An internet search for Mike Sency's name immediately yields hundreds of accounts spread across social media and dating websites. Many of the profiles contain small differences, such as the photos used, the spelling of his name, even various details about his hobbies and interests. But they all share one common trait: They're fake. Sency is used to it. For years, pictures he posted online have been used to create fake profiles by people looking to scam others, often out of money, a practice generally known as catfishing.
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Nicole Marie Allaire does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. On the internet, you can become anyone you want to — at least for a while. Much of the time, lies are meant to make the person telling them seem better somehow — more attractive, more engaging or otherwise worth getting to know. Named in a movie that later expanded into an MTV reality series , a catfish is a person who sets up an intentionally fake profile on one or more social network sites, often with the purpose of defrauding or deceiving other users. It happens more than people might think — and to more people than might believe it.
A catfish is a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking or dating site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes. Generally speaking the goal of catfishing is financial or material, however catfishing techniques could be employed to gain privileged access to, or information from, a business. Watch this space for an interview with a real victim of catfishing. His story helps shed some light on how anyone could get caught out by this kind of scam….