Signing up to Tinder, I thought it was going to be fun. I mean, it’ a totally comical way of meeting guys without making any commitment. The fact that I can easily reject a guy by just “swiping left” fascinated and empowered me. Yet once I started to use it, I discovered that Tinder is just an app of thirsty boys saying corny pickup lines that made you want to vomit.
Nevertheless I continued to use it on and off. Two weeks ago I started to notice that some people around campus were looking at me funny and I had no idea. Later that week I got a Facebook message from a very generous stranger asking to verify my number. He sent me a 202 number, one I don’t have. I asked him why are you asking me that and he told me what was going on.
Someone created a fake Facebook profile with my name and uploaded pictures from my Instagram account. He or she later on created a Tinder account using my pictures and personal information. But that’s not the worst part. Once that account got matched with someone, he or she would begin a conversation that ended up turning into naked pictures (none of which were mine) and arranged sexual favors, all while using my identity. Once that stranger showed me the conversation he had with the account and the naked picture he received, my world fell apart. I could not believe that someone would be so shameless to do something like this. I immediately took action.
To say that I was stressed is an understatement. My roommate and I changed our settings on our actual Tinder accounts from “Interested in Men” to “Interested in Women” to try to find the fake account. I told all my guy friends to go on their apps and frantically look for me. I filed a complaint on Tinder, for them to respond to me the next day. I even called the police. I was frantically looking for a way to eliminate that imposter from Tinder.
Luckily the stranger that helped me out (see, good people still do exist!) gave me the email in which they were sending the naked pictures. I looked up that email on Facebook and nothing appeared because he or she blocked me (smart, right?) but when I looked it up using a friend’s account, the fake profile appeared. I immediately reported it and Facebook took care of the rest. Since one needs a Facebook account to create a Tinder account, once the Facebook got deleted, the Tinder one got deleted as well. Yet my over-cautious self spoke to Tinder to verify once and for all if it was actually deleted, and it was.
I don’t wish this nightmare upon anyone, not even my worst enemy, but unfortunately, my case is not exceptional. These types of fake account happen all the time, yet there are ways in which one can prevent something like this to happen. First of all, double-check your security settings on all your social media platforms. Yes, this is a tedious thing to do, but you never know which creeper is stalking you on Facebook or Instagram. Also, be careful whom you give access to your accounts. In other words, don’t accept anyone to follow you for the sake of more followers.
Unfortunately I will never know who did this to me but at the same time I don’t want to. Someone who has the nerve to ruin reputations like that is not worthy of anyone’s time.