Max Joseph is a documentary filmmaker in the new hit reality show "Catfish: The TV Show" featuring long time friend and co-star, Nev Shulman. On Jan. 14 Max did an interview with the Washington Post and shared some helpful tips on what people at home can do to investigate their own online relationships.
First of all, Max says that each episode of the show only shares a small clip of how much time is actually spent investigating these people's love interests. It usually takes six to seven hours. They call friends, family, schools, and work of these online lovers to see if they really are who they say they are. Big red flags are people that claim they are models, have no desire to meet up or video chat. Google image search is one of the simplest ways that someone can tell if they are who they are they are.
Max also shares that there are some things that give people a wide range to work with and people feel bad about questioning them, so they don't. It's a big flag because a "catfish" is going to know you will be less likely to ask questions if you think their limited availability has something to do with a sick family member. Facebook is a great tool too because anyone can be who they want, this is the beauty of the Internet. If there are no conversations or back and forth comments, and definitely if there are less than 100 friends, it is more than likely not a real person.
Ultimately, online dating is a virtual deception, it's in everyone's best interest to do at least ten minutes of research, a Google image search, or something before investing your time, energy, and heart.