A woman fled her date after four guys turned up at the location and she realized she had been ‘catfished.
Amy Sharp, from Chard, Somerset, met a guy named ‘James’ on Tinder. The two of them remained in contact on the dating app for around three weeks before Amy finally decided to meet him for a drink in Tiverton, Devon.
However, when the hairdresser arrived at the location last Wednesday, she was welcomed by four men – none of who was the person she had been in contact with.
As the four blokes emerged from a Mercedes and came towards Amy, she rang ‘James.’
The next moment, she saw one of the men’s mobile being lit up and it was when she realized she had been talking to an impostor who had been used fake pics all this time.
The 28-year-old quickly left the place and called the police.
According to Amy, cops later told her that the man posing as ‘James’ had admitted to using fake identity and pictures on the dating app.
Recalling the incident, Amy said: “I was really shaken up. With all the Ted Bundy stuff, I know it’s really extreme, but you just don’t know how far it’s going to go.
“The more I think about it the scarier it is. It was obviously calculated.
“I don’t want to know what would have happened if I got out that car. At the end of the day, there were four blokes there. I’m 5ft 3.
“Let’s be honest, they weren’t all coming for a drink.
“Four blokes going to meet one girl on her own – I don’t know what they were planning on doing. They weren’t all going to take me for dinner.
“I’m not saying he was going to murder me, but at the end of the day, he gave me a fake name. Something was going to happen but I don’t know what.”
Amy continued: “I saw him get out the car with three other people.
“It all happened so fast. [At first I thought] he looked like him, but afterwards I found out he used fake photos because he had a partner.
“All of the men started walking towards my car. I rang his number and his phone lit up and I drove off. He rang me and asked why [I ran away]. I said ‘Why’s there loads of you?’
“At first he said he brought a friend with him because he didn’t know I was genuine, then it came out it was a fake name.
“He then said ‘Okay, fine, I’m Matthew. I used a fake name and fake pictures because I’ve got a girlfriend and I didn’t want her to know.’
“I wondered what he thought I was going to do when I got there and realized he was a different person.
“He sent me a message after I said ‘what the hell was your plan when you are bringing three other blokes to meet a girl on her own in a pub car park at night time?’
“He asked me not to phone the police and admitted ‘I’m disgusted with my thoughts and behavior tonight.’
“To me he was going to do something really dodgy. I told him ‘You’re sick. Don’t contact me again’ and blocked his number. I was so angry.
“I phoned a friend and said to her that the weirdest thing just happened. The more I thought of it I realized it was really dodgy.”
Catfishing – the practice of using a fake identity to make a relationship online – isn’t illegal in the UK.
The cops told Amy that ‘James’ had admitted to using a fake profile but claimed he wasn’t accompanied by any other man when he went to meet her.
Amy said: “The police asked ‘Did he touch you?’ They said unless he’d actually attacked me, he hadn’t committed a crime.
“There’s no law against using fake names online and using fake profiles. What if he went to meet another girl and convinced her to get the bus or train somewhere? I had a car to get away in.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement: “We’ve spoken to both parties and there’s no evidence that any criminal offenses have been committed.”
Following the incident, Amy shared it online to warn others – and was left surprised when some people claimed they had undergone a similar experience with ‘James.’
“I want to raise awareness of this now,” Amy wrote on her Facebook. “So many people have come forward to say they’ve been in contact with the same guy.
“I’ve had around seven or eight messages from people saying they had spoken to this guy, but with different names, different place, same picture.
“I’ve been bombarded with messages from women saying they’ve had similar with a different guy.
“People need to know this is going on. I’ve met loads of people off the internet, I always tell someone where I’m going. I’d never meet someone down a lane.”