No I'm not talking about the actual fish.  A "catfish" is a person who sets up fake internet profiles using other peoples information and photos to hide their real identity.  These people engage in relationships with real people who are none the wiser.  The relationship exists only online, never meeting in real life.  Have you ever been catfished?

In 2010 the documentary "Catfish" brought a lot of attention to this issue, although this is in no way a new issue.  "Catfish" have existed as long as the internet has existed.  With social networking being a major part of many people's lives these days, being a "catfish" is easier than ever.  MTV and the producers of the Catfish documentary have teamed up for a TV series about these situations.  The stars of the show meet with real people who want to meet the "person" in real life they have been having a relationship with.  Most cases on the show the person online is not who they claim to be.  There have been instances of women pretending to be men, men pretending to be women,  old women pretending to be young attractive models, some are married, etc.  Some of the victims of these "catfish" have relationships that last years.  Some cases the relationship will evolve to phone calls, but still with no real interaction.  The stars of the TV show investigate the "catfish" profiles and track down the real person behind the computer.  Every time a catfish is exposed, the victim is typically crushed for having wasted so much time on a person who isn't real.  People fall head over heels in love with these online significant others.  Not all cases end in heartbreak, but unfortunately alot of them do.

This is a real issue that a large number of people experience.  Have you ever engaged in an online relationship with someone you have never met in real life?  Have you ever had doubts about someone you are close too online?  Leave a comment with your "Catfish" story.