To Catch a Catfish: An Online Dating Predator Exposed

December 26, 2012
Online dating can be tricky. Is the person you’ve fallen for and shared your deepest secrets with really who they say they are? Dr. Phil’s guests say they fell victim to a catfish — a person who creates a false ID on the Internet in the hopes of luring people into romantic relationships. What were the signs that they missed? And what would drive a person to carry out such a deception?







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DevonDavid, Devon's love interestBobbiShaun, Bobbi's love interestLaurenShaun, Lauren's love interestJosey, identity stolen in love scamNev Schulman, executive producer of Catfish: The TV Show on MTV

A Relationship Imposter

Devon, Lauren, Bobbi and Kelly say they fell for the same man and spent months establishing an online relationship — one that never culminated in a face-to-face meeting. According to the women, an estimated 26 women have fallen victim to this alleged catfish’s schemes.


Devon spent two-and-a-half years planning her future with “David.”

Why didn’t Devon ever meet her love? Hear his excuses.

Bobbi and Lauren explain how they both fell in love with a man named “Shaun.”

The women say Shaun had plenty of dramatic excuses for why he couldn’t meet them: car accidents, surgery, migraines, a brain tumor, chemotherapy, his mother's breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy and emergency room visits. Bobbi and Lauren say Shaun’s sister even called them — from his phone — to report one of his E.R. visits.


The women meet the man whom they believed they were in a relationship with.

The alleged catfish, the person pretending to be David and Shaun, is revealed. You won’t believe who it is!

When Lauren got suspicious, she recorded a conversation with Shaun. Hear the voice of the alleged catfish.


Kelly, who doesn't want to be identified, says she knows the alleged catfish. Find out how she says she was fooled as well.

In Dr. Phil’s book, Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World, he talks about the people you need to be aware of, called BAITERs — people who are backstabbers, abusers, imposters, takers, exploiters and reckless. Learn the “Evil Eight” — identifying characteristics that you should always look out for. Plus, don’t miss the “Nefarious 15” — tactics from the Evil Eight’s playbook you’re going to want to know about! And, learn the “Sweet 16” — what successful people consistently do to win in the real world. Learn more about Life Code here and get your own copy here!

Dr. Phil gives the women tips from the “Sweet 16,” so that they can be winners in their own life. He also recommends that they do a relationship autopsy to recognize the mistakes they may have made in falling for an imposter, so they can learn from them and move forward.

Nev Schulman, executive producer of Catfish: The TV Show, airing Mondays on MTV, gives the warning signs of a catfish.