A woman I’ll call “Emily,” an otherwise sensible and responsible professional, told me she had been “EMOTIONALLY RAPED.”

 Even she couldn’t believe that it had taken SIX MONTHS of fantasy-like, on-line communication, before she caught on to the scam.

Now, she’s having recurrent nightmares. Her once-busy accounting practice is suffering. She hardly leaves the house and she says she’s lost her appetite.

How could the likes of “Emily,” be fooled like this. She asked that I tell her story to warn others. Anonymously, of course.


“He was GOOD,” she said. “There was always some reason we couldn’t meet. He is… I mean I thought he was… a very busy man. Had his ‘own plane’ … I suppose that wasn’t true either… What a joke…

“When he invented a mother he had to visit in Costa Rica… and asked me to wire money because of some problem with the Costa Rica banks, I finally got suspicious. Duh!”

Have you ever been fooled into an “on-line love relationship?”

MTV’s hit show, “CATFISH,” stars two young men who chase around to discover and uncover the truth about these online acquaintances.

It’s narcotizing to watch illusions of all sorts fade in the light of reality.


A victim… the “CATFISH”… may have signed up on some dating site or just started a chat with a facebook “friend of a friend.”

Over time, the “ innocent chat” becomes an “innocent conversation”. Without ever hearing his/her voice, you may be naively fooled to think you are in a relationship.

You say that could never happen to you?

57% of American teenagers can identify at least one new “friend” they’ve met online. Only 20% of these kids say they have ever met this “friend”.

And some really smart, adult people, like “Emily,” apparently are also vulnerable.

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, (PTSD) is a clinical diagnosis which has to do with pathology which follows exposure to war-like or other “mind-blowing” experiences.

The diagnosis doesn’t exactly fit… but one might say that lovely, smart and tech-savvy “Emily,” fit somewhere, on the PTSD spectrum.


1. Right up front, there is a quiet reveal, about some small problem which changes to an emergency, over time

2. Information is repeated too often.

3. Your gut… or the friends you share his communications with… tells you something is not righT.

4. If he/she answers too quickly… within a few minutes… after EVERY message from you.

For the “fisherman,” it’s a game. He or she creates an “avatar” … some kind of ideal self and then play acts, on line, as if he or she were that person.

Sometimes, only one of the players knows the rules. Which can make it a set-up for a very cruel CATFISH “joke.”

If you are a single online dater, there is some good news:

Online meet-ups are not all bad.

 Research shows that couples who meet on line actually have a slightly better marital success rate than couples who meet in old-fashioned ways.


Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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