Just to prove that nothing blogged here is written chiseled in granite, with great shame I admit unpulling the fork I put in my facebook account in 2014. I am present with the most minimal timeline, and it is solely so I can communicate with students in Project Community.

That said, I am feeling the slimy ooze of Facebook.

Another reason is so I can harpoon catfishers. What’s catfishing? Go read Alec Couros’s experiences. Read it all.

Not nearly with the frequency of Alec, but enough to make me queasy, I get emails from people who share with me LinkedIn, Facebook profiles of people I do not know who are strangely familiar.

Meet Gary L Gloer

Gary's photos remind of me someone, I just cannot quite place it.

Gary’s photos remind of me someone, I just cannot quite place it.

Gary, originally from and still living in Arkansas City, Kansas, apparently is a crane operator for Fox Oil Drilling.

Gary has been on Facebook since May 2015, with a profile sporting my own photographs. He also, is according to an email I got a few days ago from some oen worried about a friend who is being romanced by Gary. Gary has a phone numbers in Nigeria, but claims it is because of the travel he did.

Gary sent her this photo of him with a friend named “Brian”


which has an uncanny resemblance to a photo I took and posted to flickr in 2008, and the person I am with is actually named Lee

Gary also claimed this is him negotiating an oil deal


I am having trouble locating that photo; I am guessing that might be at the Learning2 conference I attended in Shanghai in 2008.

Here are more of “Gary’s” photos


His current profile photo is one from me presenting on 50 Ways to Tell a story at the 2008 Northern Voice Conference in Vancouver. At one time I used the photo for accounts; a reverse image search finds it in the wordpress uploads directory of http://www.jerkwithacamera.com/

The image file name 2286210519_f5f056e29a.jpg let’s me know it was downloaded from flickr, and because I know my way around flickr, it should be found at https://www.flickr.com/photo.gne?id=2286210519 Bummer


Updated! Good news, I contacted Reilley, and he republished the original photo of ME that Gary Goober claims to be him.

Also D’Arcy Norman has a photo from the same event, it should be obvious it is me. Me. Not some DB named Gary.

These are my other flickr photos that “Gary” has sitting in his facebook account, in his profile, or previously used a profile photo

Okay. So it should be easy to report this to facebook.

It is.

Except, according to Facebook:

Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the profile you reported for pretending to be you and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

So according to Community Standards it is acceptable to present yourself with a fake name, using someone else’s photos as your own, and in an occupation you do not do.

And using this profile to defraud people in a romance scam is supported by Facebook.

That is not ok with me.

Tell me Facebook how you allow “Gary Gloer” to create an account with false information using MY PHOTO:


Is Gary using his “authentic name and identity” Is he not publishing the personal information of me without my consent?

Please readers excuse the bomb, but FUCK YOU FACEBOOK?

I wonder how long it would take them to take out a fake account using this as profile photo?


Facebook remains for me a steaming pile of poop, a shameful oozing pimple in the butt of the internet. My main use for it will to be publishing the fraudulent uses of my own photos that facebook refuses to police

fb fraudulent photos

I give Facebook a permanent Cone of Shame to wear


UPDATE: Oct 12, 2015 After a second report, linking to my gallery of original images and this blog post, Facebook changed their mind:

bye gary

While this is good news, why does Facebook first tell me a fake profile using my photos does NOT violate their community standards and then now it does?

UPDATE About 2 hours later
Gary L. Gloer is persistent and has created a new fake Facebook profile again using my photo here as “his” profile pic, and some woman’s pic I do not know

This same photo has also been used in the past for “David Frederickson” or “Timothy Stefan”.

Facebook, you continue to wear the cone of shame.

Top / Featured Image Credits: flickr photo by Mike Tewkesbury http://flickr.com/photos/7687126@N06/2854503391 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. That really sucks. FWIW, I reported the account. Maybe if enough people report it they’ll do something. I’ve read about the Nigerian romance scams and it disgusts me.

  2. Does this mean we’re not going to be Facebook friends? This one lone crazy ruined it for all the rest of us??

  3. I too was scammed of 1600 from Alex Gallart using LinkedIn and facebook with Dr Alec Couros pictures. Sending me pictures promising me marriage believing in love at first sight. Using Christian and Clara for your children pictures and also George Couros as the name John Williams to be your gold business Associate and my Facebook friend. Also had me set up skype and it was you I skype with twice. Also had me set up whataps to communicate with all the lies to get money for Clara being sick…he’s stuck in Accra Ghana with her. My compassion made me help. I also fell madly in love with him. He communicated everyday with all his problems. Struggling now to keep my house and car. Because believe he scammed me for 1 year using Marcus Raines as his name of 15k. He immediately came into the picture saying love has no color when I commented on an interracial dating site which popped up on facebook. As you and asked me to be his friend. Claimed he was scammed by a Nigerian woman and understood what I was feeling. Said not to cry or worry he would help me clear my debts because he cared about me. He sent me lots of pictures of you and your son and daughter staying wife was deceased. At first I had no feeling but fell madly in love with him . He pretended to be religious also. I was naive and honest. I never experienced anything like this in my life which emotionally and financially destroyed me. I have reported this to facebook and a scamming scammers link. This is how I found who you really are. That Alex Gallart scammed me.

