Gustavo's logo of a wax seal with the letter G in the center.

Gustavo Lazo Oval

Poet · Writer · Dream Weaver

En - Es

Gustavo's logo of a wax seal with the letter G in the center.

Gustavo Lazo Oval

Poet & Writer

Inglés - Spanish

Identity Theft

As I have written in my brief bio on the home page, my name is Gustavo Lazo Oval. I will write here, through a translator, as my English, unlike those that impersonate me, is almost non-existent.

Since 2011, individuals from West Africa and South East Asia, but in particular from Nigeria, have taken possession of a large amount of photos I had previously shared freely in my social media pages. Altogether, there have been over 100 images that they have acquired and shared through a database that has been distributed to networks of scammers.

These individuals have used my image to assume the invented persona of men who often live quite fantastical lives, and are always in search of gullible women living in English speaking countries looking for romance. Using such an abundance of photos, and at times even my name and history, they have continually setup fake online relationships with these women. These relationships always end up with a bizarre situation in which money has to be sent to one of the locations I mentioned previously. Even when their scam has been identified, they do not relent (some women have even shared with me that their scammer openly admitted to their scheme but asked for aid anyway).

These scams have placed a huge burden on me. As is most often the case, these women reverse search these photos back to myself or have found help in forums which correctly state from whom the images were taken from. Thus, I have engaged in a never ending sisyphean task in which I spend my spare time reporting these fake individuals and addressing the distraught women who have been abused. Every time one account is taken down, another surfaces, and more women attempt to contact me. This has been a life draining exercise, as I share the emotional distress their victims have felt, and sometimes negative accusations are also directed at me.

If you have arrived here because you are also a victim of this identity theft, my sincere sympathy. Please cease all communication with the impersonator, do not feel obligated to fulfill their demands once they become disparate, and report their activity. If you have already been scammed for money, then you can attempt to seek aid from authorities. Unfortunately, as I have sadly found out, these issues are not of concern to international police as they are of small scale, and even social media networks turn a blind eye to abuse of this kind.

Please take care of your emotional and mental health, think compassionately, and refelct slowly on the reality of the situation. If you would like to speak with me, you are welcome to contact me at my email address fachadasgustavo [at] hotmail [dot] com, or through one of my social media pages.

Portrait of Gustavo; he is cordially saluting the visitor with his hat to his chest.