Social Catfish has cautioned online users since it originated, that being savvy and successful does NOT mean you are immune to being conned or catfished online. Proof of this comes from the long list of celebrities who have been catfished.
Worse, these are only the celebrities the public know about. There are many more actors, actresses, and models who manage to keep their tale of catfishing woe away from the press.
With the success of television programs like MTV’s show Catfished and algorithm based sleuthing search engines like Social Catfished, awareness has spread. However, even with the FBI launching its consumer-directed pages to get the word out, dating scams and catfish continue to reign and lure in victims whose trust and hope in love and connection ends up being their downfall.
The following celebrities have learned that fame does not protect one from a catfish:
While not an “A” list actress, Meri Brown of “Sister Wives” fame on TLC, is the first wife of a polygamous practitioner, Kody Brown. Perhaps struggling in her relationship with Kody Brown, she fell in love online with a tall, dark, and handsome hipster named “Sam.” Only problem? Sam was a woman pretending to seduce her under a fake identity. As Meri “fell” for Sam and was incredibly smitten, until the lies began accumulating. As obvious untruths began piling up, Meri became anxious and terrified of the person she once thought she knew and might even leave her husband and sister wives for.
Once the truth was out, that her Catfish was a woman named Jackie Overton. Ms. Overton continued to write a delusional website, publish books and release emails and voicemails to “prove” she was the “he” she claimed to be? Confused yet? Luckily, Meri Brown cut her losses and ended up telling and staying with her polygamous family.
At the peak of his career in college football, the pride and joy of the University of Notre Dame were dealing with a personal loss. As he explained to the press, his girlfriend from Standford University in California had leukemia and died. Their romance was going so strong that he claimed they would fall asleep on the phone when talking and wakeup together (remotely) the next day.
Thousands gave their condolences and support to Te’o and some even donated to Leukemia charities after hearing his touching story of love and loss. Flash forward to the facts, Lennay Kekua (what he believes was his girlfriend’s name) NEVER existed. In reality, she was a composite of a woman’s photos from Instagram and Facebook, created by a gay male acquaintance of Te’o, who had always had a crush on him.
Tracie Thoms is an actress who appeared on the television show “Cold Case” and starred in the movie “Rent.” She appeared on the MTV show “Catfish” to share the story of a female fan du jour called Sammie. Sammie would post cool tweets and commentary, and before long they became friends and began DM’ing (direct messaging).
Sammie had a friend called Reese and both worked on promoting the actress until Reese developed cancer and “died.” Thoms’ instincts began setting in even after Sammie sent over funeral video. Tracie called the funeral home and found no such information. Confronted with MTV’s Catfish, Sammie seemed awkward and shocked. The hosts and Thoms agreed she likely did it for attention and out of loneliness.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then try and remember the TLC actress with all the children (“Jon And Kate Plus 8” and “Kate Plus 8”) who subsequently appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.” Being a mother herself, her heart was broken by the story of a woman who lost her daughter who had a moving last wish.
The experience was so moving for Kate, that she requested an episode of her show, “Kate Plus 8” be dedicated to that particular fan, with the daughter who passed at an early age. One can only imagine she was shocked to find out she was catfished!
While Pat McAfee may not have been officially catfished, he got close enough to make it on the list! The Colt’s punter is a star in his own right, and it’s not surprising he was attracted to a very physically attractive blonde on Twitter named “Abigail Johnson.” She had relentlessly complimented his skills, even when his game was struggling, so he blew her off.
It wasn’t until he saw other successful professional athletes had also connected (were following) McAfee, that he believed she was a gorgeous blonde with potential. It wasn’t until he had a dream (psychic, much?) that she was a “hairy fat man at an airport” that he opted out of a burgeoning relationship. Good choice, McAfee, as he eventually saw that Abigail Johnson was uncovered on the MTV show “Catfish.”
Having in mind these 5 celebs catfish stories, make sure to use Social Catfish’s reverse people lookup to see if you are being catfished.