANY financial fraud is dishonest and should result in severe reprimand. This is not happening. A similar theme is set for other RISKS within the assessment, including the vulnerability of the individual/s affected. Abuse of a woman is not even classified outside of ‘professional capacity’ in the workplace. A recent article by the Law Society Gazette states that Sexual Harassment is rife in the profession but the tolerance or acceptance and expectation of this happening, or the consequence of for instance ‘reporting this to the SRA’ isn’t happening because of the backlash. Abuse of women is not being addressed internally or externally.

What is a Professional?

As highlighted in a recent the Women’s and Equalities committee meeting regarding ‘Sexism and Sexual Harassment’ (10:15am 6/11/17), Public Servants (and those in positions of public trust) should be setting standards of acceptable behaviour for society.

Professionals have ‘expectations of behaviour’ attached the the title. Keith Bartley, Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council, said:

“It is a well-established principle that individuals have a duty to uphold the reputation of their chosen profession, and this is backed by a substantial body of case law.”

Back in 2009 he stated:

“The GTC had heard only two cases of teachers’ misconduct outside school. In one, a teacher had encouraged unsafe sex on a website, and the other had appeared on a porn programme on TV. Both were reprimanded.”

Other Professions’ Codes of Conduct

The Codes of Conduct from other professions show the expected behaviour and responsibilities that come with holding this status. This includes being aware of your behaviour and conduct as a person in the community. The word propriety is used in the codes: ‘conformity to conventionally accepted standards of behaviour or morals’. With the inclusion of things like appropriate behaviour on Social Media, other professions are up to date with the modern day politics. Only a few months back the SRA announced that:

‘Specifically, we have warned that online comments posted in a personal capacity and which might be deemed offensive or inappropriate could be classed as misconduct if the poster can be identified as a solicitor.’

There are several other profession’s regulators that demand the same standards of their members in a professional and personal/private life capacity: Police, Doctors, Teachers, Surveyors and many more.

Honesty and Integrity are qualities a person ‘has’ not something they ‘do’ merely in their professional capacity.

A legal ‘doctors’ defence service’ website states that:

‘Members of the public expect medical doctors to be honest in both their public and private life. The public still holds doctors in high regard, with the majority of doctors being given due respect for their contributions to the welfare of society.’ The General Medical Council (GMC) – the regulator of doctors – will take action against those doctors who do not conduct themselves with the utmost probity, integrity, and honesty. Doctors who admit or are found guilty of dishonest conduct will almost certainly be found to have committed professional misconduct.

As members of a profession that are administrators of the law, solicitors should in essence be held more accountable for these expected qualities and behaviours yet the SRA as regulators do not seem able to recognise the detrimental effect that their lack of regulation and ‘standards of behaviour’ are having on society and public trust in the profession as a whole. Including the abuse of women.

Lawyers are held ‘in a position of trust’ by the wider public audience, not just consumers, and need to be so for confidence in them as a profession and administrators of justice. The legal profession cannot be seen to operate as an ‘elite club’ with no accountability and beyond public scrutiny. However, this is precisely the view that concern the public (my petition link is here) and the current SRA regime is eroding public confidence and integrity in the system.

The SRA are accountable to Parliament through the Law Society and, in order to ensure greater transparency and restore public confidence, it would be timely for Parliament to review and strengthen the SRA’s role in relation to broadening their functions, so that i) The SRA afford greater protection to the public by ensuring that complaints from third parties are taken seriously and investigated and ii) They revise the Code of Conduct to encompass standards in public life, similar to that of other professions.

Anyone that is interested in viewing the research findings can email me for further information.

Catfish conviction, this time a women.

This catfish (Adele Rennie), a woman posing as a man this time, groomed, exploited and abused several women targets over a period of 4 years. She used Facebook as well as dating platforms to lure her victims into false relationships, gaining trust and empathy (the family member dying of cancer), to finally exploit the targets for sex chat and sexual images. Posing sometimes as a Dr David Crolla, Dr David Graham or Matthew Mancini, she left her victims feeling anxious and humiliated.

Read the story here

It seems the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and our Catfishes employer should look to the NHS directors here for advice and training in how to deal with employees like this:

Professor Hazel Boreland, nurse director at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “We were alerted to serious misconduct issues, immediately suspended the individual and conducted a full investigation.

“This individual never returned to NHS Ayrshire & Arran following suspension and we reported our concerns both to Police Scotland and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.”

This article shows her conviction. Judge jailed Rennie for 22 months, made her the subject of a five-year non-harassment order and placed her on the sex -offenders register for 10 years.

