Dating is hard, and online dating is harder – you have to deal with anonymity, which, for some reason, makes people lie. A lot. And the worst kind of lying, the sort of thing that would be almost impossible to get away with dating in person, is catfishing: people pretending to be someone they simply are not, sometimes over the course of years. Check out these 10 stories from AskReddit users, on terrible catfishing experiences they had to deal with.

1. Road Trip

Not me but my older brothers best friend. He had been talking to this girl online for a really long time. He was planning on driving to Texas (we live in north Georgia) to visit her. When he told her that he was going to drive over to see her she confessed that she was actually an overweight 43 year old lady. He was 23 at the time. He doesn’t like to talk about it…

2. Runaway

The first time, a girl sent me pictures of herself and she looked like around my age. When we finally met for our first date, I realized that she was not the girl from the pictures because she was barely 18 and was enormous compared to the girl I had pictures of. She was apologetic, and explained that she sent me pictures of her sister instead of herself for various reasons. The lie about her age was only a slight problem because she had just turned 18 days before so I wasn’t in any legal danger. We remained friends for years.

The second time was the last time I tried to meet a girl online. I was a junior in college and had been talking to this girl a few states away for weeks online. She claimed to be 19 (I was 20) and she was a cute red head in the pics she sent me, so I chatted her up regularly even though she lived far away. At some point, she surprises me with her plan to take a bus out to my university and spend the weekend hanging out and partying with me.

When I picked her up at the bus stop I barely recognized her. She sort of looked like the cute redhead I had pictures of, but waaaaaay younger, like she could be the daughter of the girl I had been talking to online. I played it cool, trying to be a gentleman, but quickly decided that spending the weekend partying with what appears to be a 14-16 year old would be a bad idea. I told her that there were no good parties on the docket and took her home to my parents house where I figured we could lay low until Sunday when I could shuffle her back onto a bus and be rid of the jailbait.

Well, late the next evening while we were sitting on the living room floor watching a movie with my parents, the phone rings. I answered the phone to hear a crying woman pleading to know where her daughter was and if she is ok. That’s when it hit me… I was harboring a freakin’ teenage runaway. I got the girl on the phone with her mom, and started grabbing all of her stuff and putting in my car. Apparently her mom had found my phone number on their phone bill and traveled to my school looking for her daughter.

I promised to meet her on campus with her daughter ASAP. Well, we didn’t even make it out of the driveway before the police cars showed up. The cop looked at me, then pointed to the girl and said, “Is that her?”, and I replied, “yeah, take her home man” and that was it. Luckily for me, I think this girl may have had a history of running away from home because they didn’t ask me a single question or anything they just took the girl and left. Then my mom came out into the driveway asking why the cops were there… I had some ‘splainin’ to do.

And then, when I returned to school, all of my roommates and neighbors told me that the campus police, local police, and state police had been scouring the campus for me and an underage runaway. I spent the next couple weeks explaining to everyone I knew how I got hoodwinked by an internet girl and that the police had the story wrong. It could have gone worse I suppose…

3. True Love

My ex boyfriend (ohgoddontreadthis) met a girl on WoW who lives in Texas. He lives in the Midwest.

They talked for many months via WoW and email, but never via video chat. He told his parents about her as things were getting more serious, and they agreed to let her visit and stay at their house for a week so he and her could meet in person. The flight was bought for her, they discussed how excited they were to meet, and then the night before the flight, she admitted “she” was actually a 19 year old gay guy.

4. “If she could lie about that, what’s to stop her from something even bigger?”

I was about 16 at the time (24 now), and I had just discovered the social website Vampire Freaks (VF). . . judge me now if you’d like but I liked it. Back than Facebook hadn’t become huge and MySpace made it too difficult to find people in your area with similar interest. VF had a huge collection of gamers, cosplayers, otaku and “nerds”, which is my thing.

Ran into the girl that I thought was the love of my 16 year old life, we had the same interest, we talked on msn voice chat numerous times and sent “recent” pictures to each other all the time. It was awesome, we had a great time and generally seemed to connect really well. After 3 months I decided it was time to meet, I lived in Southern NJ and her in Upper NY, it was a bit of a hike. I lied to my mom and told her I was going to Philly, which was only a 15 min train ride, and set off on an adventure of epic proportion. After hopping on two trains and walking for 2 hours, 5 hours total, I had finally arrived at our meeting point, a cafe in her neighborhood.

I was waiting in line to get a cup a of coffee when suddenly a monstrous shadow that could be compared to the sun caught the corner of my eye. Chills went down my spine, as I heard my name get called out. The girl who had just sent me a picture last night had gained 120 pounds, and caused the ground the quake beneath her. Having little to no experience of the outside world I panicked, turned and said the most disappointing greeting of my life. I ended up spending the rest of the day with her, I tried not to be a jerk and bring up the fact that she lied to me. In the end she went for the kiss and I just gave her the cheek.

