Ok, my fellow wannabe detectives. Do I have a whopper of a fish tale for you?
Why yes. Yes. I. Do.
First of all, it seems I owe ole SS a MASSIVE apology. Big. Huge. Large and in Charge.
SS, I’m so sorry. When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong, and hopefully, you have a forgiving spirit, AND can see that had I not called you out as publicly as I possibly could, you would never have realized I actually did you a bit of a favor. Unless, of course, I uncover even more and it all leads back to you. In that case, I’m very not sorry, and I will post it all right back, just the way it was. But right now, I am sorry. I’m going with my gut here.
You see, had I not done so, he never would have gotten the message that he is (most likely) as much of a victim as my girl.
Yep. I can’t say for absolutely definite, but I am pretty stinking sure. SS was most likely catfished.
If you haven’t heard yet, catfish aren’t just something you fry up for supper anymore. There is the other definition:
Catfish: lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona
People “catfish” someone by making fake profiles using real photos and information to make them seem more real. Happens all the time. Reminder: Don’t get on Tinder. Catfish are swimming all over that app.
So, lets go back to my first post. If you will recall:
“So, I found out that someone I love deeply met someone on the Tinder app and was planning to meet him for lunch. He told her he was 10 years older than she, which caused me a smidgen of concern. Just a smidge.
So, upon learning of said Tinder-boy, I decided I would simply verify who he said he was so we could rest assured he wan’t an ax murderer…or worse.
It took me a few days….just a very few….but I figured it out. Rather, I figured HIM out. And after this post, it won’t take you a mere 5 minutes should he ever try to con you, your daughter, your best friend, or your friendly waitress at your favorite restaurant who loves to dish about her new fella.
Mr. Tinder wasn’t even close to who he said he was.
He was, in fact, a real human being. He does exist.
Except he doesn’t.
He is a real person, but everything he told my girl about himself was as fake as my blonde hair. And he isn’t (that I know of….yet) an axe murderer. Rather, he’s a dumb kid who seems to really enjoy pretending to be someone else, preying on people with his absurd and completely false life story.”
I was close. I was reeeeeeally close last night. But today, I’m a whole lot closer.
He said his name was Justin Andrew Mitchell. It isn’t. But I don’t believe it is SS either.
He told her he lived in Hattiesburg, but was from New Albany. He wouldn’t give her an address, but he told her he lived in an apartment off 49, before that, he lived downtown H’burg, and before that, he lived on family land in New Albany.
He told her that he wrote grants. He told her that he worked in the court system, and did something with child protective services.
Upon googling “Justin Mitchell” and “grant writer,” I found one. Who lives in New York.
He told her he was 28 (but he looked like a baby.)
He told her he HAD a baby, but “his daughter” looked way too old to belong to him. He told her that he was in the process of adopting another child, the daughter of a friend who died. He told her he wanted to adopt more.
He told her his mother died of cancer last November.
He told her he was building a house in Hattiesburg, and he sent her pictures. Except, the pictures he sent her were from a listing of a house already built in Hattiesburg. It is currently on the market. When she called him out, he said, “What’s the crime?” He said that he sent those same pictures to his builder because that was exactly what he wanted in his house. He told her his Facebook page was private because “I taught college courses and students would add me.”
He told her worked 75 hours a week while maintaining an apartment and a house and taking care of 2 children, doing the job that both a mother and father would do, and he has used up soooooooo much space on his phone that he has to get off of Snapchat pretty often because Excel and Sharefile suck up all of his data, which my girl may not understand because she’s sooooo young.
BUT THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART:
His phone number comes back to the name of a girl, a girl I will call Lee. He is friends with Lee on his real Facebook page, and sadly, her mother did pass away last November. She also works in child protective services. I hope, for her sake, she doesn’t know she is being used. But, if she didn’t, she does now. And if she does, I hope she will stop aiding and abetting the insanity.
I don’t believe she is aiding and abetting anything.
I now have a whole lot of reasons to believe that “Lee” IS the insanity.
I know, right? Take a breath. Take a long, long breath, because y’all are gonna need to stay with me here.
When I put the phone number that my girl was texting through the appropriate checks, it came back to “Lee.” I thought, ok, it is an old number of hers, and so he got her old number. Nothing too odd about that. Cell phone registries are usually not completely accurate because people change their numbers all the time.
But her name was on my radar.
When I found SS’s photos on Facebook and was able to match him up with his family, I realized he was, in fact, a real person. A whole lot of the pictures that my girl sent me were on social media somewhere, whether on his page or someone else’s. His page wasn’t totally private, as the original “Justin Mitchell” page was. Instead, I could pretty well see into his life. I could see into his family’s lives, too.