Read the conviction/sentencing here

Our catfish displayed this behaviour too. He even went as far as coming off line, pursuing these relationships in full. By that I mean he abused and exploited us for sex in person. But our catfish has walked away unscathed-is this because this type of behaviour from a man is seen historically as acceptable? Just a CAD having a bit of fun? Not to us it wasn’t.

Addressing Misconceptions and making new friends!

I came across CJ Grace’s blog (@cjgraceauthor Anna Rowe’s Anti-Catfishing Petition Misguided, and disagreed with some of her assumptions, so I contacted her to explain my point of view. We began a dialogue together and CJ, the author of Adulterer’s Wife: How to Thrive Whether You Stay or Not, invited me to post this guest blog on her website adultererswife.com. Here it is:

Thanks to CJ for publishing this 🙂

With my campaign push for regulating this industry to help make things safer, you can read my research on regulation here, and the backing of organisations like YOTI (@getyoti), Get Safe Online, Women’s Aid, Change UK and Kent Law Clinic (and others), we can start to make a difference to others affected by this behaviour.

Just a bit of fun or sexual abuse? Why some Catfish are cowardly and clever sexual abusers.

On Friday when you are 15 years and 364 days old, you are covered by grooming legislation as a child. On Saturday (according to some police) you have nothing to protect you against these abusers.

I’ve been reading in horror, about all of these sexual abuse cases. The news, press and Social Media are full of all these horrific experiences that women, men (and children) have been through. The sad truth tho, is that the National Crime Agency (NCA) have statistics that claim 85% of reported sexual abuse cases show women as the victims.

Quite rightly, any act of sexual grooming and abuse against a child is legislated against BUT far too much still needs to be done for the upholders of the law to actually act on the appropriate legislation and stop failing these child victims.

So what happens when you reach 16? What legislation is there to protect you when you have been groomed and targeted by an individual or group who wish to exploit you for intimate sexual pictures, or videos or for sex itself?

The majority of the sexual abuse cases we are hearing about have been committed by someone who is known to that/those individuals. Some of the time that person is in a position of power or a position of trust over that individual, an employer or carer maybe. The abuse may be actioned in the work environment or it may be in an ‘off duty situation’.

What happens if a woman goes on a date? She meets the guy online, they chat for a while, have lots in common and then decide to meet. They go out for a meal and the woman wakes up in a room she doesn’t know, having been given a date rape drug. She knows that something is wrong, things have happened and she goes to the police to report that she has been raped. We’ve all heard of ‘Liar’ the acclaimed ITV series and seen how clever and manipulative these men are. We’ve seen the mask they use to convince those around them that they are kind, humble, grounded pillars of the community. The woman is a liar isn’t she? How could anyone ever think this devoted father and hard working individual in a position held of high esteem would ever do something like that?

For the police, there is still a path of legislation. They track the man in the profile and (as with other cases if they decide they will get a win from the prosecution)  he will be questioned and charged.

In February 2016 the NCA delivered a report which highlighted the emerging new threat of sexual offences, initiated through online dating. It can be found here.

The statistic shows the frightening increase in cases over a period of 5 years.  33 offences in 2009, 39 in 2010, 62 in 2011, 79 in 2012, 145 in 2013 and 184 in 2014. More frightening is the fact that when put in context of the amount of cases of sexual assault actually called in, its significance is increased dramatically when only 17% of instances are stated as being reported.

And ultimately, whether invited back immediately or after a period of getting to know each other,  72% of offences were committed at the victim’s or offender’s residence.

Online platforms have proven to provide abusers with easier opportunities than they would ever have had before. However, these sexual offences typically only happen the once per victim. The assault occurs and the offender is found out for what he is. If he gets away with not being reported-the ‘game’ will start again. The grooming, the targeting, the love bombing, the assault.  He will do the same to someone else.

BUT… what if that man is clever? What if he creates an entire fake online identity so that he can’t be found out when his game needs to be concluded? What if he’s not interested in a violent struggle for sex or drugging women who may be unresponsive to his touch? But his need, his addiction, is to be with as many women as he can. His thrill is the different experiences each woman brings. His thrill is knowing that he has deceived those women into believing he wants a ‘real relationship’ with them. His deception gives his game longevity. It gives him control over the other person. ‘He’s a decent guy looking for something long term. He’s not into hook ups, doesn’t want to be one of those guys who uses women to just get laid’.

He carries out his deception. He grooms his targets, he builds the trust, he walks into these women’s lives, their homes. Sex becomes part of that ‘loving’ relationship. He can, under the guise of his deceit, manipulate that women to behave as he wants her to behave.