I probably would’ve dated her if she hadn’t lied to me, I’m a romantic and feel as though beauty is on the inside. But if she could lie about something like that, what’s to stop her from something even bigger.

5. Entrapment

A friend of mine was dating my cousin, and she suspected him of cheating on her. So to see if he would really be capable of such a thing, she made a fake MySpace (yes it was back in the day). She found pictures from the Internet of regular girls his type, and compiled together the ones of girls who looked similar enough to be mistaken as being the same girl. It was actually pretty talented of her. Every picture was of a different girl, but you would have though they were all the same. I have no idea how many man hours she put into this account, but she friended my cousin and talked for a while, then asked to meet up. When my cousin said ok, my friend promptly broke up with him. It was total entrapment, but it got the truth out, so kudos to her.

6. OOF

13 years ago, I was 18 years old, very awkward, but still felt respectable. I had my own car and a job. I didn’t go to college though, and I didn’t know any way to meet people except through the Internet. I remember I found Jessie on the Literotica forums. She said she was 19 and lived less than an hour’s drive from me. In Los Angeles, that’s not bad. She sent me her picture and she was beautiful. We exchanged phone numbers.

We would talk for HOURS on the phone. I forget everything we talked about, but I really connected with her. She was smart, had a mature, sexy voice, and was studying to be a doctor at UCLA. Eventually, we started having phone sex and cyber sex.

We tried to meet a couple times, but she got nervous and chickened out. I wasn’t suspicious though. I mean, the Internet was new for a lot of people and it was understandable that someone would be nervous about meeting a stranger like that. Never the less, I told my real life friends about her. I introduced her to the online hangouts I frequented. She got to know my people and she charmed them as much as she did me. They all thought I was lucky.

One day, over the phone, Jessie invited me to come see her perform at a play and I got really excited. But she broke down crying and was inconsolable for a few minutes while I tried to figure out what had set her off. She told me that she had a confession to make. When I finally convinced her to just tell me, I had slowed my breathing down and was a picture of serenity, ready to have reality driven into the back of my skull like a railroad spike.

She wasn’t 19, she was 14. She wasn’t a student at UCLA, she was a student at one of those “special needs” high schools in the Valley. She wasn’t beautiful, she was fat and ugly. The play wasn’t Shakespeare, it was Seussical, and she was the elephant.

I don’t know why I agreed to see it. I guess I held out some sliver of hope that she was lying to test my resolve or that she had some hidden quality that shined through all of the shit that had just been dumped onto me. I drove up to the school and felt like a creep. Her mother was there, with a shiner that the father had given her. Apparently Jessie had told her mother about me, and it was her mother who recognized me and invited me to sit beside her. There’s something sad about how, in the pure pathetic nature of this whole situation, the miserable, battered mother actually thought her developmentally challenged daughter had an admirer. I declined silently, hating that I was a part of this, still wondering what I was doing.

The lights went down and the curtain was drawn. And there she was, bounding around on the stage. Clearly the most talented of special kids. Clearly the largest of them, too. During intermission, I stood up and walked outside, into the parking lot. I got into my car and drove away. I turned my stereo off and sat silently, listening to the road for an hour. I never spoke to her again and I never told any of my friends what happened to her.

7. Never heard of her

Friend and I frequent dating sites. He was catfished once. Her name was Alexis Mc.Nally. She was the head RN at a hospital a half hour away making $150,000 a year and was in love with my friend. She was going to fly him to Vegas after 3 weeks of knowing him and they were going to get married. He was happy as hell and thinking of pretty much nothing but the money and the hot pictures she was sending him.

She said she bought him all this stuff and his kids Ipads and computers and that she had a multimillion dollar house she was going to live in with him.

He didn’t think anything was odd but I did so I did some research. First I called the hospital and they said they never heard of her. Then looked up her phone number which the area code was from Ohio. After a while he wised up and started calling her out on stuff. She ended up sending him a box filled with new American Eagle clothes for him and that was pretty much the end of it.

8. Last name please?

Fairly attractive Asian girl started messaging me in a chat room on I am lesbian, so the chatrooms for the women weren’t really known for having bots.

She comes on strong and actually shows a lot of interest in me even though I didn’t really have much interest in her at first since she was in Florida and I’m in Oklahoma.

I actually start to really like her and think maybe we could really hit it off if we met. We started talking/texting pretty much 24/7.

Then she tells me about how she can’t date anyone locally because her dad is a marine engineer and builds multimillion dollar yachts for famous people.

I don’t really believe it at first, but she starts mailing me all these fairly expensive things like clothes, flowers, gift cards, etc to ‘prove’ it, even though I tell her I didn’t really want them.

