To catfish is to create false identities for use on-line and in particular for the purpose of carrying on deceptive online romances. The term was invited for our kind. The creation of false dating profiles, false Facebook profiles and the like is a standard tool of the narcissist as it allows for the gathering of fuel from multiple individuals on a regular basis. From being sat in a study one can reach out around the world and portray whatever we want to a vast array of individuals. Many people who are not of our kind engage in this behaviour as they seek to flirt with someone, to coerce them to send them nude pictures and videos or just to engage in some filthy chat with someone. Those individuals will do this to avoid detection from their current partner or perhaps friends and family who might inadvertently stumble upon their clumsy overtures. We go further than this as we look to ensnare our unwitting victims. Naturally since we are invariably excellent wordsmiths our ability to sit hidden, obscured by the internet allows the focus to be on words so that we can lure people in. I do it from time to time, making full use of the connectivity that arises from being able to access the internet from virtually anywhere and also the various platforms and applications which facilitate this kind of behaviour. I recall a particularly effective profile which I used on Facebook some time ago and which every so often I will roll out. I found a picture of an educated and handsome-looking fellow on the internet. It looked like a work profile picture which was just what I was looking for. I created a false name and then embellished the profile with various interests. I then began the hunt for some friends. I know that nearly everyone has friends on their Facebook profile who they do not know. Accordingly, it is not going to be difficult to begin to generate a coterie of supposed friends. After all, who is going to turn down a request from the erudite and attractive gentleman with the refined name? Very few as it transpires. Once the profile started to take on the look of one which had a base in reality then it was over to certain applications on Facebook to start the fun. At the time there was one called Social Me. It was very straight forward. A picture appeared and you could choose a compliment from a selection (sexy, crazy, hot, beautiful and so on – it was hardly taxing) or you could choose your own. Of course I am not from the herd so I embarked on my own descriptions using my well-known ability to flatter and describe. This soon grabbed the attention of many ladies and the comments went back and forth as they lavished me with their own comments. The fuel came flowing from scores of women as they locked on to me. They then sent the friend requests having been reeled in through Social Me. Messages would pass backwards and forwards and it was not long before they offered mobile telephone numbers. From there the conversations ranged from me talking about an entirely fictitious career (after all I am not going to tell them my real profession) to engaging in filthy chat was they masturbated down the telephone. All delicious fuel. I would be sat with my computer lighting up from Social Me comments, friend requests and messages as the mobile buzzed and pinged. I have a voice which many have commented on as alluring, the baritone of British received pronunciation proving a particular draw. With many I maintained the façade but with a handful I eventually admitted to being someone else, the person I actually was. This privileged group was allowed into knowing my real name and such additional information because they wanted to meet me and who was I deny to them that opportunity. This coterie consisted of a dominatrix from a city in the north-east of England, a nurse from the midlands, a chain-smoking charity worker from a city in the north-west of England, a long-nailed administrator from the south coast and most entertaining of all a police officer from the midlands. Not one of them challenged me about the artifice that I had created. Why? Because throughout I had created something plausible and their desire for me, created on the basis of electronic exchanges with a complete stranger and then late night telephone calls had proven too attractive to pass up. If ever questions were asked I always had an answer.
“Why are most of your friends on FB women?”
“Many of my male friends are not on FB and those that are I see them often.I use FB to keep in touch with long-distance friends and make new ones, just like you.”
“Why aren’t there more pictures on FB of you?”
“My job (which I was always amorphous about mentioning words such as ‘finance’, ‘developing nations’ and ‘war-torn’ means if I provide clues as to where I am I could place myself at risk.”
Similar questions were always deflected with a plausible answer and they always accepted the explanation. Why? Because they liked the attention. They liked being able to have a conversation with someone who is intelligent and erudite rather than someone who writes, “Fancy a shag” as his opening gambit. I have mentioned before the poor standards of male engagement over the internet provides vast opportunities for those of us who exhibit skill. Those that I allowed beyond the false persona accepted my explanation of its use. I was engaged in tracking a fraud suspect online for a major bank and then befriending her. She knew what I looked life in real life so a false persona had to be adopted in order to draw her in. It gave the ruse credibility by interacting with lost of other people and it also allowed me to meet you. Not one of those admitted to the inner sanctum rejected this explanation or felt any annoyance at the subterfuge. They wanted something so they believed in it, whatever was said. I must admit even I was taken aback at times by how readily they had accepted it. I met all of them, some on numerous occasions and it was evident that they had considerable feelings for me and that was all good fuel. They have no idea what I am and nor would they. Some have been cast to one side whilst others are still used as pipelines as and when the need arises. Just like the catfish my barbels were attuned to sniffing out prey, but beyond that I have no likeness to such a creature. All we share in common is our ability to swim along and detect prey. The catfish combs the water whilst I cruise through cyberspace.