This article is based on the AskReddit question “What is the lowest you have seen people stoop to for attention?”
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
My sister-in-law’s daughter faked a cancer diagnosis for over two years. She got fundraising from the community, thousands of dollars from her mother and my brother, and was the queen of whining on Facebook.
Of course, it was all a lie and when she was found out she posted something akin to “I did something I shouldn’t have done. My bad!” on Facebook. Now her mother is heartbroken and no one else in the family wants to have anything to do with her. I do know that some friend of hers still believe she had cancer and recovered.
My friends boyfriend was a super liar. He lied about several things. My favorite one: one he had special “abilities,” to the point where if he really really concentrated he could turn off power lights with his mind. Conveniently, he could never prove it because he was “under too much pressure.”
When Heroes first aired, he announced that he could also cry blood.
The worst lie though was about his “brother dying. Apparently, his brother “Dante” got shot when he was a child, in the street in broad daylight in Wales. He made us swear to never, ever mention it to his mum because she would just get upset. He also warned us to never splash water on his face because he would “black out and hurt someone” due to, I guess, PTSD over the loss of his brother.
Cue going over to his house, never seeing any pictures of a brother. Eventually, I decided to mention it in front of his mum. Surprise! He never had a brother.
And yes, my friend is still with him.
My friend constantly tells the story of how he almost died. According to him, when we were walking down a mountain, he fell off the edge of a cliff, grabbed a ledge at the last second, and pulled himself up with one arm.
I was with him that day and it just didn’t happen. We had a normal hike on a perfectly safe, cliff-less trail. But he just started yammering out of nowhere to our friend the moment we met up with him and kept repeating it to everyone ever since.
I know a girl who consistently injures herself, to the point of being in the hospital occasionally, for attention. She has bawled her eyes out over somebody stepping on her totally healthy toe, thrown herself down a set of stairs, and constantly has “anxiety attacks,” but pretty much only when nobody is paying attention to her.
She’s also managed to lose every friend she had over her fake ailments. Is it worth it, really?
A girl in my Paramedic class, who I made friends with, faked uterine cancer to get out of most 4th quarter classes and clinicals.
Well, I had gone with her for the biopsy, and while she was out the doctor came to give me the report (with her permission) and it was endometriosis, a mild and easily treatable condition.
She played this up for months, sitting home, while the rest of us were busting our butts.
Two weeks before finals and National Registry, I told my awesome lead instructor everything. He promptly threw her out.
A girl in my personal finance class would tell elaborate stories throughout the hour we were in class. She’d start by casually saying, “I’m sick. Why am I sick? I was fine an hour ago, but within an hour she’d be telling someone else, “Yeah I have bronchitis. My doctor says I need to take these massive pills to get rid of it, I’ll be coughing for weeks.
It was every little thing. She would start off normal and spend an hour getting herself worked up and telling bigger and crazier stories while I’m sitting next to her hearing her slowly grow more ridiculous.
She also did this with a paper cut. It went from a paper cut she got that morning to one she got an hour ago to one she got last night to one that she got a few days ago that won’t stop bleeding.
While I was going through a divorce a few years back, my child was staying with me, and my soon to be ex-wife decided to send some ambiguous text messages implying that she’d never see our child again, and to deliver a final kiss.
Boy, was she pissed when the police showed up at the house at 6:15am pounding on the windows, shouting OPEN UP, Maam.”
I had an acquaintance who spent three years in high school claiming that she had participated with a seance with some “friends” (that none of us knew) and had made contact with a ghost named “Deddy” who now followed her around.
Only she could see or hear him, and she would carry on LENGTHY conversations with him. Once she spent two whole hours at a party holed up in a corner and ignoring everyone else while talking to her ghost friend. She would tell these stories about how he was a soldier in the Civil War, and that he had murdered his own kids, and all this messed up stories.
None of us ever believed her, but she kept it up.
I knew a girl in sixth grade, at my private conservative Presbyterian elementary school, who told everyone that her older sister had had an abortion (she hadn’t). Later, when we moved up to junior high and her sister was a senior at the same high school, she somehow heard about that and the whole thing came out. It was pretty bad.
The same girl ‘came out’ the same year, to our young and attractive male science teacher. Pretty sure he had no idea what to do with that situation… anyway, she retracted that a few days later.
After my current boyfriend and I got together (around 6 years ago now), we were at a party that his ex had also turned up at.
She was a pretty aggressive person. She spent the entire evening scrawling poems about how much she hated us and pinning them up on the walls, storming from room to room without any apparent purpose, writing “REMEMBER WHEN YOU LOVED ME” in the dust on his car, and then hooking up with my ex-boyfriend who she had always hated (and who had always hated her).
