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Catfished: ‘He was bald, but had hair in his photos, and he had more of a dad bod than a ripped body. I don’t know how he thought I wouldn’t notice’

The growing popularity of online dating apps has led to a sharp rise in catfishing, a deceptive practice where people create fake profiles to lure someone into a relationship. But what happens when you get caught in a catfisher’s net of lies? Here, victims open up about the emotional impact of being duped online, and explain why they find it difficult to trust again

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Illustration: Jacky Sheridan

Illustration: Jacky Sheridan

Radio presenter Michelle Heffernan

Radio presenter Michelle Heffernan

Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton. Picture: Peter Evers

Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton. Picture: Peter Evers

Illustation: Jacky Sheridan

Illustation: Jacky Sheridan

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Illustration: Jacky Sheridan

The MTV show Catfish has given us 10 years of framing romantic deception as entertainment, and judging by the responses to shows such as The Tinder Swindler, our interest in catfishing is not going to wane any time soon.

When podcast hosts The 2 Johnnies recently shared a story about the convoluted lengths a catfish went to in order to contact one of them and around 40 other men while using stolen photos, the nation was hooked, and Twitter was flooded with responses and similar stories being shared.


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