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.
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.
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.
Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most acclaimed investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.
Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.
He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.