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Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o Catfishing Sham Reminds Singles to Be Vigilant Daters


Unless you’ve been cooped up in your office with no access to public media, surely you have heard about how Notre Dame’s linebacker Manti Te’o got duped into a fake online relationship in what everyone is calling a “catfishing” sham. As it turns out, Lennay Kekua never died of leukemia nor did she ever exist outside of cyberspace.

What is Catfishing?

The term has arisen in the sports world in the wake of the Manti Te’o dead-girlfriend hoax, which quickly went viral once the truth was exposed. It’s a term that was coined by a 2010 documentary called “Catfish” following the pseudo relationship between 24-year-old Yaniv Shulman and bored housewife Angela Wesselman, who fabricated her identify as 19-year-old Megan Faccio using pictures of another woman by the name of Adriana Gonzales. After a quote from Wesselman’s husband, Vince Pierce, about catfish, the term became an expression for falsifying one’s persona to carry out a fake relationship without ever really meeting in person.

Simple Tips for Avoiding Fake Relationships

Make plans to meet. If someone doesn’t want to meet with you, always flakes at the last minute and is constantly making excuses why they can’t meet, then you should save your time and energy for someone who actually gives you the time of day in the flesh.

Set up a Skype date. If distance is factor, then your online date should have no problem conversing with you via Skype. It’s all too easy for someone to post a fake photo of themselves and lie via text or phone. Be wary of someone who refuses to Skype with you no matter how good their excuse might be.

Look for red flags. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Common red flags to look for include stories that don’t add up, foreign origins, and overtly romantic comments expressing any kind of emotionally forwardness. Real love and chemistry happens in the flesh, and face to face.

Do your research. Become a fact-checker. Google their name. Look them on social media in case you share a mutual friend who can vouch for them. Verify their information to make sure stories add up. If it makes you feel comfortable, conduct a background search just as you would before hiring a new employee.

Have you ever been the victim of "catfishing"? Meet It's Just Lunch Matchmaker Stephanie Kluver who did a fantastic job representing our company in a FOX TV segment where she expressed how important it is to meet in person and face-to-face.


Do you think Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was really drawn into a fake online relationship, or do you think it was a publicity stunt sportswriters bought into full-heartedly?