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How Prevalent Do You Think Catfishing Is Here?


DunBenSpanked

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It took a few years after a pretty significant catfish experience, to put my proverbial toes back in the water here - and I've recently realized how much of an impact it still has on me.  Back then, I was actively seeking to build relationships with new, real friends here - and actually meeting people in person.  Now I find myself willing to reach out some, but not so much these days and I think it has a lot to do with having been taken in by someone who was very, very good and pretending to be someone they weren't.

Does anyone feel like catfishing goes on very much here?

 


 

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There seems to be more real people here. I too have experienced multiple phony profiles. I think that I have had some real conversations on this site. Still, I have yet to find anyone that seems interested. That leads me to the inevitable conclusion, that it must be me. Disappointing as this may be, I have to be OK with that. There is a lot of competition for available ladies, and I am sure that they are frustrated as well by the many suitors that are peacocking for their attention.

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I am sorry you had a negative experience. If I am honest, I am not really sure how catfishing works exactly. The definition says that it is luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Another definition says it includes scamming someone out of money. Can I ask a bit about what you experienced?

I have met with three couples from SN and all seemed to be just as they represented themselves here. I chat with quite a few spankos here - and there are some I certainly consider friends even though we have not met (and may not ever meet). I am not looking for anything beyond friendship, though. If the people I chat with present a fictional persona, there is no way to tell unless we meet. 

I definitely think there are fake profiles and trolls here - probably some scammers, too. It is unfortunate, but Admin does the best they can to remove those profiles. 

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Catfishing takes many forms, per what Ruby said. I think the lines have become so blurred that people confuse catfishing with a fizzle, or just plain incompatibility, which are a whole different category.

As for how prevalent it is here, I can assure you that it is far less prevalent here than on most of the other sites. That's not to say it doesn't happen here, because it does. And it's happened to me here a couple of times over the years. It's just less likely to happen here, because there are many people on this site who see through it and aren't afraid to make a BS call when they smell something fishy. When a cat fisher finds they are being called out, they tend to move to other locations. 

All of these sites have fakers, posers, wannabes and a variety of tourists on them. There's no avoiding that. It's a question of seeing through the haze. 

This might be a good talking point for the safety and advice section. An extended discussion about cat fishers, how to spot them and how to avoid them, I mean. 

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I can't count the number of phony profiles I have removed over that past few months. Many of them are obviously the same person and you learn to quickly recognize the pattern if you are looking for it because it tends to repeat itself. Why? Who knows? Somebody entertaining themselves? Somebody who wants to mess with Spankos? Some dude pretending to be female, whacking off in his mom's basement to members' responses to "her" requests for discipline? I can't answer that but what I do ask is that if anyone sees someone who appears to be trolling, please let me know so I can monitor the profile. Obviously, I can't monitor private chat sessions or DM's, but I do think that carefully examining a profile before jumping in can reveal a lot. Is the profile brand new? Do they participate in forum discussions? If so, what are they saying? I think a brand new profile who contacts someone and says "will you message me?" is a red flag and I have seen that happen a number times from trolls. I have privately messaged some members who I saw being targeted to give them a heads-up. While anyone can be fooled, I think our members bear some responsibility for carefully evaluating profiles of people they interact with. DunBenSpanked, I'm not talking about you here, it's just a general comment for everyone. based upon some of the things I have observed.

Having said all of that, I have met some awesome people on here including my current spankee partner. Does catfishing, ghosting or whatever name you want to give it happen in the vanilla world? Yep. We have all been burned in relationships in one way or another - if you haven't been, then you are lucky. Should that discourage you from pursuing your desires? Pursuing happiness? I don't believe so.

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It’s heartbreaking to have your trust broken that way. I understand your wariness and it makes sense to be wary.
I’ve met some absolutely real people, a few who have become dear friends. Ive also talked to people who it became clear are fakers. There was someone who was pretty popular here a few years ago and it turned out that she was a faker with multiple profiles. 


 

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I feel like catfishing is absolutely rife on here, unfortunately. It's hard to tell if it's a larger number of people or a small number of people coming back repeatedly, but in practice it doesn't really matter. 

I'm always extremely skeptical, doubly so when someone has an implausible story about their experiences. I know a few regulars in chat are just guys pretending to be young women for attention or some weird roleplay thing - you can probably pick them out yourself after hearing their "experiences". 