Awful person. Hilarious, looking back on it, but ridiculous really.
My sister was jealous of my wife and I having twins. She doctor-shopped around, until she could convince someone to prescribe her Fertility Drugs (Clomid in her case) Mind you, she was Fertile Myrtle… already had 3 kids. On these drugs, she conceived twins.
My wife and I ended up losing our twins in a miscarriage.
My Sister named her twins the names we told the whole family that we had planned to name ours.
I worked with a girl who always had to one-up everyone. When I announced I was pregnant at work, I made a bet with my fiance that she would say she was pregnant too. I was right – she announced her “pregnancy” about a week later.
Nobody believed her because she was the typical problematic office drama queen. Constantly crying in the office over marriage problems, claimed her husband cheats on her, that sort of thing. She was 35 years old, homely, but she kept at her desk a framed glamour portrait of herself in High School when she had “modeled” – to prove to all of us that she was once attractive I guess? She was always scheming against people too, trying to get everybody fired or in trouble. Basically, she really needed attention at work.
Anyways, nobody was surprised when she announced she “lost” her baby a few weeks later. But after that, she turned creepy. She told everyone she was having her baby “vicariously through me” and began keeping track of all of my doctors appointments! She honestly knew the purpose of each appointment without me having to mention.
I began having paranoia that she would steal my baby!
I went to school with this girl, who, since the first day back in September, told us she had a 4 year old daughter. A couple months ago she told all of us her daughter died in a car accident. I split from work as soon as I found out to be there for her. Took her to eat and was there for her for weeks until graduation (end of this past April).
I thought it was weird the way she was acting but I figured everyone felt with death differently. I do not have any kids so I couldn’t even imagine being in her supposed position.
But a couple weeks ago I heard from one of the other girls in my class that this girl never even had a daughter. I was disgusted. How does someone lie about something like that? She texted me and tried to apologize. I told her never to talk to me again. She tried to offer me money for the day I left work to be with her. Her mother said she is always making up something for attention. She apparenly still talks about her non-existent daughter every day.
My dad is an investment manager and several years ago randomly encountered this woman at a hospital. When she found out what he did she said that she had a lot of money she wanted to leave to her children (she was dying of cancer) and thought maybe he could potentially invest it.
My dad spent months meeting with her, discussing her options and flew out of state a couple times to see her. This was about a year after 9/11 and let’s just say the market hadn’t performed in my dad’s favor. So while my dad spent a lot of his own money and time on this woman in a time where he desperately needed a client.
She just straight tells him one day that she doesn’t have kids and she isn’t dying. I remember that actually hurt my dad pretty bad.
There was a group of us who were friends with a guy about 6 years older than us throughout high school. Looking back, it is clear that this was initially a symbiotic relationship. He would buy us beer, which we paid for, and take us driving around before we got our licenses at 17. In return, he got people to hang around with. His age group had moved on into adulthood but he never had.
As everyone got older we all got girlfriends and hung around with him less and less. One day he announced that he had a girlfriend too. He went on and on about her for months as we began turning the heat up to meet her. Several dinners were scheduled but she always cancelled at the last minute. There came a point where he could no longer really keep the meeting from happening so another dinner was scheduled.
Unfortunately she “died” a day or so before that final dinner.
Our friend had invented a fake girlfriend and carried on a 6-7 month pretend relationship just so he would not feel left out.
I had a friend who suddenly started ‘dating’ some guy that none of us ever met, made a fake Facebook for him and his ‘sister’ and would post interactions on her own Facebook. After a few months, she announces that she’s pregnant and claims her family turned their backs on her. She begged us all for help. We oblige.
She’s borderline obese to begin with, so it was hard to tell if she was really pregnant or not. Friends throw a baby shower, she receives a ton of gifts. Posts generic sonogram pictures online. A week or so before she is ‘due’, her ‘boyfriend’ gets ‘transferred’ to Florida and they up and move. She has her fake baby when she’s down there. Stays for about 2 weeks, then tells us they just didn’t like it down there so they’re moving back. I guess she realized she couldn’t fake a delivery in this city cause people would want to visit. Moves back. I offer to take photos of her baby, but she keeps rescheduling. Run into her around town a few times, she’s never with a baby. She ends up faking a car accident and claims the baby died. A couple of months later, she stopped acknowledging her fake pregnancy and fake dead baby.
Oh, this girl also told everyone she worked for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Told a mutual friend she could help her get an internship with the team, went so far as to create fake email addresses to correspond with the mutual friend. Mutual friend calls the Penguins to talk about her application, they put together the pieces and realize what had happened. Police got involved.
