In case you’re not familiar with Catfish, it’s an MTV show run by two men in the US – Max Joseph and Nev Schulman – who are out to expose people pretending to be other people on online dating sites.
Maybe it’s someone who’s used a stranger’s photograph as their profile picture. It might be someone pretending to be younger or more successful than they really are.
But this time, the duo discovered something much more sinister.
Ari is a 21-year-old girl who thought she was falling in love with a 25-year-old man from Texas called ‘Lanum’. She approached the show hoping for confirmation.
Turns out, ‘Lanum’ is a 42-year-old man called ‘Marcus’ who had been soliciting naked pictures from 40 different women, Ari included.
“It just started out as a social experiment, and then it turned into an addiction,” Marcus told the show’s presenters when they turned up at his door.
“I work nights, so I sleep during the day. It kills your social life, so I had to create something.”
Thankfully, Max Joseph wasn’t having a bar of it. He called Marus out on his creepiness as well as his poor excuse.
“You know what kills your social life?” he said. “When you think you’re dating someone you’re in love with… and you’re not meeting anyone else because [that] someone is feeding you bullshit over the phone.”
‘Get off the phone and go meet someone.’ Post continues below.
The pair said it was people like Marcus who make online dating so scary for others. Everyone is fearful the person they’re chatting to, forming a connection with, sometimes even sexting, is really a much older man pretending to be something he’s not.
“Since we’ve been making this show, every girl or guy that’s ever been in Ari’s place fears that they’re talking to some mid-40-something-year-old man who’s sad, sitting home in his crusty boxers, typing into the computer,” Max Joseph told Marcus.
“And you’re that guy! We finally met you. And that sucks for you, but it also sucks even more for Ari and all the other girls whose time you wasted.”