The relationship is great at first, he is everything to you. The intimate times are passionate and completely in line with the ‘relationship’ you believe you are in, along with any emotion spinning story he has told you to gain empathy and keep you hooked. But then, however many weeks or months later, something goes wrong. He isn’t acting the same anymore, things are becoming strained, he is pulling away and then, as quickly as it started he’s gone.

You then discover he doesn’t exist. You discover this man has been doing the same thing for a long time. He has been doing the same thing to several other women at the same time as you. He was constantly online grooming for his next targets, as this is all part of the thrill he so loves.

He was never in the ‘relationships’ he just wanted an easy way to get sex. No struggle, no drugs, but a ‘bank’ of women who gave him that ‘honeymoon period’ adoration and a familiar homely environment to use and abuse them until he had the next lot hooked and in place to renew his thrill seeking.

What about that man? That man is a Catfish.

His mens rea, is proven by the  premeditated act of creating a fake identity to deceive and groom women without (he hopes) being discovered.  He never divulges his real identity or his true intent to his targets.

His actus reus, his voluntary act that is in itself wrongful or leads to a wrongful result is proved as he comes off line to pursue the ‘relationship/abuse’ he groomed women for. This was his intent and this was his action.

The women they groom mean nothing to them. They are merely a vessel for  sexual gratification and thrill of power and control.

By the time it is too late, the abuser has gone.  You can’t trace who he really is, this man who manipulated and deceived and used and abused you. The man who online, still has his fake social media, but  now doesn’t reply to any of the emails, the Skype calls, or the texts or phone-calls and unless like me you get lucky, you won’t ever find who they really are for any sort of closure.

Thousands of women (and some men) are being abused in this way every year. I am one of 11 so far for this 1 man. We hadn’t even realised what he was. It was only when we talked and pieced puzzles pieces together, the enormity of his deceit became visible. But we did all this between us. Not the police.

Like other sexual abuse initiated online, the police are aware and more so, that only a fraction of the cases of this nature are being reported. This Catfish behaviour adds an extra layer of humiliation and distress to the already understood abuse, for the victim.

BUT the police won’t prosecute this clever and cowardly Catfish for his sexual abuse. They say no legislation exists.

So when, on your 16th birthday, in the eyes of the law you become an adult, these men who were called ‘child groomers’ yesterday when they exhibited this exact behaviour, can now do this with no consequence.

Just a bit of fun or abusing women for sex?

More about hoped for legislation in a later blog.

 

 

 

 

Regulation and the Dating Industry. What’s out there?

In the rapid growing industry of online dating, concerns should also be growing over the lack of regulation for the entire industry. The worries published about the lack of responsibility taken by the companies in this industry have been inking the press for years yet nothing seems to have been done?

As part of my campaign moving forward, my goal is to get legal regulation (not self regulation) for all current and future dating platforms to truly protect the users. This should include non-UK based companies legally obliged to comply with our laws if operating a service within our country (even if parts of that service are processed outside the UK). What industry specific regulation is there?

First, I needed to work out what regulation if any was actually in place at the moment.

Here is what I found.

There are 3 general cross industry laws that apply to all companies. These are:

These apply to the dating companies too. However, the ODA claim they decided to take a closer look and define these for their industry:

The Online Dating Association is an organisation founded by 13 leading ‘players’ (all voluntary). They claim to want to take responsibility for the ONLINE dating sector to protect consumers. Members that follow their ‘ODA Code’ of Conduct can display the ODA logo on their dating platform.

The ODA states:

The Online Dating Association Code of Practice (“ODA Code”) is binding on members of the Association. It sets out what is expected of members under a series of key headings:

  •   General Rules (unregulated)
  •   Honest and clear communications (Marketing and Advertising)
  •   Protection of the user (software used for money fraud scammers, operating internationally in the main, like Scamalytics)
  •   Delivering to meet user needs (Consumer Rights)
  •   Protecting data and privacy (Data Protection)

‘The feeling within the sector in the last few years was that it was time we took some collective responsibility for our market and our users as well as exercising responsibility as individual service providers.

In summer 2013 a group of dating site providers took and acted on the advice that this is a market where players should not rely solely on the framework of privacy, data and consumer law to protect the market and those in it.

The law and regulations applicable to the sector clearly matter and should be respected. But laws and regulations have to deal with the generality of industries and businesses to which they apply and our statutory regulators are often thinly stretched and not able to do much other than react to consumer harms.

We, like other sectors, saw the need to give regulations “life” and to draw out, highlight and give meaning to those that particularly matter for online daters. The ODA aims to pre-empt and prevent problems by testing members against our Code of Practice before they can come into membership – and afterwards.’

