Facebook bans Alex the Officer, allows imposters to continue

Alessandro Cinquini — also known as Alex the Officer — left ‘speechless’

Alessandro Cinquini — the handsome Miami cruise line manager committed to expose imposters using his photographs in social media catfish schemes — told News 6 that Facebook dropped his account while allowing fake accounts to continue.

MIAMI, Fla. – Alessandro Cinquini — the handsome Miami cruise line manager committed to expose imposters using his photographs in social media catfish schemes — told News 6 that Facebook dropped his account while allowing fake accounts to continue.

“I cannot describe this anymore,” the 27-year-old told News 6. “I’m speechless.”

[TRENDING: 7th Haitian delegate vanishes from Special Olympics in Kissimmee | Dozens of trucks towed, hundreds of citations issued in Daytona Beach Shores truck meet, officials say | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The Facebook message reads in part: “We’ve determined that you are not eligible to use Facebook. This decision is final.”

Cinquini and his girlfriend, Nicole Hayden, have used social media platforms like Facebook to warn women of the romance-for-money plots being reported from the United States to Brazil.

Hayden said the News 6 team’s reporting of their stories has served as an alert to dozens of women who would have otherwise fallen for the romance schemes .

“Just yesterday, I had the first girl from Bulgaria reach out to me,” Hayden said. “It was the same story. She said, ‘I did lose 1,000 euro, but when I found you and Alex on the internet, I didn’t lose any more money.’”

Last week, Cinquini sent screenshots of new profiles on Facebook to News 6 that are using his photographs with names Like Alex George and even his own name.

“That’s not me!” Cinquini wrote in an email to News 6.

“When you do any image search of me on Facebook,” he said, “You will find hundreds of fake names and fake accounts with my picture.”

Most recently on May 29, Neuzina Mendes of Brazil messaged Cinquini to ask if he had been “talking to her on Whatsapp. ”If not,” she wrote, “someone is impersonating you.”

Imagine every post — everything that you post — can be twisted and can be used to trick people,” Cinquini said from his home in Miami.

For the past two years, the Italian born cruise ship employee has been lobbying social media sites to expunge the imposter profiles used to target women for cash.

As we first reported, Bindi Gosai of the state of Gujarat, India lost $35 hundred dollars to a man who claimed to be “Alex the Officer.”

“I trusted him. I really trusted him,” Gosai said. “Actually, there are so many women who are in this trap.”

Gosai said the imposter sent video and photographs of luxurious gifts and a diamond engagement ring.

“Alex” needed her to send the money to cover the shipping costs.

News 6 contacted Facebook and included a copy of the story that featured Cinquini and Bindi Gosai.

The company has not responded to our request for comment.

The Facebook website does provide a warning that “Romance scammers typically send romantic messages to people they don’t know.” It goes on to say: “Their goal is to gain your trust so the conversations may continue for weeks before they ask you for money.”

“Girls can be private investigators,” Hayden said. “They type us in, and eventually I’ll pop up, or Alex will pop up, and that’s when they’ll find us.”

Cinquini and Nicole Hayden are going to continue their public campaign to warn women of the “Alex the Officer” imposters.

If you think you have been targeted by a romance imposter, email Mike Holfeld – mholfeld@wkmg.com


About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.