Monday, January 21, 2013
You've probably heard the term "catfish" or someone who pretends to be someone they're not using social media, usually to pursue online romances.
We spoke with one Augusta woman who says she got “catfished” twice.
Nikki Salisbury tells us in both cases the men she met through an online dating site told her they were from Kansas but worked overseas. After she checked up on both of their stories, she found out not only were they lying, they were trying to scam her out of money.
After her divorce, Nikki Salisbury says she had a hard time meeting single men.
"All my friends are married and all their friends are married,” Salisbury said.
So she decided to give online dating a try.
"I have a roommate from college who met her spouse online and I thought well if they could maybe I could too,” Salisbury said.
But instead of meeting a potential husband, Salisbury says she met a couple of “catfish.”
“Yeah, its very hurtful because I invested two months of my time in this last one and I enjoyed talking to him,” Salisbury said.
The term “catfish” was coined by the documentary of the same name and now the TV show. The word ecently made headlines again with the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax.
In Nikki’s case, she says she was fooled twice. First by a man who said his name was Percy.
“He seemed very nice, very attentive,” Salisbury said.
But Salisbury says the online relationship came to a halt when Percy asked her to buy his son a Playstation.
"If you'll buy it and ship it over to me, I’ll repay you,” Salisbury said.
Next up, was Ethan who she says called her darling and told her he loved her.
Salisbury says she was more suspicious the second time around. That's why she says she immediately cut ties with Ethan, when he asked for money.
“I need your help, I need sort of a little loan to get home and I’ll pay you as soon as i get home,” Salisbury said.
WSU social media instructor Lou Heldman says the best way to protect yourself against “catfish” is check up on their stories.
"You know the old expression about nuclear weapons, trust but verify? Well trust but verify is also true online,” Lou Heldman said.
Even though she's been "catfished" twice, Salisbury says she hasn't given up on finding love online. She says now, she's just a little wiser and a lot more cautious.
Salisbury says she never gave either man any money.