Tristan King is a marine stationed in Southern California who is also a social media influencer with an Instagram following. He posts many inspirational work-out photos and videos to motivate him to continue living a healthy lifestyle while encouraging others to do the same. On his account, you can see him living a happy active life with his wife, but behind the scenes, scammers are actually stealing his images. Our search specialist at Social Catfish found thousands of fake social media profiles where scammers were using his images to lure their victims into their romance scam and scammed them out of millions of dollars.
The Business of the Romance Scam
On average, King estimates that three new profiles using his images are created per day. He reports at least 10-15 accounts per day on Instagram, but they just keep creating new accounts and going onto multiple social media platforms. He’s gotten so fed up about the situation that he’s actually messaged scammers that were pretending to be him. He’s even gone so far as to video chat with them, which is when he found out that they aren’t alone when they scam people.
There’s actually several of romance scammers in Nigeria that work as a company to scam women and make millions of dollars. There are men that are hired to this company and the way they earn a living is by stealing it from the women they claim they love so much. In reality, they are just trying to gain their trust so they can make up a believable story of how they are in danger to steal thousands of dollars from each girl.
“It’s a nightmare, it’s an absolute nightmare,” King has stated.
How Scammers Started to Steal His Pictures For Their Romance Scam
This all started for him two years ago, when he got his first message from a girl who had found his profile on Tinder. To this day, he still gets many messages from women and men who claim to have been scammed by his likeness. He has to tell each person that he is the actual guy behind the pictures and reassure them that he’s also a victim, not a scammer. Even his wife has gotten messages from other women, claiming that her husband is being unfaithful.
“She’s not naïve enough to start believing in that stuff,” King says.
Even though many people are using his images, King’s wife wasn’t surprised when this first started happening. Since his Instagram profile started taking off, she predicted that it was only a matter of time until the fake profiles appear before them. King denied that this would happen, and was shocked when the fake profiles and messages from victims started to show up in his feed.
“It’s getting in the way of what we want to do with our lives, it’s a headache,” he says regarding this.
His Advice to Those Who are Online Dating
His advice to those who are online dating is to meet them in person or video chat with them before you commit to anything. He also says that if something bad happens in your life to not let those adversities keep you down and to keep doing what you want to do for the rest of your life.
“2020 is a different time we can all attest to that. But just remember to stay grounded and remember why you’re here.”
Social Catfish is Here to Help with Any Romance Scam!
If you have a similar story to King’s situation or have been scammed by a romance scammer, Social Catfish would love to hear from you! We are looking for people to share their stories with our audience to inform them of the signs of a scammer before they have a chance to get scammed. If you would like to be featured on our upcoming YouTube videos or blog posts, you can email us at ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com.
We also have a reverse search toolbar that shows you who you’ve really been in contact with based on just a tiny bit of information. All you need to perform a reverse search is a name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see who it is you’ve really been talking to.