ORLANDO, Fla. – Bindi Gosai, 31, never imagined the man of her dreams was using a stolen photograph from a 27-year-old cruise line employee in Miami.
Gosai, who lives in the state of Gujarat, India, told News 6 she was contacted on a social media platform by someone calling himself “Alex the Officer.”
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“I trusted him, I really trusted him, “Gosai told News 6, “Something was happening very fast, very fast.”
In a short time, she says the conversation evolved from her pets and family to love and marriage.
The imposter sent Gosai a photograph of a sparkling diamond engagement ring along with video of cash, designer shoes and jewelry.
That was what Gosai called “the trap,” the reason he needed her to pay $3,500 in U.S. currency to have the items shipped to India.
“Here in India there are so many gangs who are doing all sorts of fraud,” she said from her home in Gujarat, “but this time they are doing the love angle.”
The man in the photo, 27-year-old Alessandro Cinquini has gone public to warn women across the globe that imposters have stolen his photographs from social media platforms to create “catfish” style profiles that offer love but target money.
Cinquini and his girlfriend, Nicole Hayden, spoke exclusively to News 6 in March about Nicole’s experience with an imposter using Alessandro’s photograph on a social media site.
They demanded money and threatened if she did not pay roughly $6,500 they would post altered bathing suit photographs that made it appear as if she posed nude.
On Monday, Nicole emailed News 6 to report the group had attempted to hack her Zelle and Instagram accounts.
“The scammers have been harassing me at an all-time high, which I have been ignoring, through text, WhatsApp, and Instagram,” Hayden wrote. “Somehow they got my social security number, they were able to disconnect my phone line from AT&T.”
While Hayden refused to fall for the financial trap, Bindi Gosai admits she transferred funds against her instincts.
“I literally failed my money,” she said. “My mind was telling me that something is wrong, how can someone send you so many things, how can someone love you like this, (so quickly).”
Cinquini was upset that another woman had lost money to imposters and wants to fight to get social media platforms to improve security for photographs and profiles.
“I wish I could do more,” Cinquini said. “I wish I could stop all of this and I’m trying to do my best.”
News 6 is working with YouMail CEO Alex Quilici to track the calls and texts that Hayden is receiving.
If you have fallen for a dating scheme, email Mike Holfeld: email@example.com