They go on to state that:

‘Our Code of Practice and our advice for the public on the best and safe use of services was published in December 2013. The Code is short, simple and outcomes-based. It focuses on the core issues for users: the clarity and honesty of the services offered, the protection of user’s personal information, the proper operation of services and the advice and help we give users to make dating as enjoyable and safe as possible.’

Isn’t this simply the current ‘must have’ legal regulation across all industries with some ‘advice tips’ thrown in?

Back in 2013 when the ODA was founded it claimed that:

The Code which will help ensure compliance to existing laws and regulations and it will set the bar higher.  It will be anchored in a set of principles, with supporting rules and guidance:

* Being honest and clear in what you offer (Advertising)
* Meeting expectations and deliver what you promise (Consumer)
* Protecting people’s data and their privacy (Data)
* Protecting our users from harm, deception and loss

So here too, the first 3 standards are ‘general industry’ regulations.

But the 4th claims protection from harm, deception and loss. The ODA haven’t replied to my email on which ‘regulation’ this actually is, other than mere advice for dating safely online and what consequences are in place to the members who don’t comply? A news article on How to stay safe when online dating gives 6 key points of how to stay safe but the DateGreat:DateSafe link is broken.

All I can do is find this in their code. The part of the code that details this is here:

Section 3. Protection of the User (these sub clauses are pertinent to fake profiles)

3.4 ODA Members must have policies and arrangements to prevent misuse or inappropriate use of their services.

3.5 ODA Members must ensure all User profiles are checked and that appropriate arrangements exist to detect fraudulent or misleading Profiles and inappropriate content and to remove any such Profiles from the site as soon as possible.

3.6 ODA Members must not themselves create fake Profiles or knowingly allow Users or any other party to create and post fake Profiles. If ODA Members create Profiles for testing or other administrative purposes this should be done in ways that ensure Users are in no doubt over the nature of such Profiles.

I thought I would test out a company affiliated with the ODA and it’s ‘ODA Code’- Match.com

I decided to set up a fak(ish) profile. What hurdles would I come across? What verification was there in place to ensure the information I was giving them was correct? (3.4 & 3.5)

The results. I used a rarely used email of mine from years ago that required no verification. I used the name Lisa, I copied and pasted a photo from the internet and used that as the profile picture. I waited while the 15 minutes passed for the photo to be verified, mean while I ticked the boxes they wanted about my preferences and hair colour and length. Obviously more important than if I was actually real, married or a convicted rapist. Before the photo had even passed the process I was able to browse the online sea of faces. I clicked the email about activating my account and BINGO! complete. It’s that easy. 2 minutes later the email arrived to say the photo had been verified. Fak(ish) profile success (I then suspended the account).

What did Match.com do that followed the rules and ‘high standards’ set out by the ODA? Nothing. In fact recent research revealed that Match.com came joint second for crimes probed by Durham constabulary between 2011 and 2016.

Their response to my query,  regarding these principles is that it isn’t their responsibility because they state in their T&C’s that the user must provide accurate information. They simply store that information correctly and accurately.

Match also featured heavily in the recent Channel 5 documentary ‘Murder on the Internet’ An almost identical response was received by them from Match when questioned.

So, I’m a rapist who wants to groom and abuse women using their Website as my sweetshop. I can fill in anything I like on that profile. NOTHING is checked. What a great way to exploit women. The sad facts are that although this does happen to men too, statistics show that women are exploited at a ratio of approximately 80:20 the police say sexual abuse cases are more 85:15.

Just recently the dating website secondwife.com has been publicised in the Daily Mail  and has made headlines as it blatantly flouts U.K. law promoting bigamy. What is being done to stop this? Nothing. The man who runs the website set this up in Dubai where Sharia Law exists. However, this is being allowed to operate in our country too. Not only does this flout U.K. law but is putting women and girls at risk of abusive and DV relationships and completely undermines the decades of hard work to secure equality for women. This site also claims FULL VERIFICATION -no fake profiles as a feature. HOW exactly?

The police say:

‘Pretty much all other businesses have a regulation / compliance function or some kind of consortium that they have to address if things go wrong. But not the dating sites.

The ODA do encourage good practice and seek to push for good simple alert mechanisms and we are pushing for a cross board date safe kite mark on all sites.

But as you know, the sites operate globally, the rewards are good for the big players and they don’t want to alarm potential customers by swamping the adventure with law enforcement based warnings and jargon.’

Andrew, CE of the ODA did kindly take an hour to chat on the phone with me (after several emails over the months) where I tried to impress the importance of getting better verification in place across the industry. I stressed I realise this is not an overnight issue to be solved and that I wanted knowledge to enable me to put viable suggestions that work for everyone (as they are businesses) to take forward. I came away with the understanding that I would be invited to meet with their members when the occasions occur, but they fell at the first hurdle and no response to my email asking why they didn’t feel it appropriate for the meeting just gone. Mmmmm.

