“The case of Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend seems like a perfect storm of internet deception phenomena: identity deception, Munchausen by Internet Syndrome, and hyper-personal relationships.
The first and most obvious deception is using technology to fake an identity with relative ease. It seems like the girlfriend is a complete fabrication, though it’s not clear what the ‘girlfriend’ sent to Manti Te’o.
“The second is Munchausen by Internet Syndrome, in which people fake illnesses online to gain sympathy from others. The serious car crash and suffering leukemia combination is highly unusual and probably related to someone faking medical problems for sympathy.