Coronation Street star Kym Marsh has revealed a man thought he was in a relationship with her for 10 years after he was duped online in a ‘catfishing’ scam.
The actress said her identity was used to lure a man into believing they were dating via the internet, and she also revealed her eldest daughter has also been used as bait.
A catfish is a person who purposefully sets up fake online profiles to trick another individual into embarking on a relationship with them, and celebrities are often used in an attempt to lure them in.
The modern craze was brought into the public’s awareness with 2010 documentary film Catfish and the MTV series that followed.
Kym told ITV’s Loose Women that she initially had “no idea” there was a person who believed he was engaging in a romance with her for a decade, until he sent flowers to her home.
She said: “I knew there were fake profiles of me on social media and it sounds like a strange thing to say, but you kind of expect it because of the job that I do.
“And I had been aware of all that but this on particular day I came home to a bunch of flowers on my doorstep, at my home, with a card that said ‘sorry you couldn’t make the date and I hope you’re better soon’, and with kisses but no name.”
Former Hear’Say singer Kym said she and her boyfriend tried to work out where the flowers had come from, but that the florist from which they had been sent would not reveal the identity of the sender.
Kym said: “We went to the police and the police did found out who it was, they contacted the guy and he thought he’d been having a relationship with me for the past 10 years.”
She described it as “creepy” and shared her bafflement that the man had not questioned the long relationship after having never met.
Of her 19-year-old daughter Emilie, she said: “Since she’s been about 14 or 15 there have been various fake sites made of her on different social media networks, and she’s really fed up with it.”
Despite constantly reporting the fake profiles and having them removed, Kym said they keep on popping up and that one in particular caused singer Emilie a great deal of “distress”.
“There was one that went on a dating website more recently, claiming she was bisexual and that she wanted to meet girls,” the soap star said.
“And to me that is terrifying because, who is that person? That could be a guy who is trying to meet young girls.”
Kym appeared on the daily programme to back a campaign to make catfishing an illegal activity.