But there was something about him that struck me as unauthentic.
On Instagram, he marketed himself as Viking and had his location set as Norway. There was no indication that he lived in Byron Bay. But Stain did have a personal account which was private, so I figured that must be where the Byron Bay pics were.
I felt like he was being deceptive to his Instagram community by making out that he was in Norway when he wasn’t but I thought it must just be ‘his brand’.
I wanted to know more about Stain from Norway, so I started googling.
The more I read, the more I realised that Stain really did live in Norway, with his partner and his two children. Stain uploaded Instagram Stories regularly, which were all in Norway. He wasn’t living in Byron Bay, training clients in Sydney and dating on Tinder. Someone had stolen his profile and was pretending to be him.
Unlike with Sebastian, I was proud of myself for clocking onto this after three days! I confronted Stain and asked, “How did he have lunch in Norway today with his wife and manage to be back in Sydney to chat with me, in the same day?”
I then reported him to Tinder, and I wrote to the real Stain on Instagram and told him that someone had stolen his identity to use on Tinder. Sadly, the real Stain did not reply.
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Almost immediately after I had reported Stain, I found myself on Hinge swiping away when I came across a very handsome man. His profile said he was in the US Army and based in East Sydney. He said he was 39 years old and looking for love.
I did wonder what a US Army soldier was doing in East Sydney, but knowing there are Army Barracks in Paddington, I didn’t give it too much thought.
Also, given I’d just had two catfish experiences, I didn’t think I could have a third.
Jayden and I started chatting, but my app kept playing up.
Every time I would reply to Jayden’s messages, his profile would disappear until he wrote again, then the same thing would happen. I explained that I believed my app had a bug and would he mind if we swapped numbers on WhatsApp. That’s when he told me the ‘truth’. He said he was happy to swap numbers, but he had to tell me that he wasn’t in East Sydney – he was currently deployed to Afghanistan.
He had been in the army for 20 years, and he was on his final mission. After that, he was heading home to the US, where he would file for retirement and then fly to Sydney to begin his retired life. His mum was Australian.