Singer Linda Nolan of “The Nolans” has been ‘catfished’ by online hoaxers who claimed to have been injured in the Manchester Arena bombing, her sister Coleen has revealed.
The singer – who is currently battling cancer – had been contacted on social media by two sisters shortly after the Manchester Arena attack in May who claimed to have been injured in the blast.
Linda and the two sisters – who identified themselves as Emily and Mia – had exchanged a number of messages and phone calls, and Linda’s sister Coleen had even given the sisters a shout out on her TV show “Loose Women”. Linda has then planned to visit Emily and Mia in the hospital where they were being treated.
However before Linda could visit the sisters at hospital, she received a phone call during the night that Emily had passed away from her injuries. Coleen Nolan revealed that Linda had cried all night but suspicions soon grew when there was no mention of any more victims appearing on the news.
Research soon suggested that the sisters were not real and had made up the claim of being injured in the blast to form a relationship with Linda. All of their social media accounts were removed and phone numbers they have provided were not real.
The scheme that involves forging a fake online persona with the apparent aim of developing an online relationship with someone is called ‘catfishing’ and is popular in the online dating niche. ‘Catfishing’ hit headlines after the 2009 documentary Catfish was released that told the story of how a trio of documentary filmmakers – who had initially set out to explore online relationships – were ‘catfished’ themselves and decided to film themselves tracking down the people responsible. The documentary later led to a popular television show on the subject.
It’s another demonstration of the ageing adage that not everything you see on the Internet is necessarily true, regardless of how believable it may seem.
The police claimed that despite the incident being reported to them there was little they could do since no crime had been committed.