By | February 28, 2016 22 Comments

Catfish Romance Scams; Why They Should be Outlawed!


By Joyce Short
Author: Carnal Abuse by Deceit

Catfish are swindlers who trick people into romance. They post false information on the internet to get you hooked. Catfish romance scams can happen when people don’t meet, as well as when they do. There’s no limit to how the relationship progresses.

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Sexual bonding is caused by chemistry in your brain. Some people lack this brain chemistry, but for those who have a healthy dose of it, they’ll become addicted to their lover, just like if they injected or snorted an addictive drug.

To read the rest of this insightful look at catfishing, read Joyce Short’s post:

Catfish romance scams why they should be outlawed!




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I met my serpent abuser in summer, ’13. We talked face-to-face daily for 7 months. Then, (unfortunately) exchanged cell numbers that Christmas. She proceeded to “go to work on me” for the next 5 months until she “won” the game of total, 100% deceit, fraud, and financial gain.

This article hits home for me. However, there was no sex involved at all. Everything else is spot on. I’m in my late 40s. The serpent who used and abused me is very attractive physically and uses the internet to lie about her situation (over 1000 FB followers alone), I have barely been able to survive this horror SHE put me through. It’s so sad because I saved up enough money that I was able to achieve my dream of buying a car for a deserving family once I would meet the right one. You guessed it. She played the part to a tee. She love-bombed me heavily, used the pity play, lied about having sick kids, not meeting medical bills, is a non-smoker, is a frugal saver, a good mother, you name it. All lies. She always had a reasonable excuse as to why we couldn’t spend much time together, e.g., misbehaving kids, sick kids, appointments, etc. She took complete advantage of the fact we realized we had a friend in common who gave her an endorsement even though they hadn’t spent any time together since they were teens. (A big mistake on my part) But, she now KNEW she had her hooks fully in me. I handed her cash any time she asked over a 7-month span (8,000 bucks)…We texted thousands of times in the 10 months until the big “psycho revelation” moment the following fall.

Her favorite (and most thrilling) lie is NOT having any man in her life. She kept leading me on with promises of us being together once things got better, etc. Luckily for me, I was NEVER in LOVE with her. I DID see her as a good, prospective partner. I had that little voice telling me something was fishy, but, she showed no signs of conning me with her straight face. This psychopath even attended a popular annual parade with my own mother to further solidify my trust. She and I went on a DATE to an NBA playoff game, met at Starbucks, and dined a couple times. She accepted an invitation to spend 5 days in Florida with me, which, I LUCKILY had to cancel. She just couldn’t accept the news over the phone and was breathing erratically and barely got out the choking words, “hold on, hold on, ok?” She proceeded to SIT THE PHONE DOWN (ON THE PASSENGER SEAT?) AND JUST KEEP DRIVING!!!!! It’s ALL about CONTROL, people!

I ended up buying her a nearly new fully loaded sedan, which, I found out later, she promptly drove straight home to her husband of ten years!!!! I truly believe to this day, she accepted my invitation to Florida so she could message her husband to rob my house while we were there!!!!

(For those who don’t know, psychopaths DO NOT understand why society HAS laws in the first place. It doesn’t compute in their brains)

This is her 3rd marriage (admitted to 2 and said the “middle” one left her at the altar …*PITY PLAY*!!!!)..I truly believe she reached a point that she knew her only way to “make it” through life is to partner up with a fellow psychopath and carry out “love-bombing” scams against those unsuspecting, honest, good-hearted men out there. I have since popped enough anti-DPs to fill a 5-gallon bucket.

So, yes, I believe this should become LAW! I did speak with a couple attorneys who told me I didn’t have a case because it’s not illegal to lie and it’s not illegal to accept gifts. This, from an attorney who “specializes” in “fraud through deception”!!!! He says those are TWO separate issues. Go figure. This conscienceless misfit knew EXACTLY what she was doing EVERY step of the way. I’m out 33 grand. It takes a VERY big man with Jesus in his heart to stay calm and fully realize that ultimately, she can’t help the brain she was born with. I know it sounds like I am giving her a pass, but, I refuse to confront these two con-artists who would think NOTHING of doing me or my mother serious physical harm and then have the best night’s sleep ever that night.

