Jump directly to the content
ON THE PROWL

Catfishes use my pics on PORN sites and to scam lads out of money – I get confronted by their victims in the street

THE first time a stranger approached her in the street, claiming they'd been messaging for months, Diana Sirokai thought he'd got her mixed up with someone else.

But the plus size lingerie model, 23, from London, soon noticed a worrying trend of catfishes using her pics on dating sites, something she says happens "constantly".

Diana Sirokai says she is 'constantly' alerted to catfishes using her pics
10
Diana Sirokai says she is 'constantly' alerted to catfishes using her picsCredit: Diana Sirokai

Diana, who's originally from Hungary, has 1 million followers on Instagram and models for the likes of Ann Summers, making her an easy target for those looking to steal another woman's identity on social media.

Scarily, she's even had catfishes ask her to take compromising pictures of herself to keep their scams going - and been approached by their victims in the street.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, she said: "This has been happening ever since I had 50,000 followers, it's been three years of people non-stop using my photos to catfish.

"My pictures have been used on different dating websites, Tinder, Badoo, Plenty of Fish.

She has 1 million Instagram followers - who let her know about the accounts so she can report them
10
She has 1 million Instagram followers - who let her know about the accounts so she can report themCredit: Supplied
The pics are used on dating sites, social media and even porn sites
10
The pics are used on dating sites, social media and even porn sitesCredit: Supplied

"There are also fake Instagram accounts, Facebook and Twitter under different names.

"It happens all the time, it’s non-stop. I’m sure I’m not the only one, I see other Instagrammers posting about it.

"Some porn sites even use my pictures and my name to advertise, even though it's not me in the videos."

Diana - who's a size 18 and also models for ASOS, PrettyLittleThing, Boohoo, Fashion Nova and River Island - created a stir on social media by promoting body positivity and recreating sexy shots of Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid.

But now her pics aren't just being used by fan sites, some catfishes are even using them to scam lads out of money.

Diana says new accounts are created within minutes of her reporting them to be deleted
10
Diana says new accounts are created within minutes of her reporting them to be deletedCredit: Supplied
Diana says the situation is giving her social anxiety
10
Diana says the situation is giving her social anxietyCredit: Supplied
Luckily for Diana, her fans are quick to spot the fakes
10
Luckily for Diana, her fans are quick to spot the fakesCredit: Supplied

She said: "A few months ago, I was walking to the shop with my friend when this guy walked up to us and said, ‘Oh, Jessica’.

"I said, ‘Sorry I’m not Jessica’. And he said, ‘No it’s me, we talked last night on Tinder. We’ve been talking for months, why are you acting like you don’t know me?’

"And I said, ‘I’m really sorry I don’t know who you are, I might just look like someone’. He pulled out his phone and showed me the conversation with this person who used my photos.

If they delete the page, there’s going to be another one, it only takes two minutes to create

Diana Sirokai23

"I showed him my Instagram and said, ‘It’s two different names, someone is catfishing you, I’m really sorry, I honestly don’t know who you are’.

"He said, ‘Wow that’s such a shame, you’re so beautiful’. He tried to ask for my number but I said ‘No’.

"It makes me think, what if he wasn’t on cool terms with this girl? What if they had an argument and then he bumped into me? It can be very scary sometimes."

Diana has modelled for Ann Summers, ASOS and River Island
10
Diana has modelled for Ann Summers, ASOS and River IslandCredit: Instagram
Diana received this message from one heartbroken victim of catfishing
10
Diana received this message from one heartbroken victim of catfishingCredit: Supplied

Diana has never used dating sites herself, but is often alerted to the fakes by her followers sending her screenshots.

She then shares the details on her Instagram story, asking her fans to mass report the accounts so they're deleted.

She said: "Normally the social media pages do get taken down, because I post it on my story so a lot of people report it. 

"With the dating websites, I can't do much. It’s got to the point where I don’t really chase these pages anymore, because it’s not like I can do anything.

"If they delete the page, there’s going to be another one, it only takes two minutes to create.

"I knew when I started my Instagram that if I’m going to have a big platform, my pictures are going to be out there for the world.

What is a catfish and how can you spot one?

