posted by avenger in Lifestyle

Catfishing scam is nothing new, but now is in the national spotlight

January 24, 2013

Jack Swarbrick had no better explanation for the curious case that had enveloped the University of Notre Dame football program and linebacker Manti Te'o.

Instead of attempting to unravel a published report that claimed Te'o's girlfriend did not exist, Notre Dame's athletic director explained that Te'o was apparently the victim of an elaborate hoax that's been given a simple name.


"It's perpetrated with shocking frequency for me, shocking as an older guy who's not as versed in the online world," Swarbrick said in a hastily arranged press conference in South Bend, Ind. "As hard as it is for me to get my arms around this, there's apparently some sport in doing this, in being able to do it successfully."

Yet it has nothing to do with fishing rods or reels.

It's the act of posing online as another individual or hiding one's true identity and engaging in and perpetuating a relationship that's confined to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and emailing.

Nev Schulman's 2010 movie Catfish and the MTV series of the same name, which brokers face-to-face meetings between people in online-only relationships, brought the practice to light.

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