I wonder if the law changed to say that this Industry could be sued for negligence when things go wrong, if a ‘verification process’ would materialise?

Amber Rudd is currently pushing for better security online to help combat  terrorism. Dating websites are a great place to begin the process of radicalisation if the criminals choose to use them on vulnerable people. But why should it stop there? Money fraud aside, women are being exploited by men still in this decade for self gratification and yes the parameters of this exploitation online are vast. Too many of societie’s attitudes are that this behaviour is ok. Why is it ok? It is becoming normalised because the police are choosing not to put forward cases that mean they have to work at it, cases that are not black and white-to keep their stats good. Cases that now involve the use of technology are moving in the right direction with fake profiles and revenge porn and trolling legislation (more still needs to be done as far as the convictions taking place) but the  judicial system is rarely faced with unusual or different cases as the CPS don’t let them, making this appear publicly that this exploitation ok and doable. Moving backwards in equality? Very much.

 

 

 

How to spot a Catfish-the red flags and warning signs

When we’re wading through the online dating profiles, avoiding all the spammers and lovebots that aim to lure you to another site hoping you’ll subscribe to other services and consequently line scammers pockets…how do you also navigate the overwhelming amount of unknown fake profiles on the dating platforms or social media?

Knowledge is powerful. Being aware that Catfish scams (and individuals) exist is most important. It will put you on guard when you come across anything that is mirroring these types of situations. Read about the types of Financial Scam Catfish and Personal Catfish  in my posts. There are however, common tactics used by most Catfish. You can help get through the minefield by checking out a few red flags:

Who’s photo?
If their profile picture looks staged, like it should be in a catalogue or looks like a model, it probably is. Actors from other countries are also popular choices as they are mainly unknown over here. Run the image through a search engine like ‘Tineye’ or Google reverse image search. Screen grab the image, crop any outside bits off if necessary and then upload it. If it comes back showing the picture on lots of websites, you know it has been used elsewhere and is not a personal photo. Just remember that some fraudsters may be using another person’s social media photo and these won’t necessarily show in a reverse image search. Having only 1 photo is another little flag. If questioned and they respond with  ‘I can only upload onto Whatsapp right now… ‘ be aware. Any military profile pictures should be viewed with caution too. This is one of the most common cover stories for scammers.

Let’s exchange numbers!
They’ll try and move the conversation onto a different platform, usually something like Whatsapp, Kik or Email. This is for a few reasons. Scammers know that anti scam technology software on the sites will likely pick up trends in conversation and shut down the profile. If they move you away they can continue undetected. Other reasons that a personal Catfish will want you off the app, is so they can continue grooming targets without the risk of you catching them. Once you’ve met up or have confirmation they are genuine then you may feel more comfortable to talk to them on another channel. But don’t feel pressured to give them your phone number if you don’t feel ready.

You are so open an honest!
Catfish profiles (or messages sent on Social Media) tend to be very full on, giving away the hopes of the relationship they seek from start to finish. If there is an over use of the words loyal, genuine, trustworthy or ‘God fearing’, looking for a soulmate and someone to marry with the love of children, this should alert you. Genuine profiles are usually fun and only hinting at what you are like and looking for. 

It’s all about you and too good to be true…
If you reply to a message and it’s a Catfish, the chances are you will be ‘love bombed’.  They ask lots of questions about you but don’t give much information in return. They are reading you at this point, taking notes, earning your trust. Often fraudsters will spend time looking at your social media profiles and pictures to get to know you better so it seems like they are your perfect match and you have lots in common. They will fall head over heels for you very quickly and will be very full on from an early stage. This aims to get the other person ‘hooked’ as quickly as possible. It may seem like you’ve found your soulmate and your perfect partner but it’s best to edge on the side of caution. If things seem too good to be true, it’s likely they are!  You may hear phrases like:

‘I can’t believe we’ve been so lucky to find one another…’ Many will tell you they’ve never experienced that level of connection with someone else before.

It may seem like they are genuinely interested in you but it’s best to be a little cautious if they are asking question after question but keeping their own details private. Dating is about getting to know another person – if they’re genuine and have nothing to hide they shouldn’t be afraid to answer your questions. Things should move slowly…

Reverse psychology
Do they over emphasise how honest, loyal and committed they are? If so, this could be a warning they’re a fraudster, as they’re using reverse psychology. This plays a big part in their game. It throws you off guard and has you doubting yourself.

