Many boylovers are eager to greet boys that participate in online fora. Fake boys sometimes try to gain a boylover's trust and develop a friendship. They may do this for a variety of reasons, such as boosting self-esteem by appearing attractive to others, a desire to control others, or legal entrapment by a child advocate or a law enforcement officer.
The impact on the victim of the fake boy can be vicious. Sometimes the victim will have developed feelings of deep friendship or love toward the fake. When the fake is found out, the victim may feel betrayed or suffer from heartbreak. Other fakes collect personal information from the victim or entice the victim into agreeing to meet him or her or take other potentially illegal actions. This information is then handed to the police, the media, or the public, with subsequently disastrous or fatal consequences for the victim (see Outing).
Problems with fake boys on the Internet go all the way back to the earliest days of BoyChat, which at the time was the only boylover-oriented message board on the Internet. After several suspected fake boys began to take up a large portion of BoyChat's resources in 1996, Sean007, the third BoyChat webmaster, created a sub-board for boy participation called ChatHaven. He removed the board after a few months because he believed it was making the problem of fake boys worse, not better.
Dealing with fake boys
Many recommend healthy skepticism when dealing with people online that claim to be children. This especially applies to arranging to meet them. Law enforcement officers or vigilantes may stand behind the nicknames, ready to spring into action when the victim commits an indiscretion. This is why it is important to never trade pics of any kind or enter into a conversation of a sexual nature with anyone who claims to be a minor. A person wanting to entrap an adult will most likely try to steer the conversation to that direction not long after contacting the adult.
On the other hand, some community members warn against excessive vitriol toward suspected fakes. It is a damaging accusation, and difficult to assure with full certainty. Furthermore, frequent and harsh accusations may damage the community as such.
Some boylovers believe that it is important to treat a suspected fake with the same regard as one might give anyone else on the Internet. These boylovers believe that there are actual boys who do find the BL community for many different reasons and that if the community's first reaction is to treat them as automatic fakes, it could lead to undesirable results in the future.