Someone Stole My Picture For Their Online Dating Profile!

I’m completely addicted to the show Catfish–where two filmmakers help lovelorn people figure out if their online crushes are actually real people–but I never thought I’d get Catfished IRL.

Lemme ‘splain.

A few weeks ago one of my Twitter followers told me that someone was using my image on their OkCupid profile.

Confession time: once upon a time I did some online dating. So I figured that my loyal Tweep had just stumbled upon a profile I’d neglected to delete and now I’d have to explain that I online dated.

I prepared to be awash in embarrassment (because even though online dating is totally normal, it’s not something I’m completely comfortable talking about)…until I clicked the link…

OMFG! WTF? R U KIDDING ME?!?! That would be my author picture for my last book, Exes and Ohs, and that was most definitely not my OkCupid profile because I don’t have an OkCupid profile. Absolute panic washed over me. Was I creeped out? Flattered? Furious? All of the above! I mean great she thought I was cute enough to use for her (assume it is a her) profile but HELLO! That’s me! And I instantly thought about who she’s out there duping. Is she Catfishing someone with my picture? That’s horrible! I don’t want to be a part of someone getting crushed because they fell for an online mirage.

My next big question was: is she using my entire life–not just my pic–as a template for her own? I clicked around her page and noticed that there wasn’t much Shallon-ness to be found. Her occupation was listed as an outlet mall manager, and she didn’t seem to have any hobbies or interests. Besides ganking other people’s photos, obviously.

Another thing that bugged me was the username. Shorty_22? Do I look like I use the word shorty? I am not Justin Bieber, people. Um NOR AM I 34. Like, not even close.

I sent the site an email asking them to remove the profile or at least the picture, but in the meantime, I took matters into my own hands and made a fake profile of a dude to try and Catfish her right back!

My guy friend Matt helped me fill out the rest of the profile (I SO WISH I’d screencapped it, curses!) but basically I talked about my love of race cars and how I had a dog named Pistachio. I decided to name him Jarret. Then I sent Shorty_22 a message, which was kind of the strangest part about this whole saga: trying to hit on a girl, as a guy.

Being a girl, I always assume that it’s so easy to chat up a female–just say hi! Compliment her! Be yourself!–but when you’re the one doing it, it’s confusing. And I’m not even actually a guy! And I don’t even know/like this Shorty_22! How is this my life? Anyway. After about 10 attempts and rewrites, wracking my brain about what I liked to hear when I was online dating, I wrote:
What’s up, saw your profile and thought you have a great smile :)  Did you grow up in NV? I’m born and bred but I try to travel a lot, see what else is out there. How about yourself? Hope you’re having a great week!

I felt so lame. Not just because Fake Jarret was hitting on Fake Shallon but because he was doing it so clumsily.

Sadly, Shorty never responded. OH I’M SORRY FAKE SHALLON, IS JARRET STOLL NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? And what about poor Pistachio?

About a week later, OkCupid removed Shorty_22’s profile so I deleted Fake Jarret’s account too–the last thing I wanted was some poor girl to fall in love with a Catfish.

All in all, as irked as I was that someone had stolen my pic, I felt really sad for that person. Whoever they are IRL can’t be so bad that they need to invent a whole new person. I’m sure that Shorty_22 is a perfectly nice, lovable girl who will DEF have better luck in life if she just owns who she is.

Love is like sales–if you don’t believe in your own product, how can you expect anyone else to buy what you’re selling? Hopefully, whoever Shorty_22 really is learned her lesson and stuck to the truth when it comes to online dating–and stays far away from my photos!

Have you ever pretended to be someone you’re not online? What would you do if you found out that someone stole your pic? Let me know in the comments!

