Catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. –Courtesy Urban Dictionary

I’ve recently noticed that there’s been an increase in the amount of Navy SEAL catfish online, and some are so convincing that they’ve actually duped real operators. These operators are baited in, thinking they’re chatting it up with some DEVGRU (AKA SEAL Team 6) or Delta operator with a proxy account on Twitter, and then the gossip starts. The catfish exchanges lies to get further information and then starts doing damage.

Note: Most guys I know at these units don’t spend their spare time gossiping on Twitter. If you’re following and chatting up a ‘Navy SEAL’ on Twitter, chances are you’re following a catfish.

@SOF”t”Rep on Twitter is a perfect example of this. We suspect this account is run by a middle-aged woman, but don’t have conclusive evidence at this time. In the two cases which I personally know of involving military catfish, the account holders have been middle-aged women who had a stalker-like fascination with military men. It’s like a scene out of the 1980s movie, Fatal Attraction.

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One of the most famous catfish incidents involved NBA player Chris “Birdman” Andersen. His public identity was ruined by his catfish, a female in rural Canada who was ultimately convicted for the damage she caused. The video below is worth watching, and shows the complexity involved with these people.

So, Operators beware that who you chat with on Facebook and Twitter may not be who you think it is. 99% of the men from the SOF community who become writers or have a reason to be involved in social media use their real names or an established pen name – they don’t hide behind proxy accounts.