Woman who nearly fell for catfishing scam reveals she’s starting dating man whose photos were stolen


A woman has shared how she avoided a catfishing scam, started a relationship with the real man whose photos were stolen for a fake profile, and is now bringing awareness to the dangers of scammers.

When someone is a “catfish”, it most often means that they’ve set up a fake profile online, where they begin talking to different people and ultimately end up asking for or stealing money from them.

Nicole Hayden, based in South Florida, first received a message from a man named Marcus on Instagram. However, throughout their conversations, Marcus got very personal with Hayden.

“It started getting really hot and heavy,” she told NBC 6 South Florida. “I think he even told me he loved me after a day. He’s like, ‘I love you. I’m going to marry you. You’re the woman of my dreams.’”

Marcus then told Hayden that his mother was in the hospital and that he needed $6,000 for medical expenses. Hayden realized that the Instagram account was a scam and he knew not to send any money. But by that point, she said that person got “belligerent” and claimed that they could get into her phone from her.

“That’s when they got really belligerent and said ‘we can access your phone, we can get all of your pictures,’” she explained.

Hayden told the news outlet that the catfished threaten to create pictures of her nude through photoshop and post them online. He also told her that her children’s safety de ella was at risk and that she had two days to send the money, “or else.”

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Although Hayden was nervous, she knew that she and her family were “safe.”

“I was scared, but then I realized I live in a gated community, my kids go to a charter school, I am safe,” she said.

On Facebook, she saw an account that had the photos from Marcus’ Instagram profile. However, the account had a different name, Alessandro Cinquini.

Hayden noted how Alessandro was warning his friends that his pictures had been stolen. After seeing that, she decided to send him a message. Since they both live in South Florida, they decided to get together, with an intention of educating more women about how dangerous scammers and catfishes can be. In the process, they ended up starting a relationship with each other.

“So together we actually make each other better,” she said. “He’s more adventurous. If I didn’t have a family so young, I think I would always tell him he’s like my male spirit part because he’s like the mirror of me only, and a male version.”

Regarding the Instagram profile that stole his photos, Alessandro expressed how devastating it is that women are being scammed by someone who is pretending to be him.

“It breaks my heart to see that women are sending scammers who they think are me thousands and thousands of dollars and sometimes I feel powerless,” he said. “A woman said she paid me $3,000 and then she went into debt. I was like ‘we need to join together and teach people.’”

Alessandro further emphasized how important it is to keep an eye out for online scammers and never “trust” any profile that asks for money.

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“Don’t trust someone that is asking for money, no matter how much you trust them,” he said. “You will be sorry.”

The Independent has reached out to Hayden for comment.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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