Mine told me how he thought ‘cheaters’ were disgusting (he knew it had happened to me before), he said of a friend who’s boyfriend was caught sending emails to someone else, ‘tell her to get rid of him babe, he’s a baddun’. This all consolidated in my mind (as we sat watching a movie, munching on cashews) that he would never do that to me. Little did I know that as we spoke, he was doing exactly this to his wife and several other women as well.

Money, money, money…
Asking for money will soon follow if they are a scammer. They may be subtle or outright. Cover stories will tell of a difficult time or disaster.  Good people falling on hard times. But anyone asking for money that you haven’t met in person or know well is not someone to be chatting with, however big the disaster. They play on kind people.

Sextortion or Personal Catfish.
Similarly to money, anyone asking for intimate photos, videos (or webcams) before you meet would be considered disrespectful of someone really interested in a proper relationship. This may start with them asking for ‘sexy chat’ but will progress quickly. Although sex was part of the motivation for mine too, he was very different in that he was patient and had read me well, there was never a push on me for anything. He evolved his tactics to suit the target. 

Some are just in this for the thrill of the power, deception and control over someone else whilst playing their games. These are harder to spot BUT… if your gut instinct says something isn’t right then listen!

Not everyone who exhibits the above traits and warning signs is a catfish, but it’s best to be sure.

 Be safe.

Dear Abuser: I am the revolution you never expected-by Shahida Arabi

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the light you tried to strangle, the light you tried to stifle in your chokehold but my light bled all over the pages of your book, your preconceived narratives, your filthy words and your attempts to bring terror back into the blank space of my eyes.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I birthed revolution in my bones like the many women that came before me, I ignited flames beneath my skin, using the fiery spirits of women who walked beside me as matches; we breathed fire into each other’s hearts until the world could see us and from the ashes we were reborn.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the fear in your hatred, the pain that you tried to use to violate my sacred spaces, rip me apart until I was nothing, but I knew I would always be something, somebody, and now I am. I am layers and layers of the love and power that act as your kryptonite, and with the words and actions of all those who rose with me, I’ll build an impenetrable wall.

Who am I?

I am the thing that nightmarish people have nightmares about, wake up sweating about, thinking about —their furrowed brows tense with self-doubt —wondering if I, and the other warriors I march with could ever come back to life.

Who am I?

I am the restless rebel you tried to bury, the one you tried to pull out by the root and eradicate when she began to grow from the seed.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the girl you left for dead thinking she’d always fall and never rise again. I am the girl you cut with your razor blade wrath, the girl you thought would never fight back. I am the girl you underestimated, the woman you tormented, the child whose shackles you tightened.

Who am I?

I think you already know –I think you understand. I am the prisoner you tried to cage, the little girl you made afraid –I am the woman who never gave up, the one who exposed your charade —

Who am I?

I am everything and anything that you will stand against to try to regain control. For every source of darkness, there is a bleeding soul, one that shines so brightly that the entire war zone becomes illuminated.

I am the truth, your karma, the revolt —

I am the resistance, the pieces you tried to keep shattered, coming back together again. I emerge quietly, but I resound loudly —reverberate through your skin. My power was never yours, and it was never yours to take

Who am I?

I am the second coming, of everything and everyone you tried to break.

Dear Abuser: I Am The Revolution You Never Expected

Catfish Conviction for fraud-but why does money hold more weight for conviction than abusing someone for sex?

Catfisher sentenced to five months in custody.

This is an amazing step forward for the current legislation being used for Catfish. I was told by Kent police that  mine couldn’t be convicted for Fraud due to him ‘not asking for a sum of money’, yet he gained personally through gifts, use of my house like a hotel including meals and other things bought through talk of being together in a longterm relationship.

But the biggest thing for me was that he used me for sex on top of all this. He used all of us under the pretence of the lies he told, of long term relationships and marriage.

When does money become more important than using someone’s body?

Do we consider that a person who asks for £10 pretending to be homeless to deceive the owner of their money a worse offender than a person who is premeditated and intentional in their plans to misrepresent themselves and their life, including their marital status, to purposefully use women for sex?

Is this not coward’s rape? Are they not similar in their intentions of your typical rapist, in that they want and need to have control and get satisfaction from gaining sex from multiple women/men?

One to think about…

Here’s the CPS article on the Fraud conviction for this Catfish that got Caught!

31/08/2017

Robert Brown, 29, from Portsmouth was sentenced on August, 31, 2017 to five months in custody today at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to six offences of fraud by false representation after he lured two men into giving him money after creating false accounts on social media, a practice referred to as ‘catfishing’.

