Fake News: Salina, KS Man Did NOT Book a Prostitute - She Did NOT Turn Out To Be His Wife

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Salina, KS Man Did NOT Book a Prostitute - She Did NOT Turn Out To Be His Wife

Did a 52-year-old man from Salina, Kansas book a prostitute and did she turn out to be his wife? No, that's not true: the same story has appeared earlier on various fake news sites and was said to have happened in Elgin, Illinois and Katy, Texas before. It is not real.

The latest form of the story appeared in from an article published on NewsView on August 19, 2018 titled "Salina, KS man booked a prostitute - and she turned out to be his wife" (archived here) which opened:

A 52-year old man in Salina, Kansas was taken by surprise after a prostitute he hired through a website turned out to be his own wife of the past 19 years.

The man had been using the site for some months to hire prostitutes and meet them for sex at motels in neighboring areas. Last weekend, the man told his wife he was going out drinking with work colleagues, when in reality he was travelling to a motel on the outskirts of town.

Upon checking into the motel the man used his phone to access his regular website used to book prostitutes. According to a statement he made to authorities, he saw the profile of a new "27-year old" woman who caught his attention.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, possibly leading them to think it was a real news article.:

Salina, KS man booked a prostitute - and she turned out to be his wife

A 52-year old man in Salina, Kansas was taken by surprise after a prostitute he hired through a website turned out to be his own wife of the past 19 years. The man had been using the site for some months to hire prostitutes and meet them for sex at motels in neighboring areas. Last weekend, ...

An earlier version of the story published by a different website claimed it had all happened in Elgin, Illinois:

Elgin, Illinois man booked a prostitute - and she turned out to be his wife

A 52-year old man in Elgin, Illinois was taken by surprise after a prostitute he hired through a website turned out to be his own wife of the past 19 years. The man had been using the site for some months to hire prostitutes and meet them for sex at motels in neighboring areas.

Another version from yet another different site placed the events in Katy, Texas:

Man from Katy, TX who ordered prostitute discovers that she is his ow...

A 52-year old man in the Texas city of Katy has made headlines after his attempt to hire a prostitute through an online service ended in a terrible mix-up that will likely cost him his marriage.

However both sites previously pushing the story, United News and The Telegrap Sun, used to belong to a now defunct network of fake news websites that often published the same stories about bizarre accidents or weird sex tales over and over again but with locations and names changed.

It is unclear if the site that published the "Salina, KS" version of the story is part of the same network or if they just copied the article from somewhere else and changed the location. We were unable to find any other site that published a copy of the story mentioning that town so we are assuming they were the ones that changed it.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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