The only advice I can give is be careful, be skeptical, and don't commit to anything with anyone unless you've spoken face to face in a way that can't be faked, like live video chat. Sadly even voice calls are less than 100% reliable these days. 

Edited by secretman
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I have a friend. A lady I used to work with. Very smart and kind and a genuinely “good” person.  She’s like a second mom in a lot of ways.  Several years ago now, when I opened up to her about the fact that spanking was “a real thing” for me, we had some lengthy conversations about what that encompasses, and the “whys” and all of the stuff. She asked good questions. 
When the conversation turned to meeting people online, she got…quiet? Seemed more distant and concerned. She went from being interested to being in lock down mode almost instantly. Finally, she told me a lengthy (and honestly heartbreaking) story where she was the victim of catfishing. She wasn’t scammed for money. But her heart and, I think in some ways, her ability to fully trust was deeply affected. The reason I share this? Is because it had nothing to do with here. Nothing to do with spankings.  

I have learned to accept that in almost every realm of life, we will encounter people who are liars. Cheats. Assholes who (for whatever reason I can’t make sense of) seek to hurt others for their own selfish gains. But there are also people who are genuine. And true, and real. And who are seeking to find the same kinds of people to add to their own lives.

In the past, I have had some brief conversations with people where at some point the red flags lined up clearly in view.  But beyond that? I have been incredibly fortunate to meet people here who have been 100% who they said they are. And they have become some of my closest friends.  

Moral of the story? There are good people and bad people in every realm of life.  We have to take our time. We have to not let the pull of our needs overtake our good judgement. We have to be patient and do some homework to make sure we are keeping ourselves safe. We do also have some responsibility to look out for one another.  And not to be afraid to speak up.
 

 @Spanknutt spoke about taking down phony troll profiles? I know personally he is speaking the truth. And I know that he is, along with others, invested in keeping the trash out, and making this a space where people can explore and learn and meet new friends. So please, if you see something that seems off, trust your gut. And reach out to those that can help.  

Stay safe, fellow spankos. 
 

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I think it’s always best to proceed with caution in these spaces. I have made several very genuine friendships with people that I know are real and presenting themselves just as they are. I also think there are several “popular” members here who are very good story tellers and get a lot of attention with their posting but are total phonies who have just become confident in the boosts they get from people who want to believe them. Then there are the really obvious ones whose stories/locations/scenarios change because they can’t keep up with all the fantasies they spin. 
 

I do consider myself lucky that I am not currently looking for a spanko partner here and I have a pretty high BS meter. You can absolutely find real ones here! There are a few who are active in the forums and on chat, like ruby said but there are also plenty more who are just here to spin stories to “get their jollies so to speak.”

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Any site is only as good as the people it attracts.  Most sites will attract catfishers to how well they can do on that site.  Any site that gives benefit to catfishers and can't block them is most vulnerable.  Surely that's NOT here, is it?

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11 hours ago, rubyredd said:

I am sorry you had a negative experience. If I am honest, I am not really sure how catfishing works exactly. The definition says that it is luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Another definition says it includes scamming someone out of money. Can I ask a bit about what you experienced?

I have met with three couples from SN and all seemed to be just as they represented themselves here. I chat with quite a few spankos here - and there are some I certainly consider friends even though we have not met (and may not ever meet). I am not looking for anything beyond friendship, though. If the people I chat with present a fictional persona, there is no way to tell unless we meet. 

I definitely think there are fake profiles and trolls here - probably some scammers, too. It is unfortunate, but Admin does the best they can to remove those profiles. 

Glad to hear that there is a good Admin team.  That always gives me confidence that scammers and catfishers will get weeded out.

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1 hour ago, PeterThom said:

Any site is only as good as the people it attracts.  Most sites will attract catfishers to how well they can do on that site.  Any site that gives benefit to catfishers and can't block them is most vulnerable.  Surely that's NOT here, is it?

The challenge with banning people here is that you have to be absolutely sure that the profile is a troll before banning. Just because someone's post looks strange or fishy doesn't mean they are a troll. Some people aren't good writers or don't know how to express themselves very well. In some cases, English may not be their first language. Things like that. So it's a bit tricky to root them out sometimes. Some people are not here to meet people, they are here to indulge their fantasies. We have all seen the posts that say "I have done such and such, how would you punish me?" Those people are generally not here to meet others. The site owners have made it clear that we should be accepting of different interests when it comes to spanking. Having said that, if I recognize that someone is deliberately misleading members, I will pull out the banning hammer pretty quickly.