I dated a guy whose ex faked a pregnancy to try to win him back. We were all pretty certain she was faking it at the time, but went along with it just in case. If there had been a kid, it would have been unfair not to welcome it, you know?
She spent hundreds of dollars on baby clothes. She asked my ex to accompany her to OBGYN appointments, but made a last-minute excuse to exclude him every time. She had back surgery and got a tattoo during the alleged pregnancy.
On Christmas Eve that year, while he and I were together for the first time in weeks (it was a long distance relationship), she paged him “from the hospital”, spelling out “baby is here.” In this age of texting, I’m not actually sure now how she did that.
Anyway, she didn’t let my ex see the baby, citing objections to me. The only proof she offered was a photo which, judging by the color quality, seemed to be from the 70s. (This was in 1997). It showed a baby, but definitely not a newborn.
Happily, the guy and I split up not long after and I only have sane people in my life now.
An old high school friend of mine made two fake Myspace accounts (this was in ’07 or ’08). She had low self esteem and desperately wanted everyone to view her as a tough girl, the type who could get her hands dirty, so aside from her normal attention-seeking behavior she made these profiles for two muscular, attractive boys and would have conversations back and forth between the profiles. She even added a few of our mutual friends using the fake Myspace accounts, and would write messages to them (as the boys, obviously) talking about all of her attributes and how they’d love to date her one day. They were obvious fakes from the beginning, just one photo of them modeling and then a dozen or so pictures of horses that didn’t always match. Each profile had the name of a country singer (George Strait), both spelled Straight. They only had a few Myspace friends who all lived in different states. One day we got bored and browsed Flickr for “cowboys” and the horse breeds in the pictures, and we found nearly every image (she used Flickr all the time, which is why we tried that instead of google). And yes, we did ask her about the profiles and she denied it. I remained friends with her until graduation.
My old roommate and ex best friend used to get “sick” every other week, to the point that she would “spend all night puking” and “wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.” Now, I’m a pretty light sleeper, to the point I would wake up every time she got out of her bed. Most of the nights she was supposedly up all night vomiting, I wasn’t woken up once. Also, she was never sick on a night she didn’t have a class or work the next day.
She also had three jobs while she was here in college, all of which she quit a day or two before she could be fired, all for no call no shows. Every time she quit, she had an excuse that she was discriminated against and the managers were playing favorites.
That’s not even the half of it. I saw a post on Tumblr one day about how I apparently went off on her for her alarm waking me up one morning, after I had come home at 4. None of which was true; I had gone to bed around 1, and yes her alarm had woken me up, but I went right back to sleep when she left for class. This, among a few other lies I caught her spreading about me via mutual friends at school.
The real big one, though, had quite a bit of the school and I fooled for a long while. She came home one day from class, crying, and claiming that her dad had been fired and their family would be poor, that he couldn’t get a job, and that they were about to lose the house. This resulted in our friends, as well as myself, taking pity on her, buying her food and other necessities (though to this day, I wonder how necessary Steak ‘n Shake twice a week really is). She went on with this for a few months. Finally, she, our mutual friend, and I stayed at her house on the way to a convention. We chatted it up with her father over some beers, who told us that he had quit his job and had already found another, he was simply taking a break between them. They had just gotten their kitchen remodelled a month or so prior. When mutual friend and I asked him if he was worried about their money, he laughed at the idea.
My boyfriend runs a few forums but on his main one a while back there was this girl that had come on there from another place we’d all frequent. She would post pictures of a super hot girl all the time. All different kinds from disheveled to bathing suit to pajamas to dressed up for a night out. I guess big red flag when someone that hot is posting on nerdy sites. But after a few months we didn’t think much of it. She started calling my friend Jeremy and they had a ‘relationship’ for a while. She would post pretty much daily and even came on there speaking about her ex boyfriend and how he abused her all the time. Since we had spoken to her for so long we were pretty torn up about all of it. A few of the other girls and I shared our stories with her to make her feel like she wasn’t alone, and we tried to help her through everything she was going through as she claimed it was taking a huge toll on her and that she was contemplating suicide.
Fast forward to a few months later after everything has settled down and she tells Jeremy that she really cares about him, and she wants to tell him something. Apparently she’d been creeping on some girl and stealing all her pictures. Everything she had said to us had been made up, and she was just some girl with low self esteem that wanted to be seen as something more. The worst part about it is, we would have accepted her no question if she’d only given us a chance. Disappeared after that, probably on other sites claiming to be someone she’s not. Sad.
