This Catfish isn’t about love, it’s all business.
Unlike previous season 3 episodes, number four doesn’t involve a romance that began on the web. Lucille believes her online connection could be a key to finding a job in the music industry. Unfortunately, even before Nev Schulman and Max Joseph show up, Lucille has already discovered a few … fishy details about her supposed “business parter,” Kidd Cole. Worse yet, this Catfish is getting Mr. Kim Kardashian involved, claiming he is the youngest artist under Kanye West‘s record label GOOD Music.
This is something our cyber-sleuthing won’t stand for! Read on to see what Nev and Max discovered about this episode’s online enigma. Don’t worry, we did the detective work for you. Check out the “three red flags” that led to “the big reveal,” and “the silver lining” that followed. Let’s get fishing, shall we?
The Catfishee: Lucille is a compassionate woman living in Philadelphia with dreams of working in the music industry and hopes that she’ll get the chance through her Twitter connection to Kidd Cole.
The Catfish Kidd Cole is allegedly making music under Kanye West’s record label, and is looking for some extra help with his career from online fans.
Three Red Flags
Lucille is caring but she isn’t stupid. Based on Kidd Cole’s behavior, our Catfishee has already spotted a few warning signs on her own. Lucille began talking to Kidd Cole through direct messages on Twitter after finding his MTV artist page and Soundcloud. Following several months of talking shop, Kidd Cole and his manager Miguel asked Lucille to arrange hotels, security and drivers for the rapper in Washington, D.C., as an unofficial trial run for a permanent job. Excited by the opportunity, Lucille quickly set up the requested services, which Kidd Cole happily used.
The only problem? This “prestigious” artist didn’t pay for any of them, opting to mock up phony contracts and have all the invoices sent to Lucille. Now this well-meaning woman is being harassed for thousands of dollars by the workers she hired for Kidd Cole. Unsurprisingly, Nev and Max are able to find additional red flags to heap onto this rapper’s rep of shady behavior.
1. The phone numbers for Kidd Cole and his manager are registered to the same person. Using the reliable power of the reverse number search, the Catfish crew find that the numbers Lucille has for Kidd Cole and his people are registered to one Stone-Col Jerez in Washington, D.C. Strange, isn’t D.C. the place where Lucille set up all those services?
2. GOOD Music has no idea who Kidd Cole is. It’s bad news when your employer hasn’t heard of you. Nev and Max use their contacts at MTV for a little extra digging. Through their sources, they discover anyone can make a MTV artist page and GOOD Music doesn’t represent a Kidd Cole. They haven’t even heard the name. Even sketchier, most of the rapper’s Soundcloud tracks are actually other people’s music with the track name changed.
3. Kidd Cole has a Facebook page dedicated to his scamming ways. Lucille is not the first music lover to be wrongfully wooed by Kidd Cole. Another scammed fan started a Facebook page about the other folks the so-called rapper has swindled. When Nev, Max and Lucille meet one of these victims, Loretta, a limo driver from Washington, D.C., she tells the trio how Kidd Cole robbed her of $8,000 by using her luxury car service on several occasions and disappearing once the bills arrived.
The Big Reveal
Certain they are dealing with an especially slick Catfish, Nev, Max and Lucille travel to D.C. to find out who Kidd Cole really is – and why he is purposely screwing over hardworking people. The group calls up the scammer, posing as MTV show runners interested in Kidd Cole’s work, and set up a meeting. When confronted with his own evil deeds, Kidd Cole – or Stone-Col Jerez – claims he’s legit and invites the group to visit him in the studio the following day. When the trio arrive at the basement studio of a random house, it is clear this is another one of Jerez’s ruses. The “rapper” is unable to work the recording gear and a business partner also in the studio admits that Jerez asked him to pose as a professional.
Finally, the Catfish guys get Jerez to admit some fault. The mumbling man tells Nev and Max his story about growing up in foster care and how his caretakers laughed at his dreams of being a rapper. He says all this scamming to get star treatment is his way of keeping up appearances and attracting the attention of the music industry. Somehow Nev and Max keep their patience enough to politely inform Jerez that rap success is more about making music, and less about illegal tricks. They leave with Jerez apologizing for his actions and promising to focus on music and improving himself.
The Silver Lining
This is a lining that isn’t as shiny as others. Jerez refused to do a follow-up interview, and a little searching revealed he is still posing as Kidd Cole. Currently, he is claiming to be a co-producer on Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”. Thankfully, Lucille used this gigantic breach of trust as a learning experience. She is working towards a job in criminal justice as a way to help others who have been financially Catfish-ed.
“I have a big heart and I like to help people,” Lucille explains. “And that can be a blessing and a curse.”
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