The weird thing is she wouldn’t tell me her last name and would be very weird about it, saying if I found it out I could Google it and it’ll pull up her dad’s yacht business and I could see how rich they really are and she wanted to make sure that I really wanted to be with her and wasn’t just in it for the money…. Even though she kept sending me gifts without me asking to “prove” her wealth.

She also said she was a head hair stylist at Tony&Guy and made $700/day in tips.

Anyway, one of the gifts she sent the company sent a receipt slip that had her last name on it. I Googled it and nothing really pulled up. Even (name) Yachts, nothing. (Name) yachts Florida, nothing. Nothing at all came up for it.

Things started to seem weird so I called the Tony&Guy she claimed she worked at and asked if I could schedule with her. No one worked there with that name.

I waited a couple days to tell her that her name came on the receipt.

When I did she flipped the f**k out and said I was crazy and that she was going to stop talking to me anyway because she has cancer then hung up on me and disconnected the number within minutes.

It was so weird. I don’t know what the point of that catfish was, I’m the one who got a bunch of stuff, and I didn’t even ask for any of it.

Oh well, I still wear some of the stuff she got me lol

9. Radically different

I met a girl on OKC, very nice, we clicked pretty quickly and talked for about a month before deciding to meet up. There were no immediate red flags in her profile and her pictures looked legit.

We agreed on a park (I’m a cheap date, what can I say?) for our first meeting and I was lying back on a grassy hill when I hear a voice say my name. I look up and see…someone I don’t recognize at all. I was confused and asked her if I knew her. She was quiet for a second before revealing it was the girl I’d been talking to.

She looked radically different from her pictures; the girl I saw in the pictures was quite pretty, very fit, looked like she took good care of herself. The girl that showed up…less so. She was much plainer looking, much more weight than the girl in the photos, and much less sure of herself now.

I asked her why she’d lied, especially considering that I actually did find her real self attractive. She burst into tears and said she was so scared that people wouldn’t like her that she felt like she had to do this. She had a lot of self-image problems, her shirt sleeve slipped up a couple times and there were a lot of scars.

Initially I was pissed. I’m a really chill, good natured dude (at least I try to be) and I really hate when people take advantage of that. We talked for a little while and she admitted she was terrified of people and their reaction to how she looked and that this approach helped her get past that. I explained that lying about it wasn’t going to help.

We actually had a pretty good conversation and kept in touch after that but she stopped responding to pretty much everything about two months later. She stopped answering her phone and the texts dropped off. I hope she’s alright and that she stopped catfishing people. It was a shame because I did actually find her attractive and she wasn’t a horrendous human being but I can’t start a relationship on that big of a lie.

After that, I’ve started looking on catfishers with a little more empathy. A lot of them are people who have social issues and don’t mean to be malicious or to hurt people. That doesn’t make it more acceptable, but it’s easier to understand.

10. Similar looking

A girl messaged me on a dating website. She looked “ok” in her pics and I hadn’t been on a date in months, so I figured why not. I invited her to Starbucks. Her profile said she was 5’4, about average body type (matched the picture) and was a red head. I was ok with all of this.

I go to Starbucks that weekend to meet her. Notice she’s not outside, so I go inside to see if I find her. I step inside and look around.

The Starbucks was small, but all the tables were full. Then the girl stands up as she recognized me and approached me.

The girl was a full 6 feet tall and towered over me. At this point I was a little intimidated because that’s not the 5’4 I expected. I also started to notice that she looked a little different from her pictures and realized she used a picture of a “similar” looking red head for her own. I then look around me and see the entire Starbucks customers and staff are watching us.

It’s here I realized this is why she waited inside, if we were surrounded by a bunch of people she thought I wouldn’t make a scene or just flat out walk out on her (it was literally my first instinct). Completely surprised and caught off guard, she asked if I wanted to buy a drink and meet her outside. Shit, she thought this through.

I grabbed a drink and sat down with her. Almost immediately she just starts talking and tells me she’s the last one of her friends who isn’t married and doesn’t have kids. I look over at her, with my bugged out eyes hidden behind my shades and notice she’s trying to smile but there’s something off. She had bell palsy. Girl also made it obvious to the Starbucks audience so again, if I walked out on her instantly I would look like an asshole (or so she would hope).

She then starts to tell me how she literally almost bought the same condo I did just before me (I never told her I lived there, nor that I was the one who ended up buying it). Creepy.

I told her that she didn’t match her profile. She said it was “her info.”


I tell her I have to run and she walks with me as I’m on the way to her car. She asks me if I would be interested in a second date. Well, I had no need to be honest with her

“Sure, I’ll check my schedule and email you on the site.”

“Or you could text me!”

“Uh, yea, I’ll text you instead” (there was no F***ING WAY on Buddha’s fat belly I was going to text her and let her have my number)

I walked into another building and made she she left before I got in my car and never talked to her again.

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