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Shocker: The Hot Babe You Met Online Is Really A Squeaky-Voiced Dude

Today’s LA TIMES has a story about an online scam that should surprise no one.

A bunch of rich, lonely dudes surfing the internet in a quest for companionship were duped into thinking they were “involved” with a hot Guess model.

They never actually met this woman, but hours-long steamy conversations with a feminine voice on the other end of the line had them convinced. Many of them sent money and expensive gifts. In return, they received naked photos that were supposedly intended just for them.

Unfortunately, these would-be sugar daddies weren’t actually talking to the sexy 23-year old model, Bree Condon.

Their online romance was with a 24-year-old man with a high-pitched voice and a talent for Photoshopping and internet research.

This story by Harriet Ryan is simply delightful:

For would-be sugar daddies perusing SeekingMillionaire.com — “the meeting place for wealthy and beautiful singles” — there was much to like about profile #160127. “Bree” identified herself as a 23-year-old model from Newport Beach, and the accompanying photos showed an emerald-eyed beauty with a mane of silky brown hair and a wraparound smile that seemed both sexy and sweet.

“Just looking for Mr. Right,” her brief self-description read. If the pictures — one in a backless dress at a party, another in a clingy halter top — seemed somehow familiar, a quick Internet search offered an explanation: Bree Condon, 23, of Newport Beach was a successful model and aspiring actress who’d done a Guess jeans campaign and posed for Maxim magazine’s swimsuit issue.

The profile beckoned on the site for nearly two years, and some who responded soon believed they had embarked on a romantic relationship with Condon. There were no face-to-face dates, but there were intimate phone conversations, nude photos and the enticing possibility of a future with a gorgeous cover girl.

None of it was true, a fact that came to light last month when police officers, prodded by a private investigator hired by the real Condon, knocked on the door of a budget motel room in Austin, Texas. Inside, according to police, they found an iPhone that had been a gift from one suitor, a small dog paid for by another and a 24-year-old man with a very high-pitched voice.

Authorities say the man, Justin Brown, had been impersonating Condon online and on the telephone for years. A grand jury indicted him last week on a felony theft charge. He’s accused of duping a wealthy Miami Beach doctor out of about $15,000 the doctor believed he was sending to Condon. Los Angeles police also are investigating.

Not pictured: Justin Brown

It turns out that Justin Brown figured out he could basically make a living as a pseudo-Bree Condon; who knows how many other women he’s also impersonated in his travels on the Interwebs.

As the Times story points out, there was enough data about Condon easily available online – her parents’ jobs, how many siblings she has – that Brown was able to amass plenty of believable information for use in his impersonation. At the same time, Bree Condon is not so famous that the tabloids would want to report on what she was up to – allowing Brown to avoid scrutiny while he was phone-sexing sugar daddies in distant cities.

He was ultimately indicted for felony theft after coaxing $15,000 out of a Miami doctor.

One victim interviewed by the Times, Jason Carbona, a “private investor and inventor,” delivered a pretty funny quote: “You have to hand it to this kid. He stayed in character for two years.”

Usually, identity theft is perpetrated on a short-term basis: the scam is usually centered around obtaining enough information to go on a spending spree, after which the credit cards are cancelled and the scam ends. In this case, however, Brown assumed Condon’s identity as a lever to extract money, consumer electronics, and even a dog from horny dudes he tempted online.

Simply saying “I’m Bree Condon” wasn’t enough — Justin Brown had the wherewithal to turn up every bit of information on her personal life that he could, the motivation to create profiles on any number of sugar-daddy and social networking sites, and the Photoshop talents to craft fake naked candids that helped him seal the deal. According to the story, he also used social currency to trick his victims, claiming acquaintance with a “mutual friend.”

But Justin Brown’s secret weapon wasn’t his technological talents or cyber savvy — it was his startlingly girlish voice.

“I’d been talking to this person for three months,” Carbona said. “I’m telling you this guy has either had his gonads removed or he is talking through a voice synthesizer.”

For her part, Bree Condon was well aware of the scam, having hired a private investigator to track down Brown’s identity months before his capture. Jason Carbona “tracked her down at a film shoot in Wales” (stalker much?) and she confirmed that no, she wasn’t his online girlfriend. That’s what led Carbona to set up a sting operation which drew Justin Brown into the hands of police.

Because I am a heartless jerk, I couldn’t help but laugh when I followed a link in the Times article to this page at whosdatedwho.com:

Aww, Michael Curry…

When will lonely dudes looking for love online learn that just because someone claims to be a girl, and sends you naked pictures of an attractive woman who shouldn’t have to troll the Internet to meet strange men that will support her, and calls you on the phone with a sexy girlish voice — okay, that last one is a new wrinkle for sure — you should still remain extremely skeptical.

Chances are, unless you are the improbably-successful-with-the-ladies Marko Jaric, you are not going to be grabbing Colin Farrell’s rebounds.

This is why ROTI strongly recommends assuming everyone online is a fat, middle-aged dude living in a group home somewhere in Nebraska, until proven otherwise.

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About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

One Response to Shocker: The Hot Babe You Met Online Is Really A Squeaky-Voiced Dude

  1. 0whole1 says:

    > This is why ROTI strongly recommends assuming everyone online is a fat, middle-aged dude living in a group home somewhere in Nebraska, until proven otherwise.

    Zounds! Outted again. A pox upon your chattels and worldly goods, ROTI!

    Also, I’m a bit hard up this month — could you see your way to slipping me a fiver to hold me over? Or, y’know, whatever you can spare…(gah)…honey?

    I gotta go scrub my brain now.

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