Getting fan mail can be scary.
On the latest episode of the “Boy Meets World” podcast “Pod Meets World”, star Danielle Fishel shared her experience being catfished by an older man when she was just 12.
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Fishel and her co-hosts Rider Strong and Will Friedle were talking about all the fan mail they received while starring on the classic comedy.
“When we first started getting fan mail, I also read them all and responded to them all. I got a letter in ’93 from a young girl and she included pictures of herself in it, and she was in gymnastics,” Fishel recalled.
“She wrote me this handwritten letter that she was a fan, and I wrote her back and she sent me another letter and we started this correspondence back and forth,” the actress said. “I felt very close to her, and one of the things she talked about regularly was that both of her parents died when she was young and she lived with her older brother.”
The actress said she then received a second letter featuring photos of the girl’s purported brother, who was “several years older.” The girl also included her phone number in another letter.
“My mom is participating in me writing back,” Fishel said. “She’s reading all these letters as well and she’s aware of what I’m writing and she’s reading what this girl is writing to me, and my mom is like: ‘[It seems like] you would be friends.’”
She continued, “So I call her. And I get her voicemail, but it’s not her. It’s her brother’s voicemail because it’s his house. They live in an apartment together, but her name isn’t anywhere on the voicemail.”
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At that point in the story, Strong clued in to what was going on and exclaimed, “She doesn’t exist! She doesn’t exist — some guy pretending to be a girl, you got catfished!”
Fishel confirmed that it was, indeed, an older man pretending to be a young girl. However, the situation got more disturbing.
“The way it all came out is because I kept calling her, and I left my phone number and she wouldn’t call me back,” the actress shared. “Then we got a letter from her brother saying that she had died, and my mum woke up in the middle of the night and was like: ‘She never existed, it’s always been him!’”
She added, “And then he started showing up at my school and telling people he was there to pick me up.”
Fishel didn’t actually share how the situation resolved, but thankfully she was okay.