When we scroll our social media accounts, we usually don’t expect someone to message us out of the blue and say that we stole their money. Yet this was exactly the case for Bryan Denny, a husband, father, and veteran who was messaged by a girl on LinkedIn telling him that she was talking to a guy who said he was Bryan and was using his pictures. She said that she sent this guy over money for airline tickets to come and visit her, but he never showed up. He then logged onto his Facebook and saw that thousands of fake Facebook profiles were made with his image and name.
How Did Bryan Find Out About the Thousands of Social Media Profiles That Stole His Images?
When he started to research who else had been using his photos, he found that there were over 3,000 social media profiles that have been pretending to be him. These fake profiles have all had fake names, such as Frank Smith, Scott Glenn, Ricardo Montalban, and many others. They have also used his military persona on social media to pretend to be a sergeant, colonel, major, and to pretend to be overseas fighting for our country.
After learning about the many social media profiles that have been using his information, his message inbox was then flooding with many girls telling him what had happened to them with these fake profiles pretending to be him. He now gets multiple messages from girls on a daily basis letting him know that his pictures have been stolen for two and a half years straight. It’s to the point where he feels like he breaks up with girls every week and breaks their hearts because they thought they had been talking to him when instead they’ve actually been talking to a scammer.
How Were the Scammers Able to Steal His Pictures So Easily?
The reason why his images were stolen so easily, is because there have been Facebook groups that sell fake profiles and help people build fake profiles to scam women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. These groups will even help people write fake checks and assist with money laundering to make scammers a quick buck.
Bryan’s social media profiles are also considered targets to scammers since Bryan is in the military. Since he has many pictures of him in the military, scammers can use these images as excuses to not meet with the girls they are talking to by saying that they are stationed somewhere and can’t go home.
How is His Family Reacting to These Fake Facebook Profiles?
Bryan’s family is getting annoyed with the constant messages from these girls and wants it to stop. However, until the fake profiles get taken down he will constantly get these messages. He feels bad for the girls who have been scammed out of their life savings.
Unfortunately, his pictures are high targets for scammers since they like pretending to be in the military so that they have an excuse as to why they can’t meet their online lovers. He refuses to stop having a social media profile because it only makes it easier for the scammers to operate. He wants to have a voice to reach out to the victims and let them know it wasn’t him that was talking to them.
What is Facebook Doing to Stop These Fake Facebook Profiles?
He’s met with Facebook multiple times and thinks that they don’t want the responsibility of determining what’s a crime and what’s just normal social interaction. Facebook has commented that impersonation violates its policies and has no place on Facebook.
They also claimed to have developed a technology specifically to combat impersonation and that they will continue to make improvements on it. To prove this, they have removed the groups reported to them that have helped make fake profiles successful since they were in violation of Facebook’s community standards.
Social Catfish is Here to Help
If you would like to be a part of our future YouTube videos and want your stories shared on Social Catfish’s blog page, we welcome you to share your story with us at ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com. This will help spread awareness on your experiences with a catfish or scammer to our audience to show what to look out for when talking to someone online.
If you feel like you’ve been in contact with fake Facebook profiles, or if your image has been used and you want to see who is using it, Social Catfish is here to help. We can help you reverse search any name, email address, phone number, social media username, and image to see who is behind that fake Facebook profile.