Senior Crown Prosecutor, Nick Hoyle for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: “Robert Brown is a liar who put together a scam where he lured two men into giving him money by creating fake profiles on dating websites.

“He targeted the first victim by posing as a young woman called Fran via a dating website and then chatted to her on Whatsapp. One of his first messages was ‘see I am real’ then he sent photos of her face and in a state of undress. ‘Fran’ aka Robert Brown said that she would send more if the victim would pay her money. He then pretended the money had not gone through. In total the victim sent £600.

“Not only did he defraud the victims of their money but he also gloated to them at the end of his scam. Over a 24 hour period he defrauded the first victim, a 27 year old man, of £600 and at the end of his scam he sent a voice message to the victim saying: ‘Thanks for the money mate …Hahaha Gutted’.

“After luring the second victim, a 29-year-old man, into giving him more than £1000, he laughed at him sending the following message saying ‘Hahaha, I know you sad xxx thanks its (sic) Dean haha’’.

“Both victims said in their victim personal statements that they have been left distressed, depressed by what happened to them, and that they find it difficult to trust anyone. One of them is also struggling to recover from their debts due to the fraud.

“We hope that this prosecution will bring them some comfort that justice has been done.”

Notes to editors

The second victim, a 29-year-old man contacted him via another dating website. Robert Brown used the same modus operandi and this time created a fake profile under the name of ‘Sammieandi’. Robert Brown, pretended to be a woman who had no money to pay her rent. The victim who described himself as being vulnerable and gullible as he was going through a difficult time sent the money. Robert Brown/Sammieandi said that she was going to lose her house and needed £200. Each time the victim sent money, the defendant said that the money had not arrived and asked for the money to be sent again. Sammieandi was also offering sex in exchange of the money. He then created other profiles making up more stories as a result the victim gave him a total of £1860.

Read the article online here

Also..

Woman who posed as man to dupe friend into sex, jailed. 

Love Bombing-The Hooking Technique Part 2

How to spot Love Bombing

Here we take a look at the Red Flags associated with Love Bombers. This could be in any relationship (not just Catfish grooming) and are often associated with Psychopaths and Narcissists. Another name for Love Bombing is The Psychopaths love hook.

Early Warning Signs

Spotting the love bomb is both easy, given enough time, and difficult in the short run. There’s more to it than raising an eyebrow if someone sends you flowers after the first date. In fact, that could be a sweet romantic gesture. So how do you know if the guy who has you daydreaming at work, and feeling like a teenager again, is a love bomber?

Adelyn Birch explains: Clues you are being manipulated with love bombing are the intensity and the rapid pace set by the manipulator. It leaves you without time to think or come up for air to think clearly and carefully about who this person really is and what their motives are. When someone declares love for you before they really know you, chances are good there is something wrong.

“I know we’ve just met, but we’re perfect together!”

“I’ve never experienced this before, ever.”

“I can’t believe how lucky we are.”

Manipulative love bombers don’t just walk up and say: “We belong together.” They have to give you evidence that it’s true. That’s why they target the vulnerable. Masquerading as good listeners, the bomber gathers information on your likes, dislikes, insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Before you know it, they’re saying you have so much in common, therefore you must be soul mates.

Love bombers aren’t just confident you belong together for all time; they describe the future in detail, as if it’s a Bollywood screenplay. They use phrases like “We’re going to be so happy together…” and “Someday, when I take you to Europe…” and “I can’t wait for my parents to meet you…” “This is just a difficult phase, we have the rest of our lives together, don’t give up on us…”

I was invited to a family wedding. These are a big deal in Indian families and he said that his mum had suggested it would be a good time for me to meet the rest of the family. That was before he claimed his mum had been diagnosed with cancer which meant our plans would need to be put on hold. Would I wait for him? He said how he didn’t deserve for me to wait but that he couldn’t get through it without me. All part of the control and manipulation.

Notice how all these statements are foregone conclusions, not questions? Love bombers don’t ask; they declare how things will be, with conviction. They don’t sound crazy, because chances are you’ve already shared your hopes and dreams, while they were being such “good listeners.” All they have to do is pretend to be the hero who will make those hopes and dreams come true.

This is how the love bomber tricks you into thinking he is indispensable to your future happiness.

“You’re so perfect, you deserve the best of everything, I don’t deserve you…”

To manipulate you into thinking you’ve just found your soul mate, the love bomber builds you up to an idealised object. They constantly point out all the good traits you possess, and minimise any of the bad. Mention that you’ve gained a few pounds, and the bomber will say how much healthier you look with a little extra weight. Hubby left you? The reply will be he’s blind, stupid, crazy, and you’re the most beautiful woman alive. Complain about the boss who doesn’t give out compliments, the love bomber will say she’s an idiot for not recognising your talent!

