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KSL Reporter Has Photos Hijacked for Online ‘Catfishing’ Scam

Andrew Adams, multi-media journalist for Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL, found himself caught up in a facebook “catfishing” scam.

Saturday night he received a private facebook message from a woman he had recently friended.

“I got to know you from someone at tagged and Facebook who pretended to be you,” the message read. “He posted many of your pictures at his profile under the name of Mr. Ralph Brown both at tagged and Facebook. He tried to scam me, but I managed to find the real person in the pictures and that is you, Mr. Andrew Adams.”

The woman, who named herself Julia, (she requested KSL withhold her name) met Mr. Ralph Brown in January online. He was using Adams’ facebook pictures as his online profile.  Eventually their online relationship led to the man asking to visit her, then came the plea for money:

Julia said she received a call from a supposed immigration agent who told her, for various reasons, Brown could not continue on to see her unless she sent a significant amount of money.

Julia did a reverse image search through Google and learned the pictures of Mr. Ralph Brown were actually Andrew Adams, the KSL reporter.

Adams said he learned about Google image search through the ordeal and recommends it for anyone who wants to keep track of their images or even to make certain the person you’re talking to online is who they say they are.

KSL social media director Natalie Wardel said the Google Image process is very easy: simply save a suspected photo to the desktop and upload it to the search after clicking on the camera icon — or paste in a photo URL — and click the search icon.

Adams said once he contacted facebook and Tagged about the fake sites, they quickly took Mr. Brown’s page down. Click here to view the story on KSL’s website.

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