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8 hours ago, secretman said:

 

The only advice I can give is be careful, be skeptical, and don't commit to anything with anyone unless you've spoken face to face in a way that can't be faked, like live video chat. Sadly even voice calls are less than 100% reliable these days. 

I am Facebook friends with a number of people on this site. That is another way to try to verify that someone is who they say they are. Obviously, there has to be some level of trust before you put yourself out there with your real name, pics of your family, etc. but if you are planning to meet someone from here, that trust has to be there anyway.

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I am exceptionally careful when connecting with people who claim to be women, particularly when the life stories are extreme. If someone has built in excuses for why they can’t meet, I generally assume it’s dangerous. Even if it is real, it is drama you don’t want to get dragged into. (Actual claim from someone who seems to be gone now: “I am divorcing my husband but we live together and I want to try to co-parenting for the kids”.) Monitor the story for inconsistencies. Even with that, I have absolutely been fooled before and probably will be again.

I think the changes SpankNutt described — while not being “bad” persay and certainly above my pay grade — make it more difficult because there are legitimately people here who just want to talk and make believe and never had an interest in meeting.

In the late teens I met several people from the site and all of them were who they claimed to be. I would like to do the same now but I haven't been able to yet. My best advice though: don’t let your desire for a connection overrule warning signs you would see if you weren’t emotionally connected.

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29 minutes ago, PatrickC said:

My best advice though: don’t let your desire for a connection overrule warning signs you would see if you weren’t emotionally connected.

Yes, this. A lot of people are kind of desperate to meet someone because their desires are strong and it isn't always easy, especially for people in remote areas. Sometimes they allow themselves to get duped by the phonies.

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15 hours ago, DunBenSpanked said:

It took a few years after a pretty significant catfish experience, to put my proverbial toes back in the water here - and I've recently realized how much of an impact it still has on me.  Back then, I was actively seeking to build relationships with new, real friends here - and actually meeting people in person.  Now I find myself willing to reach out some, but not so much these days and I think it has a lot to do with having been taken in by someone who was very, very good and pretending to be someone they weren't.

Does anyone feel like catfishing goes on very much here?

 


 

Thanks for posting this. It has led to a lot of relevant discussion and has hopefully helped some people.

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50 minutes ago, Spanknutt said:

Thanks for posting this. It has led to a lot of relevant discussion and has hopefully helped some people.

You're welcome, and I appreciate the diligence demonstrated by many to keep the site friendly and safe.  Catfishing is a con - and the old saying is that the easiest person to con is the one who thinks they can't be.  When you add the fact that most of us operate under the default assumption that other people are pretty much like us - it's easy to understand how honest and sincere people can be taken in.  

There's probably some veterans here who remember the extraordinary catfish experience from a few years ago I"m referencing.  I'm the one who eventually exposed the perpetrator. Her fraud was so extensive and emotionally abusive to so many, that I actually made it my mission to discover who she was in real life and had a "cease and desist" letter of warning hand-delivered to her residence in the UK.  No one was more taken in than me, but fortunately there were a few things that sent up red flags too hard to ignore.

All that said - I'm getting older now...and as much as I'd like to think it's not so- in many ways I'm an old fool - because I still trust quickly and easily.  I doubt I'll change at this point - it's a risky philosophy, but overall it has served me well.  I decided long ago that the price of trusting ten people and being hurt by the one is still cheaper than not trusting any and losing one potential friend as a result.  

I think the community approach to this issue is a good one, sort of a cyber version of "if you see something, say something"...because we all have blindspots, other may see the red flag that we missed.

Thanks again
 

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10 hours ago, DunBenSpanked said:

There's probably some veterans here who remember the extraordinary catfish experience from a few years ago I"m referencing.

I hadn’t put two and two together before…but since you say this I do think I might know what you’re referencing. I joined in…2012? 2013? And if it’s the same situation I recall, I think it was ending or in the throes of going down right around that same time. I know someone else who had talked to the person. And as I recall they were super active on the site and had lots and LOTS of people very tangled up in their sick story. If it’s the same situation I’m thinking about?  Hella F’d up. And…not that it changes anything, but I am genuinely sorry that you were injured by that in a way that affects you even now.  Props to you for going the distance to make what they had done to so many people land (quite literally) on their doorstep. 

