Online catfish victim: 'It can be easy to be misled online'

CREATED Jan 17, 2013

  • Print

MILWAUKEE - The Manti Te'o story is shedding light on online hoaxes called 'cat-fishing.' 

These online hoaxes do exist, even if you don't believe the Notre Dame linebacker's claim.

"I was very much duped," a victim, who asked not to be identified, told WTMJ's Wis. Afternoon News.  "It can be easy to be misled online and want to believe something that is slightly unbelievable.

AUDIO: Click to hear the victim on Wis. Afternoon News

The young man said he met the woman on an online dating website.  After a few emails, the two began talking on the phone daily.

The woman claimed to be a part-time model and doctor, which made "it easy to want to believe her story."

"It was something that resembled a relationship, but of course I never met her," he explained. 

The victim began lying in order to avoid having to explain the relationship to skeptical relatives.

"Yea, I lied to my family (about talking to her face to face)," he admitted.  "I just wanted people to stop asking if this person was real."

Eventually he discovered the truth and confronted the woman.  She never explained why she did what she did.

Despite not having an opinion on Te'o's story, the victim said, "I can certainly relate to Te'o's experience."