We all get Facebook friend requests from people we don’t know. Sometimes they’re from total creeps and we hit delete immediately. Other times, the person looks sweet and we consider an add. But how do you know the person in the profile picture is really who you’re talking to?
One woman named Patricia Meister from Queenstown, Australia, found out the hard way that she had been “catfished” – big time! The term “catfish” rose to popularity after the documentary of the same name featured a young man trying to locate his internet lover, only to find out she was a fake.
For Meister, her catfish called himself “Carlos” and managed to not only break her heart, but to also break her bank account. He convinced Meister to give him $100,000 Australian dollars before he was caught.
Meister fist came into contact with “Carlos” when he sent her a Facebook friend request in 2015. At the time, Meister was single and did not have any experience using dating websites, so she thought there would’t be any harm in adding “Carlos” as a friend.
“I’d never been on dating websites, and I only used Facebook for business. So when I got the friend request, I thought it couldn’t do any harm, can it?
I guess at the time, I was going through a period in my life where I felt isolated. I’d been single for a while and I’d never been on dating sites.”
Meister said that “Carlos” was very romantic online. He claimed that he was a widower and was now looking for a serious relationship. He used good english, said he was an interior designer, and that he supposedly lived in a nearby city.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to Meister, and she admits that at one point she had fallen very much in love with “Carlos”.
The first suspicions that something strange might be happening occurred when their online relationship progressed to phone conversations. Mister claims that “Carlos” did not have an Australian accent.