Of course it couldn’t! At least, that’s what many viewers of the hit MTV show Catfish seem to think.
While many of the victims of “catfishing” are cleverly strung along, other situations really make viewers raise an eyebrow and wonder how much of the show is faked. One such episode involved a young lady who believed she was in an online relationship with Bow Wow, a popular music star. Even the show’s hosts, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, were skeptical, saying that the situation was ‘ridiculous’. So why did they decide to pursue this episode when the desired outcome was so unlikely? One reason— money!
That’s correct—money was the reason. Not for them, though. Keyonnah had received a generous gift of $10,000 from her online admirer. Considering only the considerably wealthy could afford such a gift, there was some skeptical optimism that the party on the other end of the line could’ve actually been Bow Wow. As is typical of the show’s participants, Keyonnah had been interacting with somebody for months, but the two hadn’t met or even video chatted. Suspicion is always raised when the other party makes continual excuses for not meeting or showing who they are on video. This is rightfully so, as the effort and internet speed required to accomplish such tasks is scant. Most computers come with built in webcams as well. Very fishy, if I do say so!
Well, the guys start digging and discover the phone number is registered to somebody not very far from Keyonnah in terms of geographical distance. Strike one. Keyonnah also said the money was sent by a Larry Brown, an individual the other party claimed to be Bow Wow’s personal assistant. A contact at MTV confirms Larry isn’t Bow Wow’s assistant. Strike two. The guys text the other party and get more excuses as to why him and Keyonnah cannot meet. Strike three. Keyonnah becomes convinced it isn’t Bow Wow, and quickly falls to the sadness and cries.
While we can relate to her frustration and disappointment, it’s hard to think that somebody could actually believe they’ve hooked up with a celeb over Facebook. Regardless, Keyonnah and the guys go to meet this person who is talking to Keyonnah. They take a trip to Atlanta, where the person claims they are for the night. When they arrive, they knock on the door and….it’s Bow Wow!
Just kidding! It’s actually a 23-year-old girl named Dee. Keyonnah reacts with understandable anguish, and it is also revealed that the person on the phone with Keyonnah was actually Dee’s cousin relaying messages. Talk about messed up! Dee states that she still wants to help Keyonnah and remain close to her. This begs the question of where the financial assistance actually came from. Dee claims she’s a successful rapper who gets paid for shows, but the guys are unable to find anything about her on the internet. Later, Dee admits she borrows hefty sums of money from friends that she never pays back. Can’t say anyone could truly blame Keyonnah for not wanting to stay involved with such an individual!
Months later, the two no longer keep in touch, though Dee wants to. While this episode was unique, there are many “catfished” individuals who we feel sorry for. The lies some weave can be oh so intricate, and there are many phonies out there. The show definitely makes you think twice about who you may be talking to!