Catfishing is the practice of adopting a fake online persona and capturing someone's attention through deception. In the incelosphere it means adopting a fake persona to lure someone into a relationship.
Mostly not illegal
Catfishing itself is not illegal in most places in the world, including in a romantic context. Catfishing is used by law enforcement, activists, researchers, journalists, authors, bloggers, and other people legally all the time. At the same time, due to its deceptive nature, catfishing is usually frowned upon, even in a law enforcement context, and thus prosecutors often try to pin offenses onto catfishers. Catfishing can very easily lead to actual crimes such as illegal fraud (which would typically require some financial benefit) or defamation, among other things. A minority of places, such as the US state of Oklahoma, have effectively made all catfishing illegal.
IncelWiki.com does not condone catfishing.
As a dating strategy
In the incel community, Catfishman has become famous for his videos which involve getting a girl to travel long distances to meet with (she thinks) a male model, before he reveals himself and informs her that she has been catfished.
- Catfish Game, Heartiste