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1 hour ago, LeighOTK said:

I hadn’t put two and two together before…but since you say this I do think I might know what you’re referencing. I joined in…2012? 2013? And if it’s the same situation I recall, I think it was ending or in the throes of going down right around that same time. I know someone else who had talked to the person. And as I recall they were super active on the site and had lots and LOTS of people very tangled up in their sick story. If it’s the same situation I’m thinking about?  Hella F’d up. And…not that it changes anything, but I am genuinely sorry that you were injured by that in a way that affects you even now.  Props to you for going the distance to make what they had done to so many people land (quite literally) on their doorstep. 

Yup, I remember you and thanks 😊...

Yeah, one person (a woman in real life) set up multiple profiles, the main one was hugely popular here - sweet, endearing, caring, curious - she made a lot of very real(or so they thought) friends here.  Her other profile was supposedly her brother, and a third profile was supposedly her domme/mistress.  To make a very Machiavellian story short, her "brother" posted one day to tell everyone that in a fit of depression, his sister had committed suicide.  Many people here who thought themselves close to her were genuinely crushed.  It's embarrassing to admit just how deeply the emotional hook had been set in us - to the point where we offered and were thinking seriously about flying overseas to support her brother by showing up for the funeral.  As I type the words it's hard for me to fathom, but I'm one of those people who when I care - I care.

Anyway - hard lesson learned, and yes - I still feel the anxiety cropping up now and then with online, anonymous posts and comments.
 

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2 hours ago, DunBenSpanked said:

Yup, I remember you and thanks 😊...

Yeah, one person (a woman in real life) set up multiple profiles, the main one was hugely popular here - sweet, endearing, caring, curious - she made a lot of very real(or so they thought) friends here.  Her other profile was supposedly her brother, and a third profile was supposedly her domme/mistress.  To make a very Machiavellian story short, her "brother" posted one day to tell everyone that in a fit of depression, his sister had committed suicide.  Many people here who thought themselves close to her were genuinely crushed.  It's embarrassing to admit just how deeply the emotional hook had been set in us - to the point where we offered and were thinking seriously about flying overseas to support her brother by showing up for the funeral.  As I type the words it's hard for me to fathom, but I'm one of those people who when I care - I care.

Anyway - hard lesson learned, and yes - I still feel the anxiety cropping up now and then with online, anonymous posts and comments.
 

Oh wow, that’s so upsetting! Who does that?! To be fair, there was a similar situation in the DD world years ago where a very popular DD blogger was exposed as a scam artist. She had an entire life story that included children and a loving husband, she told everyone who followed her that one of her kids had cancer and they organized a fundraiser for her which she accepted money from. She was exposed when she went to a “marriage retreat” that was run by another very popular blogging couple and she turned up without a partner and she stole some electronics there. When they looked further into her, it turned out she was not married nor did she have any children. The couple pressed charges, if I remember correctly, but it was such a big wake up call in the community to the prevalence of scammers there. 

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I've been here many years too. My first profile was compromised, and I left this site for years. Sorry so many others were caught in a catfishing scam. Frauds and crooks will never stop praying on those who trust. Trusting people believe others are trustworthy. Most are but others are monsters waiting for their next victim. 

Most of you have posted here knew me under my previous name. 

Thank everyone for speaking out. The spanking community is full of wonderful people. I'm in touch with some from here in the real life and would cherish the opportunity to meet a few more.

Be safe and well. Caution is paramount and if it seems too good to be true it is!

Enjoy the holidays. Love your family and rejoice in the peace someone with many more tools will hold these monsters accountable.

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Some are just attention seekers. The types of scams like the DD blogger and the woman from the UK are variants of Munchausen-by-internet. They disassociate the fact that there are real people with real emotions behind the screen names giving them the attention they seek, yet they know there are real people giving them attention. It's been going on for years. 

I don't recall the person from the UK, although I've heard stories about it. I joined back in 2010, but I was on hiatus from this site for a few years myself because of yet another drama thing which dates back to 2010/2011. It all fell around a woman here in the US who was meeting people, but supposedly in an abusive marriage and had a sick (autistic?) kid, and yadda yadda. So, I "left" the site for a bit, although I browsed the forums anonymously for a long time. I just didn't log in and post for about 4 or 5 years. 

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Also like to point out the more nefarious sort who are catfishing to talk about SA’ing kids. One prevalent profile here has been banned what 5,6 times? But they continue to come back to the site with slightly altered screen names. Currently going by “beansprout” in chat and their goal is to engage you in talking about spanking children. I think worst is there must be people engaging with her for to continue to recreate new accounts. 

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