More Australians have been caught up in Only Fans scams where their racy photos are hijacked to pinch cash from unsuspecting customers.
More Australians have been caught up in Only Fans scams where their racy photos are hijacked to pinch cash from unsuspecting customers.

Aussies caught up in Only Fans scams

Cyber criminals are raiding the social media accounts of unsuspecting Australians, using their photos to set up fake profiles that promise raunchy content but instead pinch their cash.

The scammers typically lift photos from a victim's Instagram feed before creating a fake account with a username that is almost identical to their target.

They then drop the stolen images onto the faux profile and include a link in the bio section which directs users to a web page that poses as a subscription-based content platform like OnlyFans or JustForFans.

People are then prompted to sign up and verify themselves with a form that asks for their credit card details.

In one example seen by News Corp of a fake page carrying the JustForFans logo, a disclaimer in fine print below the payment details form noted an e-commerce merchant in Romania would make the charge.

 

 

Queensland based Model and Make Up Artist Connie Rothery authentic Instagram account.
Queensland based Model and Make Up Artist Connie Rothery authentic Instagram account.

 

And the fake account which linked out to a scam website designed to look like JustForFans. Picture: Supplied.
And the fake account which linked out to a scam website designed to look like JustForFans. Picture: Supplied.

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne-based model and photographer Rosanna Faraci's authentic Instagram account. Picture: Supplied
Melbourne-based model and photographer Rosanna Faraci's authentic Instagram account. Picture: Supplied

 

And the fake account which linked out to a scam website designed to look like OnlyFans. Picture: Supplied
And the fake account which linked out to a scam website designed to look like OnlyFans. Picture: Supplied

 

A spokesperson for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch told News Corp Australians had been caught out by these bad actors.

Many had complained about identity theft, with people concerned their images had been stolen from social media platforms for use on these sites.

"In phishing scams, the scammer takes you to a fake website designed to look genuine, often using a company or organisation's branding and logo, and similar looking URL," a Scamwatch spokesman said.

"If you enter your details online, the scammer can then use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money."

 

 

A scam web page carrying the JustForFans branding that was using a stolen identity. Picture: Supplied
A scam web page carrying the JustForFans branding that was using a stolen identity. Picture: Supplied

 

OnlyFans also told News Corp it was aware of the fraudulent activity.

Their spokesman said the scam web pages were often hosted by external companies including Wix and GoDaddy, and are created to resemble OnlyFans branding.

"These web pages are entirely separate from the OnlyFans site," the spokesman said.

"The process is for a fake Instagram account to be set up which then points fans towards a supposed 'OnlyFans' account which is actually a fraud account."

A GoDaddy spokesman said customers would be in breach of the company terms of service if they infringed on the intellectual property rights of others, or carried out phishing scams.

"GoDaddy has a dedicated team to review each submitted complaint to determine whether the content violates our policies and if it does, we take appropriate action," the spokesman said.

They said customers could report web pages that violated the company's terms of service via its website.

 

 

A scam web page designed to look similar to OnlyFans’ branding that was using a stolen identity. Picture: Supplied
A scam web page designed to look similar to OnlyFans’ branding that was using a stolen identity. Picture: Supplied

 

A Wix spokesperson said it was "opposed to all types of abusive content."

"If we receive a notice justifying a site's removal - we reserve our right to act upon it and remove such website," the spokesperson said.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said identity theft violated the social media platform's Community Guidelines.

"If you notice an account impersonating you or someone you know, you can report it immediately to us in the app for review," a Facebook spokesperson said.

Scamwatch said it had received 30 reports relating to bad actor scams over the past two years amounting to almost $500 in losses, with six being lodged this year.

More than half of these reports were made by people aged 24 years old and under.

Meantime, Australia's eSafety Commissioner said it had heard of cases of content creators on paid subscription sites like OnlyFans having their explicit posts removed and shared elsewhere on the internet without their consent.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant said her office had received a small number of reports on this issue.

"While this may not be covered by our scheme, we stand ready to assist with the removal of this material where we can or to refer onto relevant legal or support services," Ms Inman-Grant said.

 

 

'I WAS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE I KNOW MIGHT THINK'

Connie Rothery was taken by complete surprise when she woke one morning to messages asking was she selling racy images on a subscription-based social media site.

But the 39-year-old Yeppoon local wasn't at all; a scammer had created a fake Instagram profile posing as her, which encouraged people to head to a dodgy web page, sign up and hand over their credit card details with the false promise of allowing access to explicit content featuring her.

"They had set up a fake Instagram account and used a profile photo of me, and had obviously taken some photos I had shared that were a little bit raunchy and posted them on the profile," Ms Rothery said.

 

Queenslander Connie Rothery, whose Instagram account was duplicated by a scammer who used the fake social media profile to direct people to a scam website. Picture: Supplied
Queenslander Connie Rothery, whose Instagram account was duplicated by a scammer who used the fake social media profile to direct people to a scam website. Picture: Supplied

 

She said a friend of a friend had signed up to the fake page the Instagram account had directed them to, and after doing so was apparently presented with pornographic content that was not of her.

She said she shared the fake Instagram account on her page and encouraged followers to report it.

"Everyone just jumped on board and reported it, and obviously enough people did because it was taken down in about 15 minutes," she said.

She did not report the scammer's web page, but it now appears to have been taken down.

Ms Rothery now keeps her Instagram account on private after the experience, which she thought would never happen to her.

"I think one part of me wanted to have a bit of a giggle because I thought, 'oh, God, is this even real'," she said.

"But the other part of me was really stressed, and I was thinking, 'oh my gosh, I've got kids and kids … and I'm married', and was worried what it might look like if people I know came across it."

 

'THE ORDEAL CAUSED A LOT OF STRESS'

After starring on the cover of Maxim men's magazine last year, Melburnian Rosanna Faraci posted the racy photo on her Instagram feed and made it her profile picture.

It not only caught the attention of fans, but also scammers who quickly took it and used it on a fake Instagram profile that directed people to a fraudulent web page designed to look like subscription-based social media platform, OnlyFans.

The bad actors had hoped people would go to the site, sign up and hand over their credit card details.

 

Melbourne resident Rosanna Faraci, whose Instagram account was duplicated by a scammer who used the fake social media profile to direct people to a scam website. They scammers initially used this photo from when Ms Faraci appeared on the cover of Maxim men's magazine. Picture: Peter Coulson/Supplied
Melbourne resident Rosanna Faraci, whose Instagram account was duplicated by a scammer who used the fake social media profile to direct people to a scam website. They scammers initially used this photo from when Ms Faraci appeared on the cover of Maxim men's magazine. Picture: Peter Coulson/Supplied

 

"All of a sudden (after posting the photo) I had people messaging me asking, 'do you have an OnlyFans account?'," Ms Faraci said, who added even her daughter had come across the fake account.

"I was horrified".

Ms Faraci said each time she changed her profile photo, the scammers would do the same, which she presumed was to make their account look more legitimate.

She asked all her followers to report the fake account, and Instagram removed it in about three days.

"The ordeal caused a lot of stress. Everyone was saying, 'don't worry about it, it happens to all of us' … but I'm a mum and I don't want my daughter to get picked on at school," she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as 'God, is this even real': Aussies caught up in Only Fans scams