    1. My heart goes out to you Carolyn, losing money is terrible, but being deceived, tricked, and manipulating your feelings as this person/group did is inhumane. I can only hope some karma catches up with them. The more we can get the awareness out there, the more people can stand up against these acts.

    1. I dunno. That’s not my software. Here’s my list:

      • The reporting procedure is opaque. In four instances I have reported accounts for impersonating me. Always the first response is that the fraud account is not violating their community standards. So i have to then file a second issue with documentation showing that the photos others are using are mine. The violator gets more leeway then the person who has been violated. You never contact a person at Facebook, they never do more than click responses.
      • The photos people use on Facebook cannot be reverse image searched; they are not indexed by google, so if you see a questionable photo, it can only find it outside of Facebook. There should be a way to find the same image across facebook
      • It is obviously easy for people to create fake accounts; the one who used mine created a second account by appending a ,1 to their username, and did so within an hour of the first one taken down. Everything on Facebook says how much they aim to protect your identity.

      Many people, mostly women are being romance scammed by organized units of criminals, and are swindled out of 1000s of dollars. This is rampant, and Facebook, to my knowledge, never acknowledges this is going on in their house.

      1. Hi. My son found your site because I was being contact by Jose Castillo, an architect living in Kearny NJ. His Facebook account had all pictures of you but the stupid ass left a picture of you wearing a name tag with your name on it! I reported to FB but then I blocked it so I don’t know if it is still out there. Thank you, Barbara

  4. Hi!
    I just get a message from Timothy Boostrom on facebook. I took his photo and googled him and here I am……

  5. Hello Gary,
    my name is Bettina from germany. A few days ago i met on Tinder a guy named Gary Gloer from Arkanas – Pangburn. he is a Petroleum Geologist. A Widow with 2 Children. He has his Facebook acount just since 5 Days. And this is not normal. He is a widow with 2 Children. He tells me already words about big love. I dont believe men anymore, and thats wy im google him. And here i am on our site. But he has different pictures than you. Sorry for my bad englisch….
    Do you think he is real? Thank you for answering.
    many greetings

    1. I cannot say if he is real; my hunch is no. Try a search on the images and see if they show up with some other name.

      This video (has harsh language) on “How Spot a Catfish” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LagwG7bieEA recommends a test of asking the person to send you a photo of them doing something not likely to be found in existing photos — ask them for a photo with their pinky finger touching their ear. I would remain very very cautious.

      PS- May name is not Gary. His name likely is not Gary either.

  6. Hi, Alan
    This message is to inform you that your pictures are hacked and used by someone for his profile.
    I have been chatting online and talking over the phone for a month with a catfish Jose Castillo, who claimed himself a 53 year-old Latino widower and an architect. He sent me more than 60 of his (your) pictures with touching stories during the month, and finally he asked for money to be wired to an account in Turkey. The recipient is a Nigerian name. Before that he also sent me a fake check to win my trust. I already reported the case to the police Fraud department so they have the scammer’s email, phone, wire instructions, etc. My friend told me that the man in the pictures that I thought I had been talking to is also a victim, so I decided to find the real person and tell him he’s being hacked. I googled images, and voila, I am glad I found you, the real person. I was surprised there are so many similar cases already. I am lucky I didn’t lose any money. Just feel a little disappointed because I thought I was about to date a decent and charming guy. In the scam the architect with your face is a widower. Hopefully in real life you are happily married and with children. Let’s do something to stop the hackers and the scammers!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I am sorry to hear you got fooled by a catfishing operation but am happy you did not send “him” any money.

      Technically my photos have not been “hacked” as I make them all available with my other shared photographs. And I am in no means a victim as much as people like you.

      If you did not find the link in my post, I have a summary page of information and some suggestions of what (actually little) can be done beyond letting people know of this kind of activity.


      1. Cuz cogdog SOOOO handsome he be dangled as bait by all the very best catfishers. “Don’t exploit my image because Im so beautiful!”
        Some kind of weird through the looking glass reversal on female gender exploitation…
        You do good by providing support materials to the Michelle’s of this world enticed by your beauty and by staying aggressively bloggiferous on your public platform(s).

      2. Thank you, CogDog, for responding me and providing those informative materials. I felt supported. I learned a lesson from the scam. Sometimes we fall into a situation easily just by following our heart. Now I realize that at the same time, we should use our brains, too.
        Maybe I should thank the scammer for bringing me to this CogDog Blog.

        Just curious, in many of the pictures that I received from “Jose”, a little “lunch box” covered with cute stickers caught my eyes. Is it a magic box so you like to display it so often ?

