Romance Scams Awareness - Taking Back My Face - Story of a man whose photos are being used by scammers
This Facebook post was shared by the Advocating Against Romance Scammers (https://advocatingforu.com/)
This story is by Kevin Snook on his Facebook page.
Romance Scams Awareness - Taking Back My Face
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites around the world recognize the issue (I’ve reported over 4,000 fake profiles using my pictures) and fail to act - stating it doesn’t go against their community guidelines.
While my face can be identified in a crowd by the social media algorithms, asking me if I want to be tagged, it’s apparently ok for any fake profile to use my face to attract victims.
My face has been photoshopped onto pictures of armed forces personnel, surgeons and wounded soldiers. I’ve been featured on fake passports, business name tags and standing in front of piles of gold.
My videos have been dubbed with greeting messages, as proof of authenticity, carefully doctored to seem like the connection is bad so that the conversation can return to text.
My family and I are contacted every day and night by distraught women around the world, either threatening us for cheating them or making us aware that they too have lost everything.
My business partners and social contacts have been video called through Facetime, Skype, Telegram and other social messaging services to try and get hold of me, causing concern and distress.
Some victims have fallen so deeply for images of me that, even knowing the truth, they still feel we have a special connection.
Several have tried to convince my wife that I am a serial philanderer and have had a deep and loving online relationship with them.
My personal and business social media profiles are overrun by romance scam comments, threats and love messages, damaging my reputation. My face is on INTERPOL and EUROPOL watchlists.
The women who do realize they have been scammed often want me to contact the police on their behalf or even fly to Nigeria to confront the scammers. They send me contact numbers, emails and bank account details so I can play detective.
My response to this madness has been to try and raise awareness. I’m not naïve enough to believe the scammers will stop, (it’s too lucrative and almost impossible to have them arrested overseas) but if we raise enough awareness of the issue perhaps less people will be fooled.
In no way are the scammed women at fault. These victims have been taken advantage of at their most vulnerable times, often following a death in the family, divorce or other heartbreaking situation.
They are carefully targeted by ruthless gangs who then spin a web of lies built around my pictures, videos and fake documents. They are drawn in by one last shot at love, truly believing in the relationship. I know women who have given over $1million to romance scammers.
Whilst I’ve started a private online community where hundreds of victims meet, converse and support each other to find a way forward, it never feels like I am doing enough.
Lives have been ruined, families broken up and victims left to feel heartbroken and foolish, a devastating and sometimes fatal combination.
If you have friends or loved ones who have fallen for these scams, please treat them with compassion. If you could help to raise awareness by sharing these details you may prevent one more vulnerable person from becoming a victim.
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