imposters

Instadaddy says catfish have used his pics to scam women out of millions and he feels really bad

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Please…..take a seat….

A post shared by Tom Ernsting (@tomdeanernsting) on

Meet Tom Ernsting.

He’s a professional model and Instadaddy with over 150,000 followers and scores and scores of women who hate him, despite the fact that he’s never met any of them and is actually a really sweet guy.

“They scream at me and they yell at me for ruining their lives,” the 60-year-old tells Detroit Free Press. “The stories I’ve heard are insane.”

Ernsting, who is gay, says internet catfish have been using his photos to scam unsuspecting women for years. And there’s nothing he can do about it.

“It’s just crazy,” he says. “It definitely took off during COVID because I think people were even more desperate and more lonely. It’s sad because they fall in love with me.”

One woman gave her credit card information to a catfish pretending to be Ernsting only to have the person rack up $30,000 in charges.

Several others have sent Apple gift cards or wired money thinking they were paying for Ernsting to travel to them only to have him never show up.

But Ernsting says he’s never communicated with any of these woman prior to them being scammed, nor does he have their money or know who does. It’s all a big mystery.

“I can’t believe my image is a business for these people,” he says. “They’re making a living off my image. They’re probably making more than I ever have.”

SocialCatfish.com estimates that “millions of dollars were stolen from fake profiles using Tom’s images.”

Ernsting says he believes the reason catfish pick his photos is because “I’m attractive enough to draw people in but I’m not threatening.”

“People use my image to draw people in the door,” he says, adding that he feels really sorry for the women who fall victim to the schemes.

“You can’t trust anybody. And it’s really sad.”

Whenever a woman reaches out to him about being scammed, Ernsting tries to explain the situation, though he says not everyone always believes him.

Some continue to hound him online and, if he dares to post a photo of himself with a woman, they’ll respond with comments like, “I thought you said you were gay!”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, over $200 million were lost from romance scams in 2019, up 40% from 2018. And that number is predicted to be even higher in 2020.

The problem has gotten so bad that FTC recently launched a website–ReportFraud.ftc.gov–for people to report romance and other scams whether they have lost money.

Scroll down for more pics from Ernsting’s Instagram page. And if he ever hits you up for money online, don’t send anything!

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HAPPY: Grab it while you can (and the good lighting)

A post shared by Tom Ernsting (@tomdeanernsting) on