A lie, in and of itself is not a crime. A lie to defraud you of money IS a crime. she used flase pretense to get the money from you.

What state do you live in?

How and when did you find out she was married?


Correction- False, not flase pretense. I shouldn’t write without my reading glasses!




That’s exactly what I said to the attorney. To me, it’s no different than if I were a feeble and elderly victim. That’s why I couldn’t understand why a “fraud through deception” attorney would tell me I didn’t have a case.

She has used the last couple decades to perfect her scam. It’s a moot point by now, any way. I’m sure the statute of limitations has expired. My “horrific realization” came via an internet search in fall of ’14 in which she fit every bullet point of psychopathy. I was so befuddled, I had to research what the heck was going on, here. I KNEW IIIIIII wasn’t the problem. I have everything a woman could want in a man. And, just as my mother texted me yesterday, “A message to my 3 children: read 3John: 4” (I have no greater joy than to hear that MYYYYYY children are walking in the TRUTH) AMEN, Mom! I love you!!!!!!!

I even saw the famous “death stare” I’ve heard so many speak about. I’ve had many screaming nightmares in the last 16 months. I lost any desire to work out after having achieved the body I had been trying to get for a long time. I couldn’t even do one chin-up or push-up and gained back 25 pounds. I do believe, however, that I’m on my way back to my old self and have started riding the bicycle again! THAT’S the GOOD news. (My dog always goes with me, running beside me, and has been wondering why the heck we hardly ever go on rides! I should’ve seen the signs when the psychopath was interacting with my dog….I’ve been afraid over the last 1.5 years that they were going to come kill my dog just for a thrill while I was at work if not break and enter, also) Thankfully, I remember telling the psychopath that the lady next door sits by the window all day and notices everything.

Doc said I have Complex PTSD, and, just like combat vets, I have my good days, and my NOT so good days.

BUT, to answer your question, when I was gathering info to “build” a case for a “lawsuit”—HA!, I drove past their house multiple times, did an online crime history search, marriage license/divorce history, etc. (She was pretty much a deadbeat on rent, speeding tickets, etc. for many years and was often sued by creditors, landlords, you name it….DARN those pesky contracts psychos have to abide by!)

Missed sign: Shortly after I bought her (them) the car, we set up a meeting at the drug store near her to give her another wad o’ cash for her “overdue” house payment and son’s co-payment for ER visit. (Found out she doesn’t “own” the house…another thrilling LIE for her to enjoy!) I was pretty ticked off when she pulled up in an old beat up pickup truck after buying her a shiny new loaded car.

Don’t worry. She had a plausible lie ALL ready for me when she jumped out of the truck! That should’ve been a hint.

Another missed sign: Back to the day we were signing the papers at the dealership: We signed many odometer statements, etc. I thought I’d have a little fun with her and said, “See all those papers we just signed? Well, this man is not only an auto finance manager, but an ordained minister, too. You and I are now MARRIED!” Her pre-teen son said, “Oh, no, mom! (husband’s name) is gonna KILL you!” She stared at the floor and began rubbing her temples thinking her son is gonna “blow the whole thing” and she’s “THIS CLOSE” to driving out of here with her new scammed trophy. I just took it as her having a jealous ex.

Another missed sign: At some point in the weeks following, they must’ve borrowed against the “new car” and bought the husband a new pickup to celebrate their monumentally successful con. I noticed it in the driveway regularly. By the way, they go to great lengths to assure that there are NO online pictures of the two of them together! This helps to fool everyone. I’d see the occasional tweet/Instagram from her responding to any interested chap inquiring on her status, “no, (so and so guy), it’s just ME and the KIDS!”

Another clue: She had TWO divorces on record. NO third one. So, I am 99.9% convinced she has been married this whole time.

