CLEVELAND - While Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o relationship status was called into question, students at Cleveland State University can’t believe the story is drawing so much attention.
Te’o, a runner-up for the Heisman trophy, admitted that the girlfriend he said died after a car crash and battle with leukemia was not real.
Kristin Hadke has seen the documentary “Catfish”, and the MTV's “Catfish: The TV show”. Both are about calling out Internet users faking, or lying, about who they are online to those seeking personal relationships. Hadke has been more careful of her computer's privacy settings of late. On high alert with her search functions, looking for possible dupers using her name and information to draw in naive, trusting online users.
"I think it's a bit creepy," Hadke said. "I believe that the person is a victim. If you believe that someone is who they are and telling you who they are and you've found out they've lied to you, I can totally believe that that person is a victim who was lied to, absolutely."
"Just be careful who you talk to. I mean get out of it what to get out of it. Me personally, I am private on Facebook. I am only friends with my friends and that's it. I'm not out there looking for relationships in the social media. I just don't think it's a good idea because you no clue who you're talking to. If you haven't met the person face-to-face, I wouldn't trust getting into a relationship like that," Hadke said.
Content Marketing Instutute's Marketing Director Cathy McPhillips is a mother using social media daily. She said anyone can lift pictures and text from Facebook and Twitter accounts, even with its privacy settings.
"If you don't want something seen elsewhere on the Internet, don't put it there," McPhillips said.
"You just got to stay involved and know what's going on. As someone who is in it all day long, I still know I'm missing things. So the average person is missing out and needs to keep reading and staying informed," McPhillips said.
As far as catfishing being against the law, spokesperson Vicki Anderson from the Cleveland FBI office said unless money has changed hands due to catfishing, it probably isn't a federal crime.
They did stress that if money had been lost to someone posing as someone else to go to, or call, your local police, or prosecutor's office to report the crime.
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