Scammers are using images of American public figure Jack Mackenroth to set up fake dating and social media profiles including on Tinder and Facebook.
WA ScamNet has received a report from a woman who was lured into transferring money to a fake freight company to collect a parcel for a man claiming to be ‘Tony Walter’, who was using Mr Mackenroth’s image for his profile photo on Facebook.
The fake profile has been removed from Facebook and Tinder but new versions may have since been created using images of Mr Mackenroth, and there have been reports online of others being caught in this scam.
The WA victim had been communicating with ‘Tony Walter’ for several months before he started asking for money.
- Be wary of requests for money and never send money or give credit card details, online account details, or copies of important personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.
- Do not agree to transfer money for someone else - money laundering is a criminal offence.
- Do an image search to help determine if they really are who they say they are. And be alert to things like spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistencies in their stories and others signs that it’s a scam like their camera never working if you want to Skype each other.
- Be cautious when sharing personal pictures or videos with prospective partners, especially if you’ve never met them before. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material.
- Be careful about how much information you share on social network sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.