I feel like I was on my own episode of MTV's show Catfish. Unfortunately, this was just Hannah edition and I did not have the help of amazing hosts, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph. Part two of my catfish experience, I am going to show you how I researched and found the real guy. If you are new to my story, check out part 1 for background information.
I researched the name and as I previously stated in Part 1, the catfisher not only take pictures, but also took the name and basic story of the real guy. This meant that when I researched the name, I found the actual guy's name on rosters for the sports he played at the correct school and any pictures online were of him.
When researching the school though, I saw he lied about the number of grades it had, the number of students and lied about classes. One day, I asked what class he was in and he said "Art History". Upon further investigation, I found that the high school he said he went to did not even offer that class. The cherry on top of the lies about the school is he said he has a female principal and when I researched it, a male principal popped right up.
When you start talking to anyone new, you look up all of their social medias to see if they have any, to get personal information and maybe even a few pictures. I could find no Twitter, but found an old Facebook but with a picture of "him" that he had sent to me.
Then I looked up his actual name and not username on Instagram and found the real guy...
I requested to follow the real account and they requested me back. I looked and saw pictures I had previously seen but also saw information that would have been wrong if it was the same person including the facts that the real guy had a girlfriend, was religious and had a different family than what I had been described.
I messaged the real guy and told him straight forward "Someone is using your pictures to catfish people". He was shocked. We talked a little and I did some fact checking with information that I was told and all of it was wrong from family to pets and to the infamous backyard. I sent the real guy the photos I was sent and he told me where they came from (Instagram, Twitter and the creepiest was one from his orthodontist).
I then gave the real guy the "fake's" number incase he wanted to try to contact it (even though if my theory that it was a fake number from an app is correct, then it was already deleted and could not be contacted). The real guy figures that it is most likely someone from a rival/surrounding school that did not like him or possibly someone from his own school but whoever it was, follows him on his private Instagram and Twitter.
How It All Ended
After finding the real Instagram, I texted the catfisher and said "Why do you have two Instagrams" just to call them out and in that very moment, the fake Instagram blocked me and then deleted the account and is now labeled as "unused account". I then assume that the catfisher blocked my number or deleted their number if it was a fake because they never responded to any texts after that point of me just asking why he would do this and any calls I tried to make that day never went through and went straight to voicemail.
I then reported the fake Instagram (yes it was already shut down but I still reported it) and I blocked the Instagram and blocked the number after getting no responses for the rest of the night.
I have never felt so personally violated and all around grossed out. To open up to someone and find out everything they ever said was a lie makes you lose a little hope in society. I do feel sad for the catfisher though because I know that someone must be really going through something mentally or very hard in their life to do this to another human being.
Unlike the show Catfish, I never found out who the person behind the fake was and I probably never will. For more information on my new advice pertaining to internet safety, read Part 3 right here on my blog or you can find it under the category: "My Catfish Story"
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)