I know a girl who absolutely craved attention and pity. So, whenever she started dating someone new, she would act as if she had trouble reciprocating affection. If tried to ask what was wrong, she would “try” to deflect the topic before eventually giving in.
She would then spin a graphic tale about how, when she was younger, her father (who had divorced her mother some years before) would yell at her for no reason.
The big problem, of course, was that this story was 100% pure crap. She casually said as much when she was with her friends, relating the entire process as if it were some sort of conquest or game. I guess it was because, hey, other people’s awful tragedies are just plain fun to exploit!
One of my acquaintances that I go to school with currently was in a car accident in September. Immediately following this car accident, he said he had brain cancer. Not only did he say he had cancer, but he said he had some form that should have killed him by March, or early April at the latest. I just had a full conversation with him this afternoon, and is perfectly healthy.
He was a freshman, and needless to say, we didn’t know him well enough by this point to know he was lying. So about a week goes by, and he tells us that he’s driving to the hospital twice a day because they’re starting some sort of experimental protein injection to combat the cancer, with his own insurance that he paid for by gambling on NFL games at a buffet restaurant. He is a full time student, and I saw him for about 6 hours a day, everyday while this whole 3 month thing was going on. He “had” brain cancer and still had the energy to be in marching band (which involved about 18 hours of marching a week).
We started to notice a trend in his well being though. He liked this girl, and whenever their relationship got worse, he would say he had about a week left, and would be dead after that. When she showed any emotion towards him, the treatment worked, and he was going to be just fine. So by about the 2nd or 3rd “just kidding, I’m ok” some of us started figuring out that he was probably making some of this up. So finally someone confronted him, and his whole story, which was already filled with holes, fell apart, and the next day, he was fine. He pretends that none of it ever happened. He also has 0 friends. Every one that knew him believed him, and were extremely upset, because we thought we were going to lose someone. He caused half of us to lose sleep, because he craved attention.
I was bored one day on Facebook and realized that one of my ‘friends’ had created over ten fake accounts to comment and like her own posts and pictures. She would meticulously vary the likes and comments to make it look random. These accounts went back over two years. I called her out and she blocked me over it. Nowhere near as bad as some of these but the sheer amount of effort and time she must have put into it is mind-blowing to me.
A former friend of mine was desperately jealous of me for being with my boyfriend at the time (said person’s best friend) and it drove him absolutely insane that my boyfriend was paying attention to me instead of him.
They had apparently known each other for years, and this person had some serious social anxiety/dependence issues, also. Long story short, he faked his mother’s death to get attention, sympathy, and time alone with my boyfriend because “I just didn’t understand.”
He went the whole 9 yards. First he told us that she had terminal cancer. Then he’d call begging my boyfriend to come over because “he just left the hospital” and needed someone to talk to. Then, finally, the death. Refused to invite us to the funeral because it was “family only.”
I saw her driving last week, and she asked me how I was doing when I followed her into a convenience store. She remembered me from this guy introducing us way back when. All I said was “fine, thank you” and left. I didn’t have the guts to tell her that her son was going around telling people she was dead.
Oh, and we’re all male, and gay. Sometimes I think he was just jealous and wanted to distract him from me at any cost.
In high school I was friends with a girl who invented a whole group of fake friends that had a house she would hang out at and they all regularly visited a local club down in Charlotte. Apparently they all had crazy alcohol induced sex orgies and listened to “obscure” music like Tokio Hotel (her favorite band that no one else enjoyed). Things didn’t start to add up, especially when these friends of hers all had names like “L-X”, were all goth and emo models, and their Facebook pages had no pictures. Stopped entertaining her when we learned this aforementioned club didn’t exist and all of the messages she sent using the fake Facebook pages had the same grammar and spelling errors. Also their numbers in her phone would never connect when she asked us to call them on her phone, but oh they had no trouble calling her to say they couldn’t hang. She kept this thing going from eighth grade on and never admitted to them being fake.
A classmate of mine in art school told the whole class that she was colorblind, lactose and gluten intolerant, but she had medicine for it so she could eat whatever she wanted. She was half deaf on one ear and almost blind on one eye. Of coarse she told this over a period of 6 months, and not all at once. No one call her out on it though, but everyone talked behind her back and no one believed here. I don’t even think the teacher believed her.
Anyways she made the teacher always write up all the color and things like that. Because she could only see black,white and grey.. The story behind the color blindness was that she one day woke up and couldn’t see color. She claimed she had been to many doctors but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She was an amazing painter though and her colors always looked perfect. Because she claimed, she started to learn to see the different gray tones of the different colors…
She didn’t like me because I asked too many questions about her problems.