I'm a serial catfish who's duped 6,000 guys with fake photos – I want to stop but don't know how, I need the validation | The Sun

A SERIAL catfish has duped thousands of men with her fake photos but she wants to get help.

The apologetic catfish is aware she has a problem but she says she doesn't know how to stop when she needs the validation.

Carmella Bynes (@revivecarmella), a professional catfish, has duped 6,000 men with fake photos online.

One of her victims, Matt, a 28-year-old from Searcy, Arkansas, met Carmella as "Elise" through TikTok.

Matt hit it off with Elise, a 25-year-old near him, and quickly became infatuated with her through their chats online but noticed a few red flags.

In his request to the reality television show Catfish, he noted he thought it was off that Elise, an aesthetician, didn't have social media.

He thought a 25-year-old would have some form of social media, especially as an aesthetician, if not for personal reasons then at least to promote herself for new clients.

On top of that, Matt was weirded out that every time he tried to FaceTime Elise, there always seemed to be a new excuse for why she couldn't.

Upon tracking "Elise" down, the cast members of Catfish and Matt confronted Carmella about catfishing Matt.

Nev, the host of Catfish, was shocked when he discovered who Elise really was — rather, he was shocked it was a familiar face: "I know you! We just did an episode with you!" he exclaimed.

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Upon revealing how many men she's tricked, the double take didn't seem too surprising: "I mean, I've probably talked to five, six thousand guys," Carmella said.

Carmella explained that she initially sent heavily edited photos of her own face, then started using photos of an influencer to catfish her victims after appearing on her first Catfish episode.

When questioned about why she continued catfishing after she had already been exposed in a previous episode, Carmella explained that she needed "another addiction" after deleting her social media.

Acting as Elise, she revealed she had spoken and tricked around 50 men.

"I was mostly just doing it for the attention and validation," she admitted.

Carmella explained she did want help for her catfish dependence but just didn't know how to get it: "I do want to stop but I don't know how."

After a reflective talk with the hosts and a few tears, Carmella apologized to Matt for deceiving him.

"I know I have this wall up but I just want you to know I'm genuinely sorry," she said.

Since the episode, Carmella has started a new Instagram account with real photos of herself, documenting her progress and noting her improvement.

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Looking back at her episodes of Catfish, she said she felt she had come a long way: "It is hard watching this back knowing the headspace I was in at the time, but cheers to progress," she said.

"I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday."

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