That was one reason why I knew he was a real person.
I just thought he was a really dumb real person.
But, not one iota of the information that “Justin” told my girl matched his. Not any. So, I climbed aboard the crazy train and ran with it. Because, what else do you do? I mean, I was so proud of myself because I used some serious sleuthing skills to find him, not even knowing his name, which isn’t the easiest, even if you are a master sleuther, as I consider myself to be.
I further felt like I had the right guy when, lo and behold, there was “Lee” on his list of Facebook friends. I immediately recognized the name, and I clicked on her profile. I saw that she worked in child protective services and her mother passed away a few months ago. All part of “Justin’s” story. Further, I found out that she lives in Hattiesburg, but she is from a small town outside of…..you guessed it….New Albany. She is 25. She went to undergrad at Ole Miss. “Justin” told my girl that “he” went to Ole Miss, too.
So, in the meantime, I’m fuming over SS and hoping he never gets a date again in his life, and so is my girl. But my girl takes it a step further. As you can imagine, as soon as we realized “Justin” wasn’t Justin, she let “him” have it via text. No answers. “Justin” has vanished into thin air.
So, in order to hopefully evoke a response, she messages SS on Twitter. And he answers.
And he says he has no CLUE what she is talking about. None. Nada. He tells her how old he is, where he lives, blah blah blah….which, granted, if he is full of poop, he realizes that she knows all of that by now….but the thing is, he’s pretty sincere.
And, he writes like a 20 year old boy.
After re-reading the texts that “Justin” sent to my girl, and comparing him to SS’s messages to my girl today, they don’t sound like the same person wrote them at all. “Justin” uses quotation marks. Do 20 year old boys do that in texts? Doubtful. But I digress…hardly a smoking gun…..
So my girl starts to believe SS has been duped, too, because he’s wigging out, and she sends him the number that she had been texting “Justin” on. And he sends her a screenshot of the number in his phone, attached to a girl’s name (not “Lee”) and says, “I KNEW this girl was fake! She used to snapchat me all the time last year. Her profile isn’t there anymore, though.” She didn’t go by “Lee” on snapchat. She went by something totally different.
She asked him if he knew “Lee,” and he said he didn’t. He has a couple of thousand Facebook friends, and I certainly don’t know all of mine in real life, so I can’t really expect him to know all of his either. So is it possible that he doesn’t know her? Yeah. Does it leave me still a bit suspicious? Yeah.
But, he can’t look her up to jog his memory because guess what other profile isn’t there anymore? “Lee’s” on SS’s Facebook page. She was there last night, because I screenshot it, and now, POOF! She’s gone. So is “Justin Mitchell.” Shocker.
How come, you might ask?
Well, I would imagine that when I published my post last night, she most likely got wind of it and recognized herself as “Lee.” If she is savvy, she probably even has a Google alert for those names. She probably hoped that I would be satisfied with SS as the fake “Justin” and laughed herself to sleep. But juuuuuust in case SS started putting 2 and 2 togther, or if I did, it probably made sense to head to the down low for a bit…maybe just duck under water…just until the waves died down.
But still. It makes no sense. Right….right…sorry. Logic has flown out the window in this story. Let’s just keep going with the insanity. It’s so much easier.
So I started thinking: if I were going to make up a fake person and pretend to actually be that person, wouldn’t it be so much easier to use my own life experiences, stories, jobs, struggles and losses? They would sound SO much more believable. And, you probably won’t get tripped up as easily. Except for the whole “he” is actually a “she,” part. That one, I don’t know how you keep straight.
And then I thought some more. Why would SS NEED to be “Justin?” He is a 20 year old single guy who, though a little cheesy to me because the shirts could use a few more buttons (if my husband is any guage as to my type, y’all know what I’m saying here. Plus, I’m old. SS doesn’t care what I think), I can see that a lot of young girls would think he was pretty stinking cute. The only reason anyone would need to be “Justin” with that backstory is if they have NO intention of meeting anyone in real life. Heck, “he” works 75 hours a week! He has 2 kids! He is doing the work of mother AND father! He’s building a house! He has to keep up with all of those statistics in Excel and Sharefile that eat up his data on his work phone! He has to write grants! Who has time to meet in person??
If “he” cancels, who can blame him? He’s EXHAUSTED!
SS, on the other hand, would most likely be in the parking lot of said dining establishment EARLY, checking out his other bites on Tinder and responding to Twitter messages from irate girls, waiting on someone like my girl to hurry her tail up. He has all the time in the world to take ten million selfies. He JUST has a job. No kids. No school.
Just him. Just 20 year old him.
So why be “Justin??”
So I know by now Y’ALL are thinking: Get to it, Marsha! Where IS the smoking gun?
