Nev Schulman was famously duped by someone pretending to be someone else in the documentary “Catfish.” Now, he travels the country helping people avoid the same fate when it comes to meeting strangers online.
Schulman, 34, hosts the MTV series “Catfish” in which he investigates the stories of people who believe they are getting “catfished” by a nefarious, or lonely, person hiding behind a curtain of lies. Sometimes the stories end in heartbreak, but some end with genuine human connections. However, speaking to Fox News, Schulman made it clear that the one thing they all have in common is that they’re all shocking in some way.
“It’s interesting, I have made, I think now over 140 episodes of the show, and not any two have been alike. They’ve been similar in certain ways but there’s always some unforeseeable, unpredictable twist that finds its way into the story whether it’s at the beginning, middle or end,” Schulman said. “This last season that’s airing now is no different. I think as the internet continues to evolve, and as we continue to figure out how we interact with it and use it and explore it, new stuff just keeps coming up.”
It’s safe to say that, after more than 140 investigations and having once been the victim of a catfish himself, Schulman is an expert on sussing out frauds. Although he says social interactions are changing as quickly as technology is developing, there are some patterns that remain the same.
“It’s funny, the nature of the relationships I see on ‘Catfish’ are all very specific. It’s people who, for the most part, met as friends. Once in a while, it will start in a dating app, but usually it’s unsuspecting,” he explained. “You’re online, you get a ‘friend request’ from someone you don’t really know, but you have some mutual friends so you say ‘sure.’ Then they start acting very friendly and you become enamored by them and flirtation leads to the next thing and before you know it, you’re in a relationship.”
Schulman stops short of equating getting catfished exclusively with online dating because he’s seen these deep “relationships” develop out of friendship or an innocuous non-romantic conversation countless times. However, when it comes to ways to avoid getting catfished in 2019, the host says the basics haven’t changed.
“Obviously you can get lied to or have a bad date. But the trouble is when you invest too much of yourself into a relationship that you haven’t met,” he explained. “I would say the trend, or if people are going to online date, just know that if you’re talking to someone for maybe, I don’t know, a couple weeks, barring any strange circumstances like travel or work and they can’t meet up with you… Something is probably off, and that’s what you have to look out for.”
Schulman hosts a new crop of episodes debuting in June on MTV. Although he’s going without his longtime co-host Max Joseph, who left the show in 2018, he’s excited to get back out there and help some people.
“I am excited about this season of ‘Catfish’ for a lot of reasons. We went to some wild new places, we had things that have never happened happen to us and I have a bunch of really great co-hosts this season. Some you’ve seen before, some you haven’t, who just bring incredible fresh energy to the show and we had a lot of fun. So, I think I want people to watch the show because there’s a lot of TV you can watch that might not change the way you think about yourself, but our show pushes people to change the way they talk about one another in many ways.”