Okay, more fun with catfishers, before I get back to my heavy-hitters.

For some reason, a lot of catfishing seems to involve bitcoin, or some sort of cryptocurrency. Once upon a time, bitcoin was extremely anonymous, but not so much anymore. For those that have not been paying attention, the federal government of the United States likes to keep track of everyone’s money. Even though they seem to have a very difficult time with their own purse. But they just come up with more money. Somehow. But we can’t raise taxes. But here’s some money. I don’t get it. Anyway, I digress. The IRS absolutely hates financial anonymity. They didn’t care much for this cryptocurrency business, and through legislation and policy, the anonymity is gone. For the most part…

Frequently, online catfishers will employ the bitcoin tactic. They will start a conversation, which will, of course, quickly turn romantic. The impossibly beautiful person, who is usually a guy in a basement somewhere, will try to move your conversation over to What’s-app, Google’s chat program. The point of this is to take the conversation off of whatever online platform it was initiated on, so that the predator is not reported by someone savvy and banned from future use of said platform. Once on Whats-app, or in some cases not, the conversation, peppered with sexual innuendos and compliments, will invariably turn to bitcoin. The victim, should they fall prey, will then be compelled into giving the catfisher electronic funds. The catfisher will then promise that this money will be invested into bitcoin, and the victim will see a great return. To celebrate, the impossibly beautiful con-artist will promise a meeting for sexual favors, or something akin to that.

Of course, the money is never seen again. An electronic transfer can be difficult to trace. What’s worse, they are extremely difficult to reverse. Often, there is very little a bank can do for you once you’ve been scammed. Then, even though the IRS has the means to track bitcoin, the electronic transfer is then turned into cryptocurrency, moved, laundered really, and never seen again. The criminal has made their money. The victim never hears from their would-be paramour again, and is out whatever amount of cash.

So, enough explanation. Let’s take a look at a conversation I recently had on Instagram, the social media platform that seems to be the new ground of catfishing. This catfisher was not improperly affectionate, like most are, but another way to spot them is their unfamiliarity with America and their atrocious grammar. Unfortunately, some of the conversation I recorded is cropped improperly, but I think you’ll get the gist. Without further ado, I give you: Rosalia Mex! Take it away, Rosalia!

But, this bitcoin tactic is not always funny. I recently had a rather sad encounter.

A long time ago, I had a very good friend, an old acting buddy of mine. In my early 20’s to early 30’s, I was fairly active in Seattle’s theater community, non-equity houses and a couple of independent films, and I had a great time! Sure, I wanted to make a career of it, and was already practicing my Oscar acceptance speech, but the industry is flooded with talent, and, no matter what your level of skill, breaking into the Big Time is extremely difficult. I enjoyed it, but I eventually left it behind. I still utilize the skill, especially when I need to display some measure of excitement or deception, or use the big voice to get a point across. It’s a great performance art to be involved in.

Anyway, back to my friend. He was one of the best actors I had ever seen, a rugged style, unique in his voice and performance. A character actor, perhaps, but my friend still possessed incredible range and depth in his skill. He was not only a fellow actor, but a fantastic friend. For a brief time, he and I were very close; devoted X-Files fans, fellow stoners, and a similar outlook on life – sense of humor, and a precocious ability of males to not be ashamed of their emotions. We eventually drifted apart, as often happens to young friendships. However, I would, from time to time, track his career. My old friend seemed to be having some level of success at the professional level. I was very excited for him, he was making it! However, well over 10 or 15 years ago, he seemed to drop off the professional acting radar.

Only by chance, I happened to stumble across him again on, of course, Instagram. The following is our conversation. Bear in mind, I had not seen nor spoken to this dear, old friend in a very, very long time. We had so much to catch up on. The conversation quickly turned into a direction I was not expecting.

I found this kind of sad. You’ll notice I asked him a specific detail I knew about his career, as I could not believe I was having this conversation with him. But he was correct.

Be that as it may, part of me still refuses to believe this was actually my old friend. But I think it was. It was shocking to finally catch up with him, only to be instantly pitched cryptocurrency. Perhaps he was involved in a scam, perhaps not. That’s not important. What threw me for a bad loop was his betrayal of our ancient friendship, his disregarding of our memories and the time that separated them, and his willingness to use me as a sales goal, legitimate or not.

Afterwards, I looked him up on IMDB. He is still acting. I don’t know why he said he wasn’t. I don’t know why he was throwing bitcoin investment at me. It was very disheartening.

Well, you think you know some people…

Thank you! Wash your hands! Wear a mask, only if you feel the need or the establishment asks you to! No mask shaming, either direction! Get vaccinated! Or not, patient autonomy! Take care of yourselves!

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