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Let’s examine two examples of online sexual fraud, both of which led to no consequences for the deceivers.To catfish women into sleeping with him, Ricardo Agnant digitally crafted the persona of a Miami Dolphins football player with the nickname “Maserati Rick.” (In reality, Agnant never played for any NFL team, and only participated in one Dolphins regional combine).After they had conversed online for some time, the man confessed that he had used fake profile photos, in order to gain more of Anna’s trust.(But, he continued to maintain all other parts of his facade: fake name, fake occupation, different marital status, and fully contrived story.) The relationship was so strong in Anna’s eyes that she was ready to meet him in real life.This man didn’t want a lasting relationship with Anna at all. And then, he did the same to Anna before she could find out the truth.Anna was understandably traumatized, both physically and emotionally.
All the while, he concealed his true identity and purpose. He had developed relationships with 13 other women, several concurrently, to trick them all into sleeping with him.And of course, some people develop entire fake identities, photos and all, in order to manipulate others into developing an online relationship.As this behavior becomes more common, more and more people treat online dating deception as “normal.” This is extremely problematic, especially for those of us looking for meaningful, lasting relationships with honest people.If a victim was manipulated into giving up money at any point, that’s clearly financial fraud (and many catfishers who have set up money extortion schemes have already been punished by law).Also, sexual fraud itself is provable, since it’s a form of rape.