Well, here it is. I report. Y’all decide.
My girl’s mama got in touch with the flower shop that “Justin” ordered flowers from.
Did I tell y’all that? “He” sent her flowers on Valentine’s day. Sweet, right?
They had an order for my girl, and it came back to—TADA!—Justin Mitchell! (By the way, said flower shop didn’t send anything to her mama that was proprietary. The credit card number is still a big fat secret. Just the facts, y’all. Just the facts.)
“Justin Mitchell” lives at “Lee’s” address–off of Highway 49. There is no Justin Mitchell at that address. Not now. Not ever.
“Justin Mitchell” has “Lee’s” telephone number, both right there on the order form.
So. “Lee” sent my girl flowers.
Let’s all let that sink in. Breathe. Just breathe.
“Lee” seems to have a credit card in Justin Mitchell’s name. Which means…..if you know a Justin Mitchell anywhere in the world, you probably want to encourage him to check his credit score. Just sayin.
So. Let’s recap:
“Lee” joins Facebook in 2006. So does “Justin Mitchell.”
“Lee” sets up a fake profile for “Justin” on FB, and later, on Tinder, and who knows where else in the vast river of social media.
“Lee” sets up a fake hotmail account for Justin. “Lee” even gets a credit card in Justin’s name. How she accomplishes such, I don’t know. But identity theft happens all day long. Maybe a credit card for ole Justin magically appeared in her mailbox one day, and she thought, “What the heck? I’ll apply under his name….just in case.” And she does. And she gets one. And so now, she has free reign to be “Justin” whenever she wants. Who knows. We all know it happens. If it didn’t, why would we entertain commecials for Lifelock?
Remember that I said I could see all of SS’s pictures? Well guess what? So could “Lee.” She could rip them from the pages of Facebook quicker than Houdini could count to three. And it seems, she did, taking SS along for a ride on her magic carpet.
And….Shazam!…SS becomes “Justin.”
“Lee” sets the hook. Girls bite.
She converses. She sends pictures of SS to prove “he” is real.
She feeds the girls a whole lot of information about “him,” most of it from her own real history. When she has to improvise, the takes some stuff from SS’s life because, well, his social media accounts are wide open. For instance, last year, SS had a motorcycle wreck. She sends my girl pictures from the wreck, but acts as if it happened 2 days ago. Poor “Justin.” All of that information is readily available on SS’s profile. Some good fisherman (or woman) just has to grab it.
She makes “him” even more believable by sending flowers.
But, she can’t get around having to attach an address to a credit card. And that address does not to come back to SS.
It comes back to “Lee.”
So the only question that I have is: W.H.Y????
WHY IN THE NAME OF ZEUS? For the love of Pete….WWWWWWHHHHHYYYYYY???
Does “Lee” absolutely hate and despise SS, and she has every intention of completely destroying the poor guy? Or, is he not a poor guy? Does he totally deserve it? Did he disrespect her in some way, knowingly or unknowingly? Or was he just convenient?
Is there an ex-girlfriend of SS in on the conspiracy? He has an ex-girlfriend. Are she and “Lee” friends? Not that I can see, but it’s possible.
Is “Lee” terribly bored with her own life, and so she pretends to be someone else, a 28 year old guy, reeling in younger girls with SS as bait, trying to see how many fish she can land? And has said sadistic fun become her favorite pasttime?
Or is it something deeper? Something more sinister? Is she rabbit-on-the-stove-cray-cray? She does work in the mental health field. Let’s give that a moment of pause. Takes one to know one, by chance?
Or is this all SS, who has such mad skills that he can change everything about himself, down to how he texts? I don’t buy it, but I’ve been fooled once….
If I had even an iota of an idea, I would tell y’all. But as of this writing, I don’t have a clue.
My armchair detective army–have a field day. Is SS in the mix of this? Is “Lee” as loony-tunes as I think she is? Is someone else holding the fishing pole?
Again. I report. Y’all decide.
I feel pretty dang sure you are reading this. I’m not printing your name TODAY. But WHEN I get all of the information I need–and I will—I will. I will post every single detail. It’s coming, ladybug. It’s coming.
You’ve worked reeeeally hard to build up this facade, for heaven-knows-what reason. Honestly, I can’t even begin to imagine. Seriously. I can’t. I start trying, and then my brain explodes…because who does this????? Ok. I suppose you do.
And maybe you think you have a good reason.
But I can bet a boat load of catfish that you don’t.
But the gig is up, now sista. Right now.
I’m onto you.
SS is on to you.
My girl is on to you.
And pretty soon, every Justin Mitchell connected to anyone reading this will be on to you.
Bank on it.
A girl who just loves to fish