Hello my Aviator,
last week I returned home from Dubai. I had an amazing time in this spectacular city. Through all my Aviators and the content, I am creating on my social media channels I was invited by the tourism office of Dubai to spend a luxurious vacation. I was even able to travel with friends to support me during my collaboration. Unfortunately, my social media presence does not only has positive side effects. In this blog post, I am revealing the greatest downside.
One of the greatest downsides of my social media presences is scammers. There are people, who steal my identity and create profiles with my photos to scam other users. When I first found out about it, I thought that they just want to chat and to get some love from the other end. I was greatly mistaken. My fake profiles are used to betray people and to make money out of it. Words can not describe their criminal activities on the internet. They are pathetic and I feel really sorry for all the victims. With my photos, they have managed to ruin others lives, made people commit felonies and losing thousands of Euros.
The most common fake profile names:
- Henry Hernandez
- Henry Prince
- Pilot John Patrick
- Patrick Wilson
- Pilot Patrick Stuart
- Patrick Nathan
- Oscar Ronald
A clear statement: I only have one profile on Instagram and Facebook. Both are named @pilotpatrick and are verified accounts (blue mark behind the name) I am not using any dating platforms or dating apps. My private Facebook account is with my real name. I am answering to comments, but I am not replying to direct messages, because I just don’t have time for that.
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Victims have been reporting me their stories and it is shocking to see how clever and deceitful they operate. In the end, it is always about money and they use different strategies to scam others. I will not mention any details, but they are so well trained to make up stories and write the correct words to appear trustworthy.
Not only women have been betrayed, also men, who were seeking for a job in the cockpit. Their desperation was used to make money. The worst case I know about it deals with a woman from New Zealand who transferred over 2000$ to pay for my landings fees. I am pretty sure there are many other cases I do not know about.
Who is behind this?
I am always saying “they”. I can only assume, but I think that the fake profiles are created by a network. They have been using the same profile names and the same scam over an over again.
The European Union did not allow the scanning of faces online, because of data protection. This tool would recognize when a profile uses photos of a person who already exists. This would be a great advance against the fight of fake profiles. I am not the only one whose photos are being stolen. Scammers not only destroy the reputation of online platforms, but also the reputation of oneself.
On the media
Instagram and Facebook are not supporting me at all. Sometimes profiles (which are obviously fake) do not get deleted or it takes days until the profile gets removed.
How you can help me
It has been a desperate fight against the scammers because you feel so powerless. Nevertheless, I won’t stop fighting. Everday I am reporting at least 10 fake profiles and I am sure there many I am not aware of. It is great to see that there a lot of Aviators, who are highly alerted, help me reporting them.
I have been to the police and I reported several incidents, but they were not able to help me so far.
When you encounter a fake profile on any social media platform, which is using my photos and pretends to be me, please report this person immediately. Please send me the URL of the profile to firstname.lastname@example.org as well. (Not just the pictures, I need the URL!)
Do not be naive online and always question yourself!
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Safe travels and happy landings!