A Dallas, Texas, news anchor had his Facebook photo stolen by a scam artist who used it to create a fake profile and trick people into giving him money.
The scammer, who identified as a man named Robert Williams from Savannah, Georgia, took the profile photos of WFAA anchor Ron Corning. “Robert Williams” then reached out to women on the site, gained their trust and struck up conversations. According to Corning, one woman was duped into sending Williams $1,500.
One victim in Kansas, a woman identified as Yolanda, said she talked to Williams on the phone “all the time,” but that she became suspicious when the man asked her for $1,000 for a plane ticket to visit her. Yolanda and her daughters then did a reverse image search on Google and discovered the truth. One of Yolanda’s daughters reported the fake profile to Corning, who reported it to Facebook and had it taken down.
“I had first thought this guy, Robert Williams, if that’s even his name—how stupid he is to use the photos of somebody who is a semi-public figure,” Corning said. “At the same time I thought, ‘Maybe I’m the stupid one for thinking I’m immune to it because I’m a public figure.’”
In case if you didn’t have your profile pictures secured already, cases like this one are a good reminder to do so.