Fake Match.com profile steals Mesa mayor's identity

An online dating scheme stretches from Canada to the mayor of Mesa.

MESA, Ariz. - Mesa Mayor John Giles is happily married and, he says, not advertising for dates on Match.com ... even though someone using his picture is.

Giles said Friday a Canadian woman contacted Mesa City Hall about a profile on the dating website under the username "MrLovelyLarry01". She told Giles MrLovelyLarry01 reached out to her on Match.com and she asked for more pictures of him.

MrLovelyLarry01 delivered a picture of Giles and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who she said she recognized. A little internet sleuthing led her to Giles, and she realized someone had stolen the photos.

"I would have picked different pictures if I was trying to get a date," Giles joked.

"I think a lot of times in this catfishing game that people play, the goal is (to) extract money from people," Giles said.

Indeed, the woman who contacted Giles said she worked for a large bank in Canada. 

Giles said he doesn't feel like a victim, since whoever stole the pictures didn't even try to use his name. But he said it's a reminder that anything posted to social media leaves your control the second it's posted.

"Don't put your trust in anything that happens on the Internet," Giles said. "Fake news is a real thing, but so are fake people!"

Match.com sent a statement to 12 News, which reads in part:

"At Match, we take allegations of fraud very seriously, and we have an arsenal of counter-measures at our disposal, including investigators, fraud detection technology and an educated user base. Our dedicated anti-fraud team works diligently to identify and remove these kinds of members, and we have taken appropriate action in this case."

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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