Watch For Massive Dating Scam In New York State
Do not be fooled: this Buffalo man is not looking for love at all. He’s already found it, but one impersonator is giving him a bad rep on Tinder.
Andrew Sturz and his wife have two kids, and they live a happy life together. For the last 5 years, they have been trying to overlook this ongoing impersonation of Andrew, but it’s getting out of hand.
“I first found out about it about 5 years ago. It's been going on for a long time,” Andrew said.
A mystery man is using pictures of Andrew to create fake accounts by the name of Bobby. Most recently, Andrew discovered another Tinder account using photos of his, pretending to be him, and he’s trying to set the record straight and end this for all.
Andrew posted a warning on his Facebook page about the fake Tinder account.
“This Bobby dude (we think his name is Dave) keeps using my pics on tinder and hinge,” he wrote on Facebook. “If you live in the Buffalo area please beware, he is trying to get girls to send him pictures, I've had 2 people contact me in the last 2 months about it, if you're single don't send anything to anyone unless you have seen them in person or on video chat.”
Andrew has tried to contact the mystery man and has asked police officers if anything can be done, and they haven’t been able to take action yet.
What makes it worse is that Andrew is a federal officer, meaning the impersonation could fall under New York Penal Law § 190.26, which states:
A person can be charged with criminal impersonation in the first degree if they: Impersonate a police officer or other public servant with the intent to commit or aid in the commission of a felony or serious misdemeanor offense.
Andrew has tried everything you can imagine to try and get these photos scrubbed from the Fake Bobby account.
“I have reached out to tinder and I have whomever he does it to [the catfishing] report the account,” he said. “Tinder still let's him on. I have emailed Catfish. I have talked with police officers.”
“I am sick of this happening, I want it to stop,” Andrew said.
The last person who was catfished by Fake Bobby was Michelle Curry, who was threatened by the mystery man.
Below you can see a screenshot of the message after Curry confronts the scammer.
“Unfortunately, you had to go over and above to try to prove a point, so now I have no choice but to consider retaliation at this point,” the scammer wrote in his message. “You should have just let it go and move on.”
Curry explained that she was talking to Fake Bobby for about a month and they were supposed to meet over the weekend.
“He ghosted me the day of, so my friends did some searching and found [real] Andrew through a reverse photo search. They found a post on his page from 2021 warning about Bobby using his pictures on dating sites,” Curry said.
She is not the only victim of this scam, though. A 2023 report revealed that “about 20,000 people are catfished per year in the US.”
That is a terrible feeling, and if you have been catfished, you probably already know that. But to try to redeclare someone’s face and body as your own image, redefining (for some) the kind of person he/she really is? THAT is sickening, if you ask me.
“I just wish someone would do something about it,” Andrew said.
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