The Internet has made it incredibly easy to live a completely different life from the one you're living (IRL). Online, you don't have to be Sue from accounting, you can be Tatiana, the sex kitten. You don't have to be Rick from Home Depot, you can be John, the bad ass Navy SEAL. Or, in the case of one woman -- you don't have to be Cindy Choi, the 28-year-old restaurant owner from Florida, you can be Kevin San Roman, the young man living in Spain who's been battling leukemia for three years -- and "Kevin's" younger brother, Lucas.
Yep, that's what the world has come to.
According to the Miami Herald, Choi duped hundreds of Facebook users, posing as the boys, collecting "girlfriends" along the way. Apparently, Choi would text and talk to various people she met online, but her scam had the cord pulled from it abruptly when the mom of one of "Lucas'" girlfriends became suspicious.
Maria Masters' daughter Kaitlin, 19, was one of Lucas' girls. They would talk and text all the time, and each time Lucas was scheduled to come visit her in Florida, something tragic happened and he couldn't make it. She told her mom Maria, and Maria became suspicious. Kaitlin then told Lucas her mom was suspicious, and poof, the Facebook page was deleted. The cops got involved and then discovered it was Choi behind this whole cruel scam, and experts are pretty sure she suffers from Munchausen -- a disorder in which people create illnesses to attract attention.
Slightly terrifying? Yes. Disturbing as all get-out? Hell yeah. Like I said, people create alternate identities online all the time -- and oftentimes, they're harmless. They're a way to blow off steam; a way to boost your confidence; a way to tell someone you hate their guts without having to show your face (okay, that one's not totally healthy). But when we start veering into "fake cancer patient" territory, that's when things get scary.
Have you ever had an experience with someone online where they turned out to be someone different than they led on?
Image via jlodder/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside