Recently, Social Catfish was on Dr. Phil. We made an appearance on a two-part Dr. Phil episode that will shock everyone. In this episode, two daughters named Stacey and Traci try and protect their mom, Gail, who has fallen victim to romance scams. Stacey introduced her mom to online dating, thinking that it would allow her to find a companion. Instead, she has talked to three romance scammers since she created her first online dating profile. Dr. Phil investigates this matter to try and show Gail that the men she has been talking to are actually romance scammers.
Dr. Phil Part 1 Episode:
Gail Gets Scammed By Three Different Romance Scammers
Gail has been talking to three different guys from the time she started online dating. She talked to one guy named Fallon Gavin with who she had a relationship for over a year before they broke up. After the break-up, she started talking to a guy named Matt Hurley who she’s been with for four years now. She was also talking to a guy named Mark Sinclair who was using Vin Diesel’s photos.
Mark Sinclair told her that he was being held hostage and needed her help, Matt Hurley told her he needed help getting to the United States, and Fallon Gavin told her that he was in danger. In total, she has sent over $250,000 to these romance scammers. Whenever the daughters try to talk to their mom about how much money she has given to the scammers, Gail immediately shuts them down and doesn’t want to talk about it.
“They have ruined her financially, and she is broke,” Stacey stated.
Because she has been giving so much money to these romance scammers, Gail has not been able to pay her utility bills, her diabetes medication, or for a plumber to fix a flood in her basement. Her car was also repossessed because she could not afford the car payments. However, Gail does not believe her daughters when they tell her that she is being scammed.
The daughters have shown Gail pictures and videos that prove Matt Hurley’s identity is fake. They found his official social media accounts that prove he was a motivational speaker instead of an oil rig worker. When they showed their mom this, she told them that it was possible to be an oil rig worker and motivational speaker. She did not believe in what her daughters were telling her.
The Timeline of These Romance Scams
Dr. Phil went over a timeline of events that showcased the year that Gail went on dating apps to today. She created a dating profile back in November 2017 when she also met Fallon Gavin. She received a message that Fallon was in trouble in February 2018, so she cashed in her 401k to help him.
Then in March 2018, her daughters showed her a picture of the real Fallon Gavin, which made her stop responding to his messages. Then within the same month, she meets Matt Hurley on a dating app. A year after meeting Matt Hurley, her car gets repossessed since she stopped making payments on it.
That’s when the daughters find out that she had been sending money to Matt Hurley as well. They found out that instead of sending him actual money, she has sent him $12,000 in gift cards. Then in January 2020, she starts talking to Matt Sinclair who had been using Vin Diesel’s photos. Within this same month, the daughters find out that her taxes are overdue.
In March of 2020, Traci applied to be Gail’s SSI payee. In June 2020, Stacey took Gail’s phone away and began messaging Matt Hurley. In August 2020, the daughters spent six weeks cleaning Gail’s house, since she had been hoarding a bunch of stuff. Her house was so dirty that she went to live with Stacey for two months and didn’t want to go home. In September 2020, Traci paid back Gail’s taxes. In February of 2021, Gail’s phone was shut off.
Traci Takes Control of Gail’s Finances
Traci noticed that her mom was giving her life savings away to romance scammers, and couldn’t bear to watch it. She applied to become her social security payee and got approved to take control of Gail’s finances.
She had back taxes she owed, she was behind on paying her credit cards, and her car got repossessed. When Traci took over Gail’s finances, Gail tried to tell her that it wasn’t necessary and wanted her to stop. However, Traci needed to save her from herself before it was too late.
Stacey said that she saw about $170,000 worth of checks being sent to these romance scammers and didn’t know what to do. However, Dr. Phil added up the totals and confirmed she actually sent $230,000 to the men online. When Dr. Phil asked Gail why she didn’t want to talk about money, Gail responded that she just wanted to move on from it and forget about it.
Why Did Gail Fall For Matt Hurley?
Gail fell for Matt Hurley because he claims he is a Christian man, who is loyal, caring, sweet, giving, understanding, and more. Gail claims that she couldn’t imagine him scamming anyone. He calls her honey all the time and texts her sweet things so that she stays hooked on him.
Matt Hurley claims to be an engineer who works on an oil rig. He claimed to be working in Venezuela but had to go to Nigeria to get supplies for the oil rig. After landing in Nigeria, he didn’t have any money to purchase another ticket to come back to the states. She hopes that Dr. Phil can bring Matt Hurley back to the United States for her.
Because of this, he claims that he has been living in a hotel in Nigeria for the past two years. Gail doesn’t have any more money to give him to fly him back home, even though she has already given him $12,000. She refused to talk about money, even when being interviewed by Dr. Phil’s team members.
Dr. Phil Investigates Fallon Gavin
Fallon Gavin claimed to be a contract engineer who was born in Quebec, Canada. He claimed that he was a widower living in Texas with one daughter, who we don’t know much about. He claims that his hobbies are going to concerts, reading, and cooking. He claimed that he got in a horrific accident and needed help.
Dr. Phil examined his emails and compared them to the ones he found on PigBusters.net. Each email that Fallon Gavin had sent to Gail matched the ones that were published on the website exactly. He also found that the scammer stole photos of catfish Gail. The real man in the photos isn’t Fallon Gavin but is actually a man named Daniel who lives in Atlanta, GA. He doesn’t want his photo shown.
Dr. Phil’s team found that the man behind the scam was also located in Atlanta, GA. The addresses and phone numbers used in this scam were linked to the scammer’s business. The scammer’s IP Address was blocked. They also found that there was no Fallon Gavin in Texas and that it was a made-up name. The producer of Dr. Phil spoke to the man behind the photos who confirmed that he had never talked to Gail.
Dr. Phil Investigates Matt Hurley (Part 1)
Matt Hurley claimed that his date of birth was November 30, 1960. He claimed that he was from Birmingham, UK, and works in Zulia, Venezuela as a marine engineer. He has an estranged sister, but her information is unknown. He states that he’s divorced, but there’s no information about his ex-wife. According to him, he doesn’t have any friends and only has acquaintances. He doesn’t have a phone number and donates to an unknown charity. He’s Christian, likes soccer, and follows the news.
Dr. Phil believes that’s a lot of unknowns for someone who has been with Matt Hurley for four years. Gail states that she doesn’t care about some of the information she doesn’t know about and doesn’t want to get into other people’s business. After investigating more into the nice words Matt has told her, it’s clear that she fell for his flirty phrases. Dr. Phil asked the audience how much they are buying into Matt Hurley, and no one raised their hand.
Dr. Phil brings out a board of all $12,000 worth of gift cards Gail has sent Matt Hurley. Dr. Phil also brought up the fact that she isn’t a wealthy woman after sending Fallon Gavin $230,000 so why send another man $12,000? Dr. Phil also brought up the fact that he could’ve gotten here by now after being sent $12,000 for four years in a row, so why isn’t he in the United States right now?
Dr. Phil showed the audience the text messages Matt sent Gail, demanding her to not go on the Dr. Phil show. He told her, “Don’t go to any Phil. If you go I’ll move on. And I’ll stop talking to you.” Stacey ended up taking her phone at one point and told the scammer off. She told him that she knew he was scamming her mother. She told him to stop messaging that phone because Gail no longer has it. Stacey also tried to video call him, but Matt wouldn’t answer since he didn’t match the photo.
Dr. Phil Part 2 Episode with Social Catfish!:
Dr. Phil Investigates Matt Hurley (Part 2)
Dr. Phil tells Gail that he has been with his wife for 50 years and would never do anything to create a hardship for her. He wouldn’t ask her to finance him, he would be financing her because he loves her. He wouldn’t throw her farther in the ditch, he would be concerned about her well-being.
“If you love somebody, you give to them. You don’t take from them,” Dr. Phil says to Gail.
Dr. Phil brought this up because of some concerning text messages Matt Hurley sent to Gail. He asked Gail for Bitcoin, and she told him that she didn’t have any more money to give him. Then, Matt Hurley replied, “JUST DO AS I SAY,” in all caps. This made Dr. Phil question how Gail can see him as a loving Christian man, even though he talks to her like this.
Matt Hurley has come up with a number of excuses as to why he can’t get to the United States. These excuses range from being stuck overseas, getting his money was stolen, being locked out of his bank, and needing to fix the oil rig. He also said he couldn’t get back to Venezuela after getting the parts for the oil rig in Nigeria because a plane ticket back was $8,000. However, he used all the money he had to ship the parts back to Venezuela.
Dr. Phil Tries to Find Matt Hurley in Nigeria
Dr. Phil sent TJ Seaman, a Nigerian correspondent, out to search for Matt Hurley. He went to Warri, Nigeria where Matt Hurley claimed he was living in a hotel for two years. TJ visits this hotel and asks the hotel employees about Matt’s whereabouts. One employee said that he hasn’t seen Matt’s face at all and he’s there almost every day. If he was living in that hotel for two years, the employee says he would’ve gotten in contact with him by now.
The producer of Dr. Phil told the employee that Matt said he was staying in Room 400. The hotel employee confirmed that this information was false since their rooms start from 401. Another hotel employee also confirmed that he had never seen that man before. A local business owner who owns a business across from the hotel also confirmed that he has never seen him before in his life.
They even spoke to the other hotel in Warri, Nigeria, and the manager there confirmed they did not have room 400 in that hotel. She also said that the hotel was less than a year old, which wouldn’t make sense since Matt claimed to have been living in a hotel for two years.
After performing this investigation, no one recognized the man in the photos. Both managers of the hotels looked through their ID card archives of customers who have stayed in their hotels, and no one could find the face in the photos.
Dr. Phil also pointed out that if he was locked out of his bank account and didn’t have money, it would be impossible for him to be living in a hotel room for two years. The average cost of a room at the Nigerian hotel would’ve been $180. If she stayed there for two years, his hotel bill would’ve been $130,000 which he could’ve used to go back to Venezuela or the United States.
Dr. Phil stated that the average cost of a one-way flight plane ticket from Lagos, Nigeria to LAX would’ve been $679.73. If you went from Lagos, Nigeria to Kansas, the average cost of a one-way flight plane ticket would’ve been $806.11. He could’ve saved $124,000 if he just came to the United States and stayed with Gail versus staying in a hotel room for two years.
Dr. Phil Talks to the Man Behind “Matt Hurley’s” Photos
Stacey and Traci did a reverse image search on the man behind the photos and found out that he was a motivational speaker in Venezuela. Dr. Phil’s team was able to track him down and ask if he would like to talk to them on the show. The man, who is actually named Carlos Fraga, agreed to talk to Dr. Phil, so they video chatted him on the show.
Carlos has confirmed that he has never seen Gail before in his life. He confirmed that he was born in New York and has lived all his life in Venezuela. Gail has said that she knew he was a motivational speaker and just figured he had two jobs as an engineer and a speaker. She also confirmed that he looked like the man she had been talking to.
Dr. Phil asked him if he had ever traveled to Nigeria, and he said no. He also asked him if he was ever an engineer by day and motivational speaker by night, and he said no. Dr. Phil then asked him to confirm that it was really him in a photo sent to Gail, so Carlos showed Dr. Phil the dog that was in the photo.
At first, Gail stated that she guessed she believed him. Then Dr. Phil restated all the evidence that he had found on the show that Matt Hurley wasn’t a real person. Then, Gail said she believed him and knew the truth.
Gail Is Given Help
Stacey and Traci helped their mom clean her house after she hoarded a bunch of stuff. They think that their mom has a lot of loneliness and attachment issues that she needs help with, so she copes with it by hoarding things. Due to depression, Gail has not been paying her utility bills so that she can give money to other people.
Dr. Phil is helping Gail by paying for her therapy sessions through Dr. on Demand, a company they own. Since we are in a pandemic, he said that he would set her up with some teletherapy lessons so that she doesn’t have to leave her home. Stacey thinks that she definitely needs it. Gail states that she is now fully convinced that Matt Hurley is a scam.
Dr. Phil said he takes no pleasure in being the bearer of bad news. He feels bad that Gail now has to deal with the loss of love, grief, and betrayal because of this romance scam. If you are like Gail and have been a victim of a romance scam, you can report it to IC3.gov and the FTC.
It’s Important to Verify Someone’s Online Identity with Social Catfish
Dr. Phil stated that it was important to verify someone’s online identity with Social Catfish. Our CEO, David McClellan, was able to sit down with Dr. Phil and talk about the importance of our brand. We take pride in helping our customers verify someone’s identity when they have been talking to someone online.
With Social Catfish, you can take someone’s image and run it through our reverse image search platform to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. You can also reverse search a name, email address, phone number, or social media username to see who you’ve really been talking to. For the next few days, we are offering our new customers a 5-day free trial if you click here. You can also click here to view the full interview with Dr. Phil and David McClellan.
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Social Catfish is an online dating investigation service based in California, USA. We verify information to confirm if the person that you've met online is really who they say they are.
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