Once she discarded me, ON TOP OF MY BARELY BEING ABLE TO FUNCTION for MONTHS, it really ticked me off that she made the occasional phone call to one of our mutual friend/acquaintance/co-workers only to make it look as though she was asking “how I was” as if she cared, but, was REALLY ONLY wanting to know if I was distraught enough to come after them. This psychopath worked 5 feet away from this girl for a year and was SO good at her psycho BS, the girl STILL to this day has NO clue how I was conned EVEN AFTER I tried to explain to her what a sociopath/psychopath is and how I was totally used and discarded as a game. I even wrote “sociopath” on a slip of paper and urged her to do a search and learn about it….to no avail

Then, one of my new co-workers told me he knew her and worked with her at his previous job and that he could’ve told me she was “bad news”…..Turns out, she jumps from job to job using her over-the-top charm and charisma to ensnare victims to turn against them once gaining their extreme adulation. Her boss even started a funding website so she could get help “meeting her bills as a single mother of 3”. After peaking at nearly $1K, she accused her boss of stealing the funds! Her boss went into a deep depression and nearly lost her job over it!

You get the picture. I have considered contacting one of these countless “human interest” show producers you hear on NPR, Dr. Phil, 20/20, Cheaters, etc…..I would love for them to research her current and background status and stick a microphone in her face and ask her under what circumstances did she get this car, etc.?

She supposedly has a teen with a very serious medical condition that I won’t name. They go to the annual “walk for XXXX”, print up t-shirts, raise hundreds in cash donations, the whole deal. I would not be surprised AT ALL to find out this is also a scam and the child is FINE (other than suffering from having HER as a mother—at least TWO suicide attempts by the teen, btw). I am sure she has done the research and probably found that she wouldn’t get in to any trouble or is somehow protected by some kind of “healthcare” law that prevents anyone from asking if her child “really has” this condition!

SICK !!!!!!!! As you can tell, I have a few thoughts on the issue. Anyone who has any input, please fire away. Thank you, all.

You’d mentioned you talked face-to-face daily before you met her. Do you mean Skye, or an alternate type of communication?

How did she first become known to you? Was it through internet dating?


No. My job took me to the office where she worked and we were in the same room for anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes at least 4-5 days a week. I have never Skyped or dated via the internet.

Right before I first met her, that office had been hiring a few “temps”. I noticed she had been working there for a couple weeks and assumed she was also a temp. There was no “wow” moment when I first saw her. That’s the strange thing. As attractive as she is, she also seemed repulsive at the same time (only in the back of my mind). My brain played tricks on me and must’ve only allowed the positive in, ESPECIALLY when she put on the “phony mask” persona and knew she had to kick it heavily into “charisma/charm mode”..

. It must’ve been a Jungian “duality of human nature” situation playing itself out….Ever since the big “reveal”, obviously, I’ve seen her as a satanic serpent. The death stare. The eery, toe-curling, low, evil-sounding, “The Exorcist” voice she would slip into from time to time….The rare “forced” laugh…she does NOT have a sense of humor….and, on a much lesser note, I can’t tolerate being around people who smoke. She HAD to have carried smoke neutralizing spray with her in order to live up to the demands of “becoming exactly what I wanted in a partner”. I found out she smoked MORE than anyone else at that office, yet, NEVER smelled of it…..The others DID.

I might’ve said “hi” a few times before I ever even knew her name. Then, after a couple weeks, as I walked in, she stuck out her hand, “Hi, I’m xxxxx”

“Are you another temp?”

“Nope. I’m permanent”

“Oh. Cool”

Another couple weeks passed with only the occasional “hi”.

Then, it was just normal, typical small talk for the next 7 months until Christmas. I’m convinced she had a different victim taking up her time during those 7 months. I say this because, on a whim just before Christmas, she and I exchanged cell numbers on her suggestion. Now, I’m a person who has stayed away from anything resembling “drama” and “gossip” for as long as I can remember. Little did I know, I was slowly entering a hell of manipulation, head games, lies, and control and DRAMA.

My first communication to her was a text: “Happy New Year!!”

