Man learns his hunky online boyfriend of eight months is really a serial fraudster using photos of a ‘straight lad with a girlfriend and kids’ to dupe him ‘for the buzz’ on Catfish UK
- Lee, 28, from London, met personal trainer ‘Paul’ on a dating app last year
- Concerned Paul wasn’t who he said he was, Lee contacted MTV and enlisted the help of Catfish UK hosts Julie Adenuga and Oobah Butler to help track him down
- Discovered that ‘Paul’ was actually Shay, a man who’d catfished 90 people using photos of a man named Danny
A man who thought he’d met the love of his life online was heartbroken to discover his boyfriend of eight months was a serial catfish who was using the photos of a ‘straight lad with a missus’ and a child.
Project manager Lee, 28, from east London, met personal trainer ‘Paul’, from west London on a dating app last year.
The couple chatted everyday via Snapchat and other social media apps, but never exchanged numbers.
When they agreed to meet, Paul didn’t turn up saying that on his way he saw a dog being ran over and had to take him to the vet.
Concerned Paul wasn’t who he said he was, Lee contacted MTV UK and enlisted the help of Catfish UK hosts Julie Adenuga and Oobah Butler to help track him down.
On last night’s episode, the pair discovered that ‘Paul’ was actually Shay, a man who’d catfished 90 people over five years because he ‘gets a buzz out of it’.
Despite being caught in the act, Shay – who has several social media profiles under different identities – continued to catfish people saying it’s ‘not something he can stop’.
Lee, 28, from east London (pictured) met personal trainer ‘Paul’, from west London on a dating app last year
‘We bounce off each other’s messages but the problem is we just haven’t been able to meet,’ Lee told Julie and Oobah.
‘To be honest I’m falling for him. I just want to take it offline and meet in real life’.
Despite texting everyday on Snapchat, Lee doesn’t have Paul’s number and the pair have never met despite both living in London.
‘For me, there’s more red flags than a golf course, but I’m so invested,’ he went on.
‘He’s such a kind and caring person, there’s more to him than just looks, it’s that personality’.
‘I feel like I’ve opened up to him, I’m quite a guarded person but I’ve let my guard down completely.
The couple chatted everyday via Snapchat and other social media apps, but never exchanged numbers. ‘Paul’ is pictured.
‘I’ve never been in love, it’s always just lust but for me this could have potential. I’ve opened up to him and let him into my life essentially.’
Lee, who’s never been in an official relationship before went on to explain that despite Paul initiating meet-ups, he’s always been stood up.
We’ve arranged to meet up quite a few times, the first time he didn’t even show up.
‘I got to the bar and he completely stood me up,’ he explained.
‘I felt so crushed, I felt like my confidence had been taken away from me.
Lee, who’s never been in an official relationship before went on to explain that despite Paul initiating meet-ups, he’s always been stood up. He later discovered he was really talking to Shay (pictured)
‘He said that on the way there he saw a dog that had been hit by a car and he had to be taken to the vets’.
Another time the couple were meant to have a video call and Paul ghosted him, and later said that he’d locked himself the gym and wasn’t able to get online.
Deciding they want to help Lee, Julie and Oobah began investigating armed with the information sent to them by Lee.
The pair quickly found a profile for Danny, a father-of-one with a girlfriend who’s photos were the same as Paul’s.
Concerned Paul wasn’t who he said he was, Lee contacted MTV UK and enlisted the help of Catfish UK hosts Julie Adenuga and Oobah Butler to help track him down. He discovered Paul is using photos of Danny (pictured)
Unlike Paul, Danny has thousands of followers and hundreds of pictures.
After sending Julie and Oobah send him a message, Danny video calls them to confirm he’s not speaking to Lee.
‘He’s definitely not talking to me, ‘I’ve got a girlfriend, I’ve got a child, this happens quite a bit now. I get numerous people saying they’ve been talking to me. There must be a profile on every dating app,’ Danny tells the pair.
He then records a message to show Lee, explaining that he’s ‘a straight lad with a missus and a kid’.
After discovering the news, Lee is left in tears.
‘I just feel really mugged off. I just feel stupid. So much is running through my mind right now. This is such a shock.,’ he say.
Viwers were shocked with the reveal and sharing their sympathy for Lee who they said was ‘lovely’
Keen to meet who’s really behind the profile, Oobah explains to Lee that they sent the profile a link, which once opened reveals the person’s location, showing that ‘Paul’ was in Leicester.
After confronting Paul, he agrees to meet the trio in a park in Leicester the next day.
‘We’ve got absolutely not idea who we’re looking for,’ Oobah says as they wait for the catfish to arrive.
‘This wait it killing me,’ Lee adds before the catfish approaches.
Lee (pictured) said he felt ‘mugged off’ and ‘humiliated’ by being Catfished
‘Such a beautiful day for a Catfish in a park,’ a man says as he appraoches the trio.
After Julie asks him his name, he responds: ‘What would you like it to be? I’m Ryan, I’m Mark, I’m Alex, I’m Paul.
He then confirms his real name is Shay he’s been speaking to Lee as Paul for the last eight months.
‘I do it all the time. It gives me a total buzz. It’s a bit of a laugh. It’s all a joke to me,’ he went on.
‘I’m not being rude. It actually gives me a buzz. He’s not the only person I message. I’m catfishing about eight or nine people. The longest one has been going on for about five years.
Hosted by radio and TV presenter Julie Adenuga and journalist and author Oobah Butler, each week Catfish UK will be helping love-struck hopefuls get to the bottom of their online relationships and uncover the truth of who they have been speaking to
‘I’ve probably catfished about 80-90 people total. When I get bored I block’.
After saying he feels ‘humiliated’ Lee asks Shay if he’s hiding anything, who eventually confesses: ‘When I first joined social media, I uploaded one picture on there. A couple of comments were like “you look like a fake mannequin doll, you look like plastic”.
‘When I’m out with my friends at a bar, they always pull. I’m just stood there. I don’t ever pull, maybe it’s a confidence issue’.
‘I genuinely am really sorry, ‘ he adds to Lee.
Two months later, Julie and Oobah catch up with Lee and Shay, with Shay admitting he’d deleted the Paul profile, but had set up more fake ones.
‘It’s not something I can stop. It’s very very addictive,’ he explained.
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