'Catfishing' is when someone creates a fake profile on social media or a dating site, to trick people into thinking they are somebody else.

The term was first used in the 2010 documentary Catfish, in which Nev Schulman discovered the gorgeous woman he fell in love with online was really a middle-aged, married mum using a family friend's photos.

Nev used the metaphor to compare his experience to the old fishing technique of live cod being shipped with catfish, to keep the cod active and ensure the quality of the fish.

Nev later used his experience as the basis for the popular Catfish MTV series, where he helped people track down their online lovers.

Catfishing is often used to spark online relationships.

Catfishers use the accounts to give off a persona they wish they had - with plenty of friends and attractive looks.

At the moment, catfishing itself is not illegal in the UK.

But some aspects of catfishing are against the law. For example, if a victim hands over money, the catfish could be prosecuted for fraud.

If your online lover refuses to video chat, meet in person or generally seems too good to be true, they may well be a catfish.

"I don’t have a problem with fan pages or sharing my pictures for body positivity.

"But when they use them to pretend they are me, that can be very scary.

"It’s got to the point where it’s giving me anxiety when I’m walking down the street. I know people are recognising me and that’s why they’re looking at me.

"I wonder if they’re recognising me from Instagram or from a fake dating site, it’s weird.

"I do get confronted sometimes, one time this man came up to me in a club and said, ‘Why are you not texting me back?’

"I said, ‘Sorry if you’ve DM’ed me, I don’t always see them’, because I thought he meant messaging on Instagram.

"He said, ‘What DM? I’m talking about your number’. He was talking to someone but it wasn't me.

"Luckily he was cool about it, I can show them my Instagram and then they understand they're being catfished."

Diana says she doesn't mind people using her pics on fan pages - but they shouldn't pretend to be her
10
Diana says she doesn't mind people using her pics on fan pages - but they shouldn't pretend to be herCredit: Instagram

Diana's also had heartbroken catfishing victims message her, having stumbled upon the real her on Instagram.

She said: "One told messaged me and said 'I confronted this girl I’ve been talking to who’s using your photos. As soon as I sent her a screenshot of your Instagram page, she blocked me. But I actually fell in love with her and it feels really weird to know this is the real you and you’re not the girl I fell in love with'.

"Sometimes the guys send a picture to their friends and they tell them, 'That's that model from Instagram'.

"It’s good I do have a big platform now, so some people know me, but I'm still not that big. You couldn't catfish with Beyonce's photos because she's so well known."

When people use my pictures to pretend they are me, that can be very scary

Diana Sirokai23

Amazingly, Diana's even had a catfish reach out to her, asking for compromising pictures to help keep the lie alive.

She said: "This girl messaged me on Instagram and said, ‘Hey, I’m just keeping it real with you, I’ve been using your photos to catfish this guy and he’s been sending me money, but now he’s asking for a picture of me in bed and I can’t find any of you like that on Instagram. Is there any chance you could take one like that and send me a photo of you?’

"I just ignored it and showed it to my mum like 'this is crazy, this is getting out of control’."

Diana is now too scared to leave the house alone
10
Diana is now too scared to leave the house aloneCredit: Diana Sirokai

Diana says she's now crippled by social anxiety, meaning she doesn't leave the house alone and avoids public transport.

She said: "It does affect me, I don’t like to even take the train or the bus. If there’s huge traffic and I need to get to somewhere quickly, I would get on the underground.

"But I just take Uber everywhere because I hope that’s the safest.

"Some people take pictures of me walking down the street and send them to me on my DMs like, ‘Oh my God, I just saw you’.

"It does give me anxiety because you never know who’s going to see you. And to think that people are using my pictures and I don’t know what they use them for, it can be very scary.

"I am very cautious so I don’t really leave the house alone, I’m always with someone so I make sure I’m very safe all the time.

"I’m just worried I’ll bump into someone who could be angry with me because of a catfish, you don’t really want that kind of confrontation from a stranger.

"There's a scary side to this. It does make me question ‘why do you have to use my face for that?’ It’s not fair to put me in situations I don’t even know of."

We previously reported on a topless model who's battling to stop fraudsters using her raunchy pics to catfish.

Kym Marsh reveals her catfish ordeal on Loose Women