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  • kara wells

    To me, this is beyond strange. A friend’s guy she had been with created an identity of a WOMAN to use of facebook. He did this to trap a guy who the girl he was involved with. He wanted to show the new girl the other guy was a flirt, thus not good enough. Crazy? Oh yeah, The weird guy stole.copied photos of a local girl off plenty of fish, then, created a name and an identity for the orher guy to contact and flirt with. He made the phony girl a student at the local college, in the same statw as the other guy, posted phony posts with the fake girl talking abour her fake life…school, and even gave the fake girl a job in the library. The intent was to lure the other guy for a date with the phony girl, and then, stand him up. This was to show the otherThe guy was a player. The new girl took part in developing this, quite a pair, they bragged about it. Something caused them to shut the phony girl down. But before that, the other guy had chatted away with ms phony and students AND STAFF at the college friended her on fb. This is a made up girl. I friend no one who I don’t know, and for staff to do, inane. Lame and sick, best words for this, Foks, know who are friending.. The pair have moved on to other scxams..this time for money, food stamp fraud, student loan fraud, etc. Coming from the east coast, I thought Arizona would be dull. It’s wacked. I intend to move back to where thee is sanity, and where people are too busy to make up people and pose as others for studid reasons. My friwnd is relieved she isn’t with this guy anymore, I thought he was off his rocker from the get go.

  • michelle

    My pictures have been stolen on a dating site that I belong to. This person has three of my pictures and states that she is looking for a fling and the only way to contact her is thru email. I’ve been told that it spams the guys with sex sites and paid dating sites if they reply. The profile has been reported several times by guys on the site and once by me. But it doesn’t matter, the profile is deleted then immediately recreated with a different name. I get several emails daily from guys either telling me my pics have been stolen or trying to chat me up because they think I’m a sure thing. I’m frustrated that I can’t do anything to stop it.

  • John

    I’ve been reading this new blog where this person acts like a catfish and tries to do an experiment on online dating. They want to see how easy it is for people to get catfish. It’s pretty funny read. Check it out.

    Okcupidcatfish.tumblr.com

  • kerri w

    im on oasis.com.. im a single female… 44 years old. a profile messaged me today asking me to add it.. i went to view the profile.. it was a profile of 3 women.. supposedly paying back their husbands for never taking them anywhere…

    Imagine my surprise when i looked at the pics of the three women…separate photos… the middle foto…was MY MOTHER….omg…. a pic from her holidays 3 years ago.

    i was so shocked… i rang my mother… she knew nothing… she is in her late 60s..had a stroke…married lives nowhere near the profile..doesnt know the other women…doesnt know anything… the photo is not on facebook or anywhere that someone could have stolen it…she has never been on dating sites…

    ive argued with the profile itself… lol…pathetic… ive asked the site to remove the profile… i want to know how this happens…

    geez..talk about unlucky hey… they message the daughter of one of the fake photos… whats the odds of that happening…. meant to be caught these people.

  • Kayla

    This is the same exact thing happening to me right now. Some girl took screenshots on about 5 or 6 of my Facebook pictures and is using them currently on on Plenty of Fish. I’m 14 but look a lot older she claims she is 20. and putting racist comments as the description. So i made a fake profile too, i decided to take the matters into my own hands, I haven’t even reported it yet. My friend was the one who saw it and showed me the link. I’m really frustrated i made all my photos only visible to my friends earlier this morning. Hopefully this girl learns her lesson…..

  • Sophie

    My cousin works at the airport, and a famous NFL player was getting off of the plane. She asked for a pic, and he agreed. Some reporters were there while they took the pic, and one got a pic of her. They then photoshopped her into an ad for orange juice! They sold her photo! She’s really mad, but the ad thankfully was removed!

  • karen

    I feel you sis!! Once, a friend of mine told me that she ran into a picture of me that i took with a “sexy librarian watching you over her glasses” pose in the adds for a dating site in a free movie site. I have NEVER registered to such thing, so, someone stole my picture and (i guess still) is using it without my permission. It was a lame pic, not even good quality, but someone is using it to a porn-ish add. It scared the hell out of me. I wrote to the site and all, but they never answered. I really hope they took it down, it’s really creepy.

  • Josh Tompkins

    Yikes! More likely Shorty_22 was a plant by OkCupid to attract subscribers.

  • xamdusciasx

    The same thing happened to my sister. Also, being a musician, I’ve had to deal with posers countless times. :/

  • sprinkles

    what would you do if you happen to become a huge, super popular author? people will definitely have your picture everywhere! :o but pretending to be someone else is kinda weird though.