No text back. I went to bed. 3:30 a.m. in all caps, her response : “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!”
We texted every 10 days, then every 8, then 6, then 4, then it became daily….

Valentine’s Day: She whines, “I don’t haaaaaaave a Valentine” and stares me straight in the eye.
Her boss prints up about a hundred flyers with her “sick” child’s face taking up the ENTIRE page with a website to donate….it reaches nearly $1K and never moves for the next 3 weeks. It begins to bother me because she is so “deserving”. I walk in and place a hundred in her hand and close her hand around it.

And she is “off to the races”…….


I love the drawings in the article – perfect depictions of swindlers swindling.

I married based on false info – the ex psychopath presented himself as a heterosexual. In reality he is a crossdresser and pedophile and addicted to porn, and may have other perversions I never discovered. Due to religious beliefs (my real beliefs and his faked beliefs), we did not have sex until we were officially ‘married.’ Before marriage I actually asked him if he had any sexual quirks (I didn’t want to marry someone who was into something I’m not into), and he did not mention the cross dressing, pedophila, and porn.

Are there any laws that pertain to marriage by fraud, beyond allowing for a quick divorce? He is also a sadist and caused immeasurable damage to me and my son. Logically, it seems like I could bring a civil suit for damages; is that realistic? Are there criminal penalties that would apply?


Sounds like the man I married but he never came out of the closet and kept his perversion to necrophilia and rape. He as a psychopath, misogynist and a lawyer. He never got caught but I eventually reported him to the police because I was afraid for my grandchildren. There are probably laws but I doubt you could get a conviction but at least you would expose him for what he is.


Delores, what a HILARIOUS line!

“He is psychopath, misogynist… and a lawyer!”

“But I repeat myself!”

What a hoot! Having said that, I really must apologize to most of the lawyers we see around us. They’re not ALL snakes and crocodiles. I actually have an excellent lawyer–she’s a delightful woman, thoroughly honest and does a good job–so I can’t complain. But that was a funny line anyway! 🙂

And as for “KEEPING his perversion to necrophilia and rape”–could there be anything WORSE?


This may not be popular advice but if this person has no parental rights to your son then it may be wise to consider eliminating him out of your life in every aspect as soon as possible. As in no contact, no civil suits etc. And often times – even if you won a financial settlement they don’t pay. It’s meaningless to them. Sometimes these disordered individuals elevate their game when they feel their persona is going to be publicly revealed and so you may pay in spades by this guy trying to also destroy your reputation. Its all a game to them…I say start over without going to any great lengths to out them as they’ll manipulate the system as well. Unfortunately there are too many lawyers, judges etc that can have these sociopathic tendencies as well.


A man who’s a parent has parental rights until he signs them away, or a judge rules them away. It is extremely difficult to raise children when the other parent is morally disordered.

People who have no offspring from a union have a much less complex escape route. Unfortunately, for good or bad, the child’s father is recognized as such by the courts and can make your life, and your child’s a living nightmare…. whether they are in or out of your life.


Yes I understand that if the person is a parent and not a step parent it is totally different scenario. By ‘no parental rights” I was thinking step- parent.
You’re right that does change everything – very thankful my kids were not his. And my heart goes out to those who have to stay connected till the kids are of legal age to make that decision for themselves. And praying that not too much permanent damage is done in the meantime.


My heart goes out to you! Finding out that your husband is someone totally different than the person you thought you were marrying is exactly the kind of scam that should be outlawed, but it’s not… at least not in most states. (Are you in Alabama or Tennessee?)

The remedy that exists in most states is a divorce based on emotional damage, which may result in a favorable monetary settlement. But that’s extremely rare. Unless a Catfish Law is passed, which would also prosecute significant, provable hoaxes, it’s unlikely that you’ll get any justice or restitution for the issues you faced.

If you want to use your situation to do some good for society, download that law and pay a visit to your local legislators!


Thanks for replying. And thanks for your sympathy. It was, of course, a nightmare beyond belief. I am several years out now, and enjoying life. I continue to recover, but I’m probably most of the way back to normal reality.

