Woman sounds warning over cyber stalker who stole her identity to pose as a lesbian on Tinder dating app in Milton Keynes
The unknown man stole her photos and details and posed as a lesbian to attract young women
A woman has been left living in fear after a mysterious cyber stalker stole her identity to set up a profile on the Tinder dating app.
The man, believed to be in his 40s and from the Emerson Valley area, bizarrely posed as a lesbian to attract females.
He somehow acquired the personal details and photos of a 28-year-old MK woman called Faith - who is in a steady relationship with her boyfriend and deleted her Tinder account years ago.
Worryingly, one of the photos he used has never been published anywhere on Faith's social media and the offender could only have acquired it by somehow hacking into her phone.
"It was a photo taken recently during a break in Scotland. It's frightening to think that he must have somehow got it off my phone," said Faith.
"And why would a man pretend to be a lesbian looking for women anyway? Is he trying to trap them into meeting him? Surely his intentions could only be sinister?" she said.
The fraud came to light when one of Faith's friends spotted the Tinder profile and immediately recognised Faith from the photos.
"My friend is lesbian and this profile flagged up in my name as a woman looking for women. She knew it couldn't possibly be me and was immediately suspicious, so she started asking questions."
Sending online messages through the app, the friend asked the Tinder 'Faith' what their star sign was. The reply gave the correct sign.
She then asked about pets, and, to her horror, the respondent gave the name of Faith's own much-loved cat. Finally the friend asked for a phone number.
There was added concern when Tinder location checks placed the identity thief on Emerson Valley - just a couple of miles away from Faith's MK home.
Faith said: "I called the number given to my friend and a man answered. He had a really gruff voice and sounded in his 40s. He certainly didn't sound like a young man or a teenager who was maybe doing this for a prank.
"I asked him what the hell he was doing using my details for a fake profile. He refused to answer and just ended the call."
It is believed the phone was a 'burner' and it's now out of use. The fake profile has also been deleted.
Faith contacted Tinder, who were very helpful, she said. She also called police, who advised her to contact Action Fraud.
"Action Fraud said that unfortunately nothing could be done. They said police can only investigate cases of identity theft when they involve someone being harmed or money or goods being taken as a result of the fraud... They advised me to call 999 if I felt threatened by this person at any time."
She added: "I do feel unsafe. It's so weird and scary to think that someone has access to so many of my personal details and photos. If he managed to hack my phone, does he know where I live, for example?
"The fact that he even knows details like my cat's name is frightening too. Yes, I've posted details of my cat on Instagram but I don't mention his name."
The fake profile even listed the real Faith's interests - including stand-up comedy and specific music.
"These were once listed on a Tinder account that I set up for a short time in 2016. But I deactivated it years ago - I have a steady boyfriend and don't need the app," she said.
Faith approached the MK Citizen as she wants her story to be told to raise awareness of identity theft on dating apps.
"There's nothing stopping him from creating a new Tinder profile, or going on another dating site/app, I don't know if he's still messaging women or arranging to meet them," she said.
She also wants to question the laws surrounding identity theft.
"Apparently, a fraudulent purchase will be acted upon, but there is absolutely nothing preventative to protect me or others," she added.
"I certainly wasn't aware that this isn't a crime despite the fact that this man actively hunting for females. I just feel this is something all women should be aware of."