Pretty young woman whose Facebook photos were stolen to use as dating profile picture confronts ‘woman’
A pretty young woman was shocked to find her Facebook pictures had been stolen and posted on a dating profile of a woman ‘not looking for anything serious’.
Karen Woodley, 23, was horrified when a friend warned her that one of his mates had been chatting online to a ‘girl’ using her pictures.
But brave Karen, from Cheltenham, confronted the ‘woman’ with messages demanding to know where they had come from.
When the profile remained live, Karen tried a different tack, and after a motivational chat and the profile has now been removed.
Karen said: “It was so scary when I realised that my pictures, and my identity, had been stolen.
“I couldn’t believe it. And then I started to worry that if my pictures were on a dating site, where else could they be?”
Karen’s nightmare started last week when her friend from university James Chisholm text her.
His message said that one of his friends was chatting to someone on the dating site Plenty of Fish whose profile had two pictures of Karen but was using the name JodieWW.
James’ friend even believed that he was going on a date with the woman who said she was a 24-year-old carer from Milton Keynes.
At first he didn’t believe he had been duped and James had to show him Karen’s facebook profile, with the two pictures that had been used and her other photos, to prove the girl in the snaps was Karen, not ‘JodieWW’
Karen, an occupational therapist who has been with boyfriend Nathan Adamson, 26, for two and a half years, said: “I felt really freaked out about it and Nate was really uncomfortable about it to.
“What if it had been one of his friends who had seen the profile and he genuinely thought that I was on a dating site?
“How could anyone do something so deceptive and horrible?
“I was so angry I decided to do something. I knew I couldn’t let her, or maybe even he, get away with it.”
The profile had the catchline ‘Looking for nothing serius (sic)’ and said that ‘Jodie’ was 5,5″ with an adventurous personality.
In an even weirder twist, “Jodie” had been sending more photos of Karen in private messages to James’ friend.
Karen who has never had a profile on Plenty of Fish or any other dating site decided to set up an account and confront the person behind the stolen photos, as well as reporting them to the app.
Her messages read: “Sorry, but who are? Those are pictures of me!”
But when the mystery dater still did not remove the account Karen realised that a different approach might help her find some sympathy.
Her second message read: “I’ve reported this now so please can you take them down.
“I don’t know why anyone would do something like this or save images of someone else and portray it as their own identity but you shouldn’t need to use images of someone else to develop a relationship with someone.
“They should be with you because you’re you.”
Karen doesn’t know whether the profile was removed by Plenty of Fish or by the owner of the account, but she has had no reply from the site about her report.
Now she wants to raise awareness about online privacy and warn other young women to pay careful attention to their settings on facebook.
She said: “I thought my facebook account was completely private, but when I googled my name I realised that some of my pictures came up.
“And I also found out that you need to go through each profile picture individually on facebook to make them private.
“That seems unnecessarily complicated so I want to warn people to be careful about what they put online.
“The whole thing really freaked me out because I don’t know how many people Jodie was speaking to or even if she put my pictures on any other sites.
“I have no idea who he or she is but just because the profile is made to be female doesn’t mean anything.
“It could be for a number of reasons. I feel a bit sorry for this person. If they feel that they have to use another identity to develop relationships then there are significant insecurities there.
“Or it could be dodgy, or it could be a prank – if it’s a prank I don’t see how it’s funny.
“It’s putting other people at risk.”
Karen immediately reported the fake profile to Plenty of Fish but received no reply.
She added: “I found it hard to report the situation. There’s been no reassurance about what’s been done.
“It’s weird to think that if my friend hadn’t have seen it I would have never have known.
“How do I know it’s not going to happen again?”