A lifestyle coach cays 12 fake catfishing profiles using her pictures on Tinder could be dangerous.
Sarah Harker, who is in a relationship, thought it was funny at first until she saw the sheer number of profiles using her details and pictures – and she found one of the catfish was trying to meet with someone by pretending to be her.
Sarah Harker was first alerted to a fake profile by her friends.
Then we she shared screenshots with her followers on Instagram the quickly unearthed more.
Sarah, 32, from Newcastle, said: “I first received a text from my friend with a screenshot of the Tinder profile and I laughed.
“If I’m honest I was more offended that they put my age at 38. But once I shared that picture with my 7,000 followers on Instagram people started messaging me to say they’d seen me on other sites.
Images of Sarah snuggled up with her border terriers (Image: Have Your Say Stories)
“Whilst it could be seen as a form of flattery it’s also extremely dangerous for my business as people may believe that these profiles are a representation of me and I have no idea what is being said in messages being sent from these accounts.
“One message I said received this catfish was trying to arrange a meeting. That’s when I lost all humor about it.”
She said she initially thought it was funny – but now thinks it could be dangerous for business (Image: Have Your Say Stories)
Sarah was made aware of 12 different fake profiles set up using images of her on holiday in a bikini and snuggled up with her border terriers, Baxter and Dougal.
The images have been taken from her instagram page @sarahlouskitchen where she promotes her lifestyle and fitness coaching and nutritious home-cooked recipes.
She said: “I was on Bumble and Hinge as well as Tinder.
“I found it disturbing to realize just how dangerous this could be and that people could be talking to these profiles believing that it was me on the other side of them.
Sarah is in a happy relationship (Image: Have Your Say Stories)
“I don’t like to think that my face could be used to put someone in a potentially dangerous situation.”
But when Sarah contacted all of the dating apps to let them know that she was being impersonated she says she was told by Tinder on their live chat facility that they couldn’t do anything unless she was a member and reported it directly.
Sarah contacted all of the dating apps to let them know that she was being impersonated (Image: @ryanedy)
Sarah said: “I shouldn’t have to be a member to be able to report a profile that was falsely impersonating me.
“I was seriously concerned that these profiles were able to be set up without any form of identification being used.”
Sarah is a fitness and lifestyle coach (Image: Have Your Say Stories)
Sarah did create accounts to report any that she was aware of but worries that more could crop up at any time.
She added: “Knowing there are so few protections in place when you are cloned online has left me feeling really strange about the world of social media.
“These platforms should be implementing more stringent checks for security in this day and age to protect everyone involved.”
People claimed to have seen fake profiles used in Sarah’s name (Image: Have Your Say Stories)
“If someone believes they are being impersonated on Tinder, they should contact our support team with relevant details here. From there, our team will promptly search for and remove any matching profile.
“Additionally, we encourage our members to look for the ‘blue tick’, which indicates that the member’s profile image is genuine and has been verified by Tinder, through our Photo Verification program.”