At first, Sarah Harker says she was amused when a friend spotted her photo being used on someone’s fake dating profiles. The 32-year-old fitness coach shared the screenshot with her social media followers and that’s when she discovered even more fake accounts using her pictures. People started messaging her to say they’d seen her image used on other sites, including Bumble and Hinge.
According to the New York Post, Sarah discovered 12 separate fake dating profiles were using pictures of her wearing a bikini and ones of her with her dogs that were all swiped from her Instagram page. And while she laughed about the first one, knowing there were this many catfishing dating profiles – and possibly even more – using her stolen images was upsetting. She says while it could be seen as “a form of flattery,” it’s also dangerous for her business since people think those profiles represent her and she has no idea what’s being said in messages sent from those accounts.
“I found it disturbing to realize just how dangerous this could be and that people could be talking to these profiles believing that it was me on the other side,” Sarah explains. “I don’t like to think that my face could be used to put someone in a potentially dangerous situation.”
When she found out one of the catfishers was trying to arrange a meeting with someone, she decided to take action. Sarah contacted the dating apps to let them know she was being impersonated, but she says Tinder told her they couldn’t do anything unless she was a member and reported it directly.
Source: New York Post