Are There Men Or Women Who Want To Get Scammed Online??
“CATFISHISM” Appears To Be A Thing Now! Who Knew?
There appears to be a growing number of men involved in “catfishism,” a fetish centered around getting scammed on the internet.
These men or women willingly hand over their money (as much as hundreds of dollars at a time) to fake impersonator scammers who present themselves as beautiful women or men on social media but either say upfront their pictures are fake or the “victims” know it in advance. In reality, they could be anyone—and that’s part of the appeal, so advocates of this say.
Relationship Scam fetishism is a more recent development.
According to Gizmodo Magazine:
I spoke with eight catfish and catfish admirers for this story, almost all of whom declined to provide their real names. (They will be referred to using pseudonyms, and screenshots of catfish accounts have had women’s faces and identifying information removed.) Of them, none recalled hearing of “catfishism” before December of last year. Most only learned of it in recent weeks, but the community, which primarily operates on Twitter, is growing fast.
We are seeing similar behavior in both men and women also. Women to pay scammers for the attention – a kind of denial but one that comes with an awareness that it is a scam.
We are not totally sure about this new phenomenon, but as this story is spread it will have a significantly negative impact on real victims. As awareness of this grows it cannot help but paint all romance scam victims with a negative light and reduce what empathy there is with law enforcement.
One of the problems of this behavior is that it may also be an aspect of denial. In other words, victims who cannot let go of their scams due to their more extreme emotional attachment. So much so, that they will choose to continue the fake relationship. Therefore it is important to try to separate the truth from fiction in these stories to understand what the underlying motivation is. What can appear to be willful continuation may in fact be denial or another form of loss-avoidance. If that is the case these are every bit as many victims as any other and deserving of support.
One last aspect of this that can be a serious problem though is if there are willing participants, then they may place themselves at risk for willfully funding terrorism. A significant percentage of scamming directly supports terrorism in West African, Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere. The jury is out on this.
SCARS NOTE: The use of the term Catfish in this post is as a reference to the source material. We are fully aware of the derogatory nature of the term and would not use it otherwise.
[Updated May 4, 2021]