CATFISHED: Leeds second year has online identity stolen by mysterious copycat
Catfishing doesn’t just happen on MTV
History second year Flora Pionke-Shaw was left bemused and horrified when she discovered an anonymous “catfisher” had stolen her identity online.
A friend discovered the sinister copycat profile when she searched for Flora on Twitter, pulling up two almost identical results.
Baffled Flora told us: “This fake profile had exactly the same pictures as me and even the same bio which freaked me out.
“They’d even used the same @ as me and just changed a letter.”
At first the Leeds student took the catfish lightly, even tweeting them a “who are you.”
But things soon soured. Flora said: “It got weirder and weirder. Whoever it was was uploading pictures of themselves pretending to be me.”
CAN EVERYONE STOP GOING OUT WHEN IM STILL KNEE DEEP IN REVISION
— flora shaw (@floralucys) May 29, 2015
After reporting the account, History student Flora was forced to prove her own identity to Twitter in order for the catfishing account to be taken down.
She said: “I had to upload my driving license to prove my identity and then it was another three days before they finally took it down.
“It was all automated, I had no human response from Twitter at all.”
The identity of the perpetrator is still unknown. However, they continued to upload images of themselves pretending to be Flora before they were shut down.
She said: “There were pictures of them with half their head in so people would still think it’s me.
“I think one was half their head and then ‘my love’ or something and then just lots of retweets which makes me think it’s not someone I know, or even worse, not a real person at all.
“But it’s even scarier to think it’s a machine or virus or something.”
Although the account has been shut down, the mystery of who actually stole Flora’s identity remains.
She now lives a Catfish-free life but said: “I just want to know how they got my details.”
Do you have any information on Flora’s ordeal? Or have you been Catfished yourself? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.