documentary hack


Catrin Nye

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Jobfished explores the elaborate con that tricked people into unpaid work for a fake design agency for up to six months during the first COVID-19 lockdown.




by Catrin Nye


Imagine working at your dream job for half a year, only to discover it was never real and you would never be paid. Many people know about catfishing — when someone online pretends to be someone else. But jobfishing is so rare, it caught everyone off-guard.

In the midst of the COVID-19 2020 lockdown, millions were looking for jobs online. For many hopeful job seekers, Madbird looked like a golden opportunity: a glamorous and successful design agency. Boasting a range of well-known clients, Madbird seemed like another start-up success story. But the company was built on a web of lies, with employees unknowingly working for an elaborate online con.

This documentary follows BBC investigative journalist Catrin Nye and her team as they get to the bottom of the Madbird lies. Featuring interviews with former Madbird employees, Jobfished takes a powerful stance: You shouldn't believe everything you see online.

Favorite quote

Who has put in this much effort to try and dupe hardworking, good people during a pandemic? They took advantage of people at their lowest.

- Gemma Brett, graphic designer

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