Paris Dunn, who goes by the stage name Paris Dylan, is a very popular online model. Dunn has a huge social media presence with 25,000 Twitter followers, 87,000 Facebook fans and 370,000 Instagram followers. But when Dunn was just 17-years-old, she became ensnared in an elaborate catfishing scheme that would eventually see threats, blackmail, search warrants and an NBA star.
“A catfish is someone who uses internet profiles to interact with people online, usually pretending to be either a version of themselves or someone entirely different,” Nev Schulman, the creator of MTV’s Catfish series, explained. “What [Dunn’s] catfish was able to accomplish is not only sophisticated, but incredibly manipulative, emotionally very traumatic, and at the same time wildly creative and somewhat impressive.”
When Dunn was just 17 years old, she admitted she began flirting with pro-athletes online, telling them she was older. Soon she though she had attracted NBA star Chris “Birdman” Andersen on Facebook.
In fall 2011 she received a message that appeared to be from Andersen on Facebook that said, “Hey … I see you’re a fan.” Dunn said she was a little skeptical at first, “but being 17, I was an excited girl.”
“I wrote back and was like, ‘Hey,’ and then like it was kind of like, ‘What are you doing?’” Dunn continued. “I remember that he said that he was eating pizza and you know it kind of took off from there.”
She said their conversations were carried out over Facebook, email and texting, which then led to sending each other selfies. Eventually, this included nude photos as well. But soon, Andersen’s “best friend” Tom began messaging her as well. The only problem was that Andersen, who really was communicating with Dunn, didn’t know any Tom.
Eventually, things took a turn south. Dunn said Tom threatened to share the nude photos she sent Andersen and said he was going to post them online along with her name, address and phone number. She then said Tom sent her a link that included all the photos she had sent Andersen. She said the photos were then posted online for a short time.
“He said that he was going to send somebody down there … he was going to have me raped, and murdered, and thrown on the side of the street,” Dunn said.
After a crazy ordeal that involved threats and blackmail, Tom was revealed to be a reclusive Canadian woman named Shelly Chartier who had been catfishing both Andersen and Dunn. Chartier was sentenced to 18 months in prison.