I’m in VA. I was asking mostly rhetorically, as I am getting alimony, which is unusual for the situation. I didn’t even really aspire to get it, but circumstances came together in an unusual way. I believe God arranged things to work out the way they did.


BTW- Thanks for the nod on my drawings!


I was wondering if you drew them! They are very descriptive, without any words. Definitely worth 1000+ words a piece.

Thanks Annette! Yes, I did. Some folks absorb information through reading, and others are better with visual cues. I wanted to reach both types of processors. I appreciate your support!



Lying about yourself in a relationship has been going on for so long in our society that it is hard to change people’s incorrect beliefs. Men have been seducing women with lies since maybe the beginning of time. Married men have affairs all of the time and it is almost accepted as normal even though it involves lies, deception and fraud. Would anyone even consider going after a man for fraud in such instances? No, but let a woman try it and it is a horse of a different color. I am not saying she is not guilty, I am saying that our society is blind to it and more so with men doing it. We still blame the victim. The sayings: “All is fair in love and war.” “Boys will be boys.” and “She was just asking for it (rape)” all bear witness to the acceptance of bad if not illegal behavior in men. We even used to blame children for being molested. So I guess we are moving ahead slowly even though the churches still deny it an make it disappear. How can we expect to get justice from swindlers when women still cannot get justice from rapists? No sane woman would walk on the beach in pantyhose yet the Kennedy kid got off on rape because she was blamed. Very similar to O.J. getting away with murder because he had some slick psychopath lawyer.


We’ve been silent much too long, don’tchathink?

No one consents to sex when the fundamental information on which their decision rests is a sham. Nodding your head in acceptance when you’ve been tricked into doing so is not consent, no matter how much you assent to the act.

Defraud for money, you end up like Bernie Madoff. Defraud to gain access to a person’s reproductive organs, who would otherwise not agree….. no problem. And the only way they’d know you’d agree is if they told you the truth. They deprive you of that knowledge, and they know they are doing so.

Catfish law will not stop every he-said, she-said that happens in society. It will; however, make it clear that defrauding people of sex is a crime, whether punishable or not. And the villains who go to great lengths to use trickery will, in fact, be appropriately dealt with.

No one likes to think of themselves as a victim. It is painful. We try to bury our pain and move on with our lives. But only if we stand up and fight for recognition, will this problem ever end.

If you are a SURVIVOR of this type of scam, please take the law to your legislators and jump up and down in their presence until they agree to enact this legislation!



JM-short – I don’t think I was posting regularly anymore when you came to lovefraud. I have wopper of a catfish story. (Great drawings, btw!) The spath has conned others in a simliar way. She was sued by another woman she duped:

Paula and I once compared our “flow-charts”(hers was prettier)of characters that the spath concocted to run her scams. I think we both came in around 22 distinct characters each.

I liked what you said about complex PTSD – that it is the result of coercive control. When I first came across info on complex PTSD, it helped another piece fall into place. And thanks for mentioning ghosting: “They may even ghost you” suddenly disappear without a trace, leaving you to feel abandoned, shamed and humiliated.” It’s an important piece of online catfishing.

I think one of the things people misunderstand is what spaths want out of any given situation. Mine wasn’t looking for money, property or gifts or other things people would usually associated with being conned; she wanted to bat me around like a mouse for her amusement. I don’t even know if she gets a thrill of the final pain she causes people. – as I am not sure that she understands what pain is to the non-disordered. Think she just likes the game, the control and manipulation.

Wow- You and Paula should take the Catfish law to your legislators and tell them to get cracking enacting protections!

If you need help with this let me know. You can reach me directly on the 50 Brave Women page of my blog. Anything you write in the registration form of that page comes directly to my email box and is not seen by the public.


Hi jm_short,

Thanks for your offer of help.

I am not in the US; and Paula is quite done with fighting the lying sack of crap. Even if I could, I wouldn’t at this stage in my healing.

one joy

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