The alleged case of a phony Facebook stalking victim raises an interesting philosophical question: What happens if Narcissus looks into the water and sees a catfish?
We apparently have an answer, as the purported Facebook stalking "victim" -- 52-year-old Cheryl Nelson of Grand Rapids, Michigan -- has now been charged in the matter, after trying to pin the blame on her ex-boyfriend's new love interest.
But police say Nelson actually Facebook-stalked herself in a bizarre plot for revenge.
Fake Facebook Accounts
In a new twist on "catfishing," Nelson allegedly set up fake Facebook accounts using her ex-boyfriend's personal information and made it look like she was being stalked and harassed by his new flame.
Over the course of a year, Nelson made eight criminal complaints, saying she was the victim of stalking, harassment, assault, and a home invasion.
But during the investigation, the tables turned when her ex-boyfriend filed a complaint, alleging that Nelson threatened him and was the actual creepy stalker.
Lo and behold, police got a search warrant to check her computer and figured out she was the sad, vengeful culprit fit for a 90's thriller like "Single White Female."
The Plot Unravels
Nelson eventually admitted to falsely reporting crimes because she couldn't get over the breakup with her ex-boyfriend. She's been charged with the false report of a felony and the unlawful posting of a message.
False reports of crime happen more often than you think. You may have heard of "SWATting," where an an anonymous caller reports an ongoing crime at someone's house, triggering an armed response by the local SWAT team.
Generally, making a false call to 911 is considered a misdemeanor, which can lead to a year in jail.
In the digital world, creating a fake Facebook profile for your ex-boyfriend might seem like a satisfying way to get revenge -- and you wouldn't be the first to do it. But even if you had, like, the worst breakup ever, it can be considered identity theft in some states. I know, life's totally unfair sometimes.
In states like California, you can even face up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000 for violating online impersonation laws.
A word of wisdom to the broken-hearted: Eat a pint of ice cream, watch every movie with Kate Hudson, join OKCupid (with your real name!), and move on. No man is worth a criminal charge -- not even Justin Timberlake.
- Woman Allegedly Stalks Self With Fake Facebook Account (ABC News)
- 'Catfishing' Leads to Lawsuit at Ball State Univ. (FindLaw's Injured)
- Judge to Mean Mom: No Posting About Kids on Facebook (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Teen Breaks Into Home to Check Facebook, Urinate on Couch (FindLaw's Legally Weird)