  7. I too was scammed by Timothy Angelo Walters Stefan saying he needed money for a job on oil rigger. Started with iTunes gift cars, money and phone. Professed true love. Says he is widower with son in Italy wife and daughter died in car accident. Even had face time with blurry image. Lying piece of nothing. Took me for all I had $5400 and pretends he is religious. He was good but not good enough. Karma

  8. Timothy Stefan is at it again. Said he wanted to get his son an iPhone for Christmas. He was send it with clothes he bought, said it was going to cost $800 to mail! I bought the phone and had it sent to a woman in Georgia who was going to mail the package to his son Mario. I called her today she mailed the iPhone to Nigeria for $63 like she was told to! She is dealing with a man named Adrienne Lopez who is telling her he lives in Michigan but working on an oil rig in Nigeria. I am sick about this! Being used by people with their lies

    1. I’m sorry to read this. It’s bad enough to be scammed out of money, but the shame of being fooled, of having trust broken, is more expensive.

      Here’s the sad truth: (1) These people will not stop, they are highly organized and are making money. (2) Facebook is not going to do anything about this. Their existence is based on encouraging every shred of interaction inside their system, they are banking billions by selling your activity data. (3) The only route is spreading understanding, helping others know how to be better informed, more critical of these faux characters.

  9. Here I am again to update everyone on Timothy Stefan aka Timothy Angelo Walters Stefan. I confronted him on everything and said his friend ben lied and did it all and he too was scammed! He is supposedly working in Alaska on oil rig. Well he was trying to talk me out of going to police! He message me saying he would be back in 20 minutes and all evidence of him is gone! Liar scammer who used me

  10. What a pathetic man this Timothy Stefan is. Promised to pay me back but now says he doesn’t owe me anything and tells me go to police I don’t care. Said he was in Belguim but he was in Nigeria then says he’s in Italy but he’s in Georgia, tells me he did nothing wrong and I am a liar. Checks in and asks me things but won’t answer anything I ask. He lived in connellsville Pennsylvania and now who knows! Stay away he lies steals scams uses you for money and then gets nasty! He calls me horrible names and tells me I am sick. I am broke and he denies everything. Has you wire money to other people. He said he would pay off my credit card and then after he does he gets phones and reverses the payment. A thief

      1. I am still dealing with this. Being used and conned is an awful thing. I am now playing his game, I told him I came into some money and now he claims he needs $30,000 to hire some men to be his assistants on an oil rig in Turkey. I wont give it to him and he is constantly telling me God this and God that and how he is praying. Tells me that I should want to help him cause he will make 2 million on this job. I asked him why he wont pay me what he took before and he said cause he needed it for his son’s education. And I was not being nice so why should he give it back. I love making him come up with reason and reason i should give him money… he will never get another dime from me. He is a liar, scam, thief and a user.

          1. Well when I refused more money to Timothy Stefan he said I was holding him back and he met a woman who thought he was handsome cause he id Italian. He said if he has sex with her she will give him all the money he needs. He sent me your pic with a woman with a dark complexion calling her hi Amore Mia. This man is sick. Is there a way to have him arrested

          2. I would not hold out hope of having “him” arrested. The best thing is to spread awareness of this situation, because many are unaware of it. At least do not engage in any communication with “him” or if you do, turn the game and try to waste his time with false information.

  11. I see that Timothy Stefan was once again using Alan Levines pictures. I complained to Facebook. I think they took own his facebook. This man is a thief. I have reported him to the FBI and told him so. He is now no where to be found. Scared…. he talks nasty when you say no and then curses and calls you all kinds of things. Sick

    1. I’m sorry to read you ran into this character. First of all, there is no such real person named Timothy Stefan, he is a fabrication. Sadly, reporting likely does nothing as most likely it is a person in another country operating outside the jurisdiction of US law enforcement.

      The best thing to do is to not engage with “him” or if you choose to do so, feed him lies. I have more suggestions and resources at http://cogdogblog.com/i-am-alan

  12. Ase un mes me enviaron un solicitud a Facebook a nombre de Robinson Adams dice ser sargento de las fuerzas armadas estado unidense y que esta en Siria. En el perfil tiene sus fotos

  13. Buna Alan!!! Imi cer scuze nu vorbesc engleza,totusi iti scriu cu speranta ca se va traduce corect si ma vei intelege!! In comentariile de mai sus am citit despre asa numitul Robinson Adams,care se foloseste de pozele tale!! Vorbesc si eu cu el din octombrie 2018!! Mi-a spus ca are un fiu ,Kelvin,care este in grija unui profesor in Turcia!! Inca imi cere si acum sa il ajut cu bani pentru fiul lui!! Mi-a trimis si poze cu Kelvin,un copil blond, foarte frumos!! Acest Robinson mai foloseste si Robinson Adama Songan!! Stiu ca este un scammer si se foloseste de imaginea si cuvintele tale!! Te rog doar sa-mi spui daca intradevar ai un fiu?? Iti multumesc anticipat pentru timpul acordat si astept un raspuns!!!

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