The love bomber is there to give you the self-image you wish you had, but lack. You are their project. Text sessions that last for hours, depriving you of sleep; flowers sent to work, with notes extolling your virtues; surprise visits, trips, gifts, all with the same message: “You deserve nothing less!”

Our Catfish didn’t spend money. His story was that of a devoted father of 3 (he is in his real life) with his sons in Private School that he paid for on his own. Despite knowing now ( I didn’t then) that he has a very good job which would command a big salary, he drove around in a very old car, that needed the radiator filling up every morning. He wore a very cheap watch (probably because he often left them at our houses and didn’t want to lose the Rolex) but it backed up his story of not being materialistic, his kids being most important and a grounded and humble guy. I liked this man.

If you feel that you may be in the early phase of a love bombing attack, talk to a friend to get back on a reality track. They can be objective. Stop. Look. Listen.

Stop: Slow things down. Have a talk and say: “I really love everything about you, but let’s slow things down a bit, it’s moving too fast, and I’m a bit scared of that.”

I have texts of me telling him “I’m a bit scared at how close to you I feel already” All the signs were there.

Look: Actions speak louder than words. If his words and actions are not in sync, that’s a big red flag.

Listen: Listen carefully to what he says, and don’t be afraid to challenge the assertions. If he says: “We will be perfect together,” reply: “Well it’s early, but so far, so good.”

Also, remember that love bombers hate to be challenged, and a sarcastic reply to any of your comments above is another warning.

Recovery From Love Bombing

If you are reading this after the event, like me, you can get through it too.

Dr Freeman an expert in psychopathy and narcissism, says that in order to heal, survivors must learn the facts and gain an understanding of what happened to them so they don’t have to suffer “unnecessary blame and confusion over why they are in such intense pain.” She writes that the pain will last much longer if the victims don’t know the facts. You have to know what you are dealing with to move forward.

Add in the Catfish scenario here too and you are faced with not only the backlash and recovery from Love Bombing but the realisation that the person you loved never existed. Catfish don’t want to be found out at any cost, their identities are fake, just like their declarations of love. Finding out all the facts in our situation becomes doubly hard. Find people around  you that have the ability to understand and leave those that judge you behind.

Go No Contact

No contact means just that, none. Block them, and make clear in writing that attempts to contact you by showing up at your home or work will be considered harassment.

You cannot remain “friends” with a love bomber, nor can you leave yourself open to communication. The love bomber will keep trying to exploit your insecurities to get you back, and the cycle will repeat again, and again, and again.

Our Catfish kept all his victims number and emails. He used these to maintain drip feeds of communications.

Reconnect With Family and Friends

Love Bombers and Catfish using this technique, will aim to get you isolated because if you tell people about their behaviour, it will break the spell. 

Early on when we met in person, ‘Antony’ told me…’We don’t need anyone else, just you and me.’ 

Family and friends can’t stand the love bomber, because they see all the changes and want the old you back. You may need to apologise for disappearing, but friends will understand. In fact, coming clean about the devaluations and breakups will make them sympathetic if they are true friends.

Add the whole Catfishing experience, where some may have lost money, or you have been used for sexual gratification on their part and you can imagine how damaging and thoughtless (to someone who already suffers with low self-esteem) it is, when friends, family or even strangers label you with ‘stupid, pathetic, gullible and desperate’.

Imagine a close friend telling you the same story — would you encourage reconciliation, or do everything in your power to keep your friend from going back for more abuse?

Love Bombing is Abuse

The important thing to remember about love bombing is that it is psychological partner abuse. When one person intentionally manipulates and exploits another’s weakness or insecurity, there’s no other word for it. If it is done for a malicious purpose or personal gain at all, it is abuse in its worse form.

Adelyn writes: Romantic love is intense and unstable. Ideally, over time it progresses to long term attachment, which is characterised by feelings of calm and security. This can’t and won’t happen if you are involved with a disordered partner who is devoid of empathy, morals and a conscience. The relationship will never be more than intensity masquerading as intimacy. This results in emotional turmoil and isolation.

The Catfish has only one intension. To groom you, and hook you so they can manipulate and use you.

Final Thoughts and for the TROLLS

On Adelyn’s site she refers to Maria Konnikova, PhD who says about those who wonder how they fell for this, (we know we are educated and savvy).  “I think that anyone, if you press the right buttons in the right way, will end up being emotionally involved and stop thinking rationally. Once you are in that emotional mode of thinking, it doesn’t matter who you are.”

psychopathsandlove.com

 Psychology Today

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