Woman leaves husband after thinking she was dating Stranger Things actor

By Mason Berlinka

Published Aug 17, 2023 at 01:24 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Catfishing—the deceptive practice of pretending to be someone you’re not on the internet usually in order to romantically manipulate people, has long been in practice ever since the invention of the internet. It’s every serial Tinder swiper’s worst nightmare. If you see your perfect match, or even stumble upon a face you might know from TV, it’s almost always too good to be true—you’ve got to take that chance, right?

Stranger Things superfan Mckayla found herself at the mercy of one such catfisher, who was pretending to be none other than Australian heartthrob Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy Hargrove in the acclaimed Netflix series.

Mckayla’s story, which premiered on the YouTube show Catfished on 17 May 2023, revealed how the a single mother from Kentucky fell for the fake Montgomery—ultimately financially supporting the scam artist who led her to believe she was in a secret relationship with an A-list celebrity.

The unfortunate catfishing victim crossed paths with the scammer within an online group for creatives, which she joined after separating from her “very toxic” husband. Once in the group, Mckayla found herself “hitting it off” with one particular user who would later claim to be Montgomery on a secret account.

Despite having only ever texted with him and soon being asked to send him money in the form of gift cards, the aspiring actress and creative kept her eyes firmly shut to the numerous red flags that had appeared.

Montgomery and model Liv Pollock began a committed relationship in 2017, which made up part of the scammers story. He confided in Mckayla that the pair were having issues. When asked about this on the YouTube show Mckayla stated: “He was venting to me after a few months about his partner, saying she is very controlling of him. He doesn’t get to do the things he wants to do. She’s always there. She’s always got to supervise.” Mckayla went on to add, “I kind of empathise with that because my ex-husband was that way.”

The couple’s infrequent posting habits helped Mckayla to believe that the lies she’d been fed were real, that Montogmery and Pollock were in fact separated but just keeping up appearances. Pollock was painted out to be obsessive and controlling, constantly “glued to his hip” which is why the pair were never able to call.

Eventually Mckayla and the scammer, who had now come to refer to McKayla as his “secret girlfriend,” found herself sending him gift cards worth $100 and $200. An estimated $10,000 is said to have been sent to the person the Kentucky mother had been talking to.

After their investigation the Catfished team broke the news to Mckayla that there was no evidence that Pollock was abusing Montgomery, and that the actor, who was paid hundreds of thousands for his role on Stranger Things, didn’t need to be sent gift cards.

Be safe out there on the internet kids. Remember, if someone messages you pretending to be a secret celebrity in need of gift cards, you’re almost definitely being scammed—unless it’s a former Big Brother star.

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