Former Miss Kansas, Teresa Vail’s Photos Used by Scammers in Lonely Hearts Fraud Scheme

Sure. it was a little heartbreaking to lose out on Teresa Murphy and her millions.
Since I posted the story, Syrian Scammer Tells Me She Will Send Me $7.4 Million, ‘Teresa Murphy,’ who told me by email that she was in the US Army, stationed in Syria, and wanted to send me $7.4 million for safekeeping, seems to have cut off all ties with me.
She did not reply to my last email wherein I told her my name was Keith Alan Raniere, the sex cult leader incarcerated in Brooklyn.  I think my ridiculous reply may have persuaded the scammer using the name ‘Teresa Murphy’ that I was trolling them.
As part of the scam, I was sent three pictures which “Teresa Murphy” said were photos of herself.

‘Teresa Murphy’ wrote me that she was in the army, stationed in war-torn Syria, and had come across a safe box with $7.4 million in it which she wanted to send to me to hold onto until she could come join me and start a life together.

One of our intrepid readers, Le’Gal, made an important discovery. She commented that “Those images of ‘Theresa Murphy’ are actually Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas 2013. A quick reverse image search on Yandex, and I was able to locate this.”

So the images I [and probably lots of other intended victims] were sent purporting to be Teresa Murphy are actually photos of Teresa Vail.

Vail is a well-known person, if not a celebrity.  Besides being a beauty contest winner, she was worked as an ambassador for Bass Pro Shops, Franchi Shotguns, and the National Rifle Association.  She had her own reality show in 2015, “Limitless with Theresa Vail” for the Outdoor Channel.  Vail also hosted another program for the Outdoor Channel, “NRA All Access,” in early 2016.

She is not in the regular army, as the scammers said Teresa Murphy was, but Vail is (or was) a member of the Army National Guard.

Teresa Vail photos are easy to find on the internet.
Teresa Vail was the first Miss America beauty contestant to openly display tattoos, in her case the insignia of the United States Army Dental Command on her left shoulder and one of the Serenity Prayer along the right side of her torso.


Vail has the Serenity Prayer by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr on her torso.
In any event, I think it’s fascinating that scammers are brazen enough to use the photographs of a well-known model, spokesperson and TV host.
In fact, Vail is also at least moderately controversial. She had a widely publicized scandal, a brush with the law, when she illegally shot a grizzly bear in Alaska and tried to cover it up. She was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to a fine and one year of probation.
Despite this, and the plethora of photos of her easily available online and identifiable as her, the scammers, preying on ignorant and lonely men, have, and probably still are, using her image, calling Teresa Vail one Teresa Murphy.
If she does not know about it already, no doubt Teresa Vail will be mortified to learn about this illicit use if her images.
There may be little she can do about it.
In her case and also in many other cases, the people whose images are used are victims – along with the lonely men and women who fall for these scams and send money to scammers thinking they are developing a real friendship and romance with an attractive man or woman.
It is actually nothing more than a scammer behind a keyboard somewhere, typing love messages and offers of sudden wealth and sending pilfered images of attractive people found online.
There is only one gambit behind their schemes – to get their target to send them money.
It should go without saying, but it apparently needs to be said repeatedly: Don’t send money to people you don’t know who promise to share money or love with you.  All they are looking for is your money, obtained by lying.
Usually, they are out of the country, it seems most often from Africa, places like Ghana and Nigeria.
I will be updating the Ghanaian scam perpetrated against my friend Ronnie Robinson shortly, but before that, I will share with you yet another scam attempt leveled at me and my reply.
Stay tuned.

About the author

Frank Parlato

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us!

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Frank, you had a chance at $7.4 million and a hot piece of ass? LOL

I would jump at a chance like that. LOL

Amway taught me how to detect scams. That ass and the $7.4 million would have been mine. LOL

3 years ago
Reply to  NiceGuy

So much for pretending to be Scott. LOL

There can be only one. I’m not Scott or am I? LOL

3 years ago

You took the ball and ran with it. Great follow up. Glad I could provide the tip!

3 years ago

You definitely yanked the hook out of her mouth WAY too early. LOL

3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I yanked something out of [redacted] mouth last night after I made a quick deposit.

3 years ago

Lonely Hearts scams are used to defraud both males and females.
In either case, whether the victims are male or female,the perpetrators of these scams are reprehensible people who prey on the lonely.

3 years ago

Spoken like a man that has lived it. LOL

Thanks, Mr. Shadow, for sharing. LOL

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x