Actor’s identity used in sick catfish ruse
QUEENSLAND actor Lincoln Lewis was caught up in two nightmarish 'catfishing' ruses, court documents show.
An ABC investigation has revealed a 29-year-old Melbourne woman took Lewis' photos from social media and started an intricate web of lies to trick women into believing they were dating the up-and-coming actor.
One of the women caught up in the sickening game, Emma*, took her own life last year.
Each piece of the puzzle was laid out in a Victorian court, in a case against serial stalker Lydia Abdelmalek, from Melbourne, who had stalked several people over a number of years.
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It began as a trick to convince Emma she was dating Lincoln Lewis, but once Abdelmalek was caught out, she changed her alias to a British actor Michael Jason Smith and later Danny Jason MacGreene, even faking a kidnapping to trick Emma.
After enduring torment from three fake profiles, the kidnapping too turned out to be a sick ploy, and that's when the messages began from the anonymous stalker urging Emma to kill herself.
A similar ordeal was experienced by a woman called Jess*, who sought help from the Queensland Police Service.
Eventually police hatched a plan to catch the stalker by convincing Abdelmalek to transfer Jess money.
CCTV at a Westpac branch in Victoria captured the first glimpses of the stalker who was then arrested and charged by police, after overwhelming evidence was uncovered at her home.
She was found guilty of six counts of stalking and will be sentenced in June, ABC reported.
*ABC changed these names to protect the victims.