KENT: A 44-year old British woman has demanded “catfishing” to be made illegal after she was duped by a hoaxer who used the picture of famous Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan on his profile.
Catfishing is defined as an act of luring someone into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona.
According to a foreign news website, 44-year old Anna Rowe started a relationship with a hoaxer, with identity of Antony Ray and display picture of Saif Ali Khan, after meeting on social interaction application Tinder.
After a period of one year, she came to know that Ray was a lawyer and was married and had a child as well.
The hoaxer was continuing the relationship by repeatedly asking Rowe to marry him. She stated he made her think that he was committed to a loving relationship.
He sent his real images and the duo met up in person on November 3, 2015.
Rowe said, “He broke my trust, took away my right to choose. I did not consent to having a relationship with a married man, or a man who was actively having relations with multiple women simultaneously.”
He met her at Rowe’s home twice a week for six months and said that his work requires him to make frequent business trips to Germany and Ireland.
However, his visits became less frequent and they again met on May 3rd, but she did not see him for the next five months.
She could not stand the unanswered telephone calls and messages, she re-downloaded Tinder and made a fake profile and started chatting to Antony Ray.
Ray fell into the trap and wanted to start the relationship wanting things to be ‘all or nothing from day one’ – until she finally revealed her true identity.
She came to know that “Antony Ray” a top lawyer in London, and spends his weekends at home with his family in the north of England.
Rowe stated, “His alias was a clever twist on his real name. Then I sat and cried and cried. Worst of all was finding out he was married.”
She added, “Everything that hadn’t added up over the months, all the red flags and bad gut feelings over things that I had felt and pushed aside because I trusted him more than I did myself, or he had given me a reasonable answer to a question or I’d told myself I was being paranoid.”
She started a petition to force anyone with an online dating profile to use their real name.
Rowe stated that she became target of a catfish approach which is using a fake profile and online identity as a platform to lure women or men for for their needs.
She added that creating a fake online profile with the intent to use women or men for their needs should be declared a crime under the fraud act, communications act and sexual offences act.