Nev Schulman and “Catfish” co-host Max Joseph explained why catfishing is more common than ever
Even though his hit show just started up its seventh season (and you’d figure people would learn not to get scammed) Nev Schulman said catfishing is more common than ever these days. And as he’s someone who’s witnessed a fair share of catfishing, we have a feeling he knows what he’s talking about.
In case you’re unfamiliar, catfishing takes place when someone lies about their identity to another person online, often scamming them out of money and time. Most catfish steal their photos on the internet and think up excuses about why they can’t video chat or meet their victim face-to-face. Schulman experienced the phenomenon himself while creating a documentary and decided to launch the MTV series Catfish to help others properly identify the people they’ve fallen for online. While the people being investigated sometimes turn out to be who they say they are, most of the time, they’re people addicted to the idea of being someone else.
Along with Schulman, filmmaker Max Joseph also knows how common catfishing still is in 2018. Serving as Catfish’s co-host and camera man, he’s helped Schulman uncover the truth.
In anticipation of the show’s new episodes, the pair were interviewed by Fox News about why so many people are still deceived online.
"I think since we started making the show more and more people are getting "catfished"...not everybody obviously creates entire personalities online, but more people are using the internet," Schulman explained. "More people spend time meeting friends and making relationships on the internet, the more likely they are to be deceived. So...a lot more people are getting catfished than ever before."
Joseph added that catfishing is almost becoming less advanced, since the internet has become such a normal part of daily life and people don’t view it with the same kind of suspicion they once did.
He also noted that since there’s an awkwardness around video chatting, people don’t necessarily view hesitance to use it as a red flag.
One of the show’s most talked-about episodes focused around a young man who thought he was dating Katy Perry — and while it seemed a little unreal, Joseph believes that celebrity catfishing is actually more common than we think.
"I think the celebrity catfish is becoming more and more common and again, I think a lot of it has to do with the person getting catfished, really wants to believe that they are talking to a celebrity and so they are less aggressive about knowing the truth," he said.
So what can you do? If you’re talking to someone online who seems a little too good to be true, look for clues. Consider searching for their photos online to see if they’ve been pulled from somewhere else. And always remember to be extra cautious when someone asks for money. Anyone is capable of being scammed, and figuring out the reality of the situation can be both heartbreaking and costly.