A now-single mother claims her whole life was turned upside down when she was scammed out of thousands of dollars after being catfished by a person pretending to be a Hollywood star.
McKayla, an artist from Kentucky, revealed on a recent episode of the "Catfished" web series that she left her husband after meeting a person online who said he was Dacre Montgomery, the actor who plays Billy Hargrove in the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things." She says the impersonator also scammed her out of roughly $10,000.
McKayla says the two "hit it off" in an online forum for creatives, but added that she was skeptical from the beginning. That's until "Montgomery" started sending her hints about season four of "Stranger Things," specifically an episode in which his character returns to the show.
"He texted me and he said, 'Hey, you need to watch episode four,' and he said, 'If you don't watch anything else, watch episode four,'" McKayla said. "And when it came out the next day, he showed up in that episode. And I was like 'well who else would know that?'"
"Montgomery" also told her at the time he was splitting up with his model girlfriend Liv Pollack because she was controlling. That's when he asked McKayla to be his girlfriend.
"I think it's time for you to choose McKayla, either be with me or your husband," the person said.
McKayla, who also claimed to be in a "toxic" relationship, ultimately told her husband that things weren't working out and the two split.
That's when the impersonator began asking for money, saying Pollack controlled his bank account and wouldn't allow him access. McKayla said she empathized with the person and began sending them gift cards.
"Before I knew it, it was turning into $100 and $200 gift cards," McKayla said. "But the thing is, when I tallied it all up, it was $10,000-ish."
The impersonator promised to pay her back, but McKayla ultimately funded the person's bank account for over a year before she realized something didn't seem right.
"That 1% is still that hopeless romantic that's just holding on to maybe this is the gentle guy I've been looking for," she said. "You know, maybe he is real, maybe he will return and be like a knight in shining armor."
Following a thorough investigation by the "Catfished" team, they were able to inform McKayla that she was, in fact, being scammed.
"If you're someone like me, you're afraid of abandonment and you're a real big people pleaser and you're very co-dependent," McKayla said. "These scammers, they just kind of come in and they leech off that."
According to the show, she has since blocked the fake account and decided to take a break from the internet to spend more quality time with her daughter.
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