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A successful adult entertainment star is the 'most impersonated' woman on the internet, whose snaps have been stolen and used to extort millions from unsuspecting love seekers.
Janessa Brazil is registered with a modelling agency in Florida, but says her career has been ruined by scammers who use her pictures to create fake profiles and trick men into sending them money.
The frauds have got so bad, that a court has banned her from posting on the internet after a man she had never met claimed he had sent her $2million (£1.6m).
READ MORE: Catfish used Brit soap star persona to harass and stalk love struck victim
Journalist Simon de Bruxelles had been taken in by a scammer who used Janessa's image and came up with the idea of having a podcast, searching for the "real Janessa" and find out who the real woman was and how she feels about her life being ruined by fake accounts.
BBC reporter Hannah Ajala hosted the podcast called 'Love, Janessa', and also travelled to Ghana to interview Sakawa Boys – the name given to Ghanaian scammers.
She also spoke to men who had been scammed, one of them being Roberto, an Italian eco-farmer who had sent who he thought was Janessa more than £200,000 during the course of a four-year online relationship where they had never met.
Simon de Bruxelles who came up with the idea of the podcast wrote in the Daily Express explaining why he became involved with the project.
He penned: "My involvement began on New Year’s Eve 2018 when I received a message on Twitter from a woman I didn’t know.
"She said her name was Tammy Anderson and she was sending greetings from 'my world to yours'. I replied in kind, sending her and her family new year greetings and asking, 'Where exactly is your world?'
"Little did I know I had headed down a rabbit hole leading to one of the world’s largest online scams.
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"At the time I had never heard the expressions “romance scam” or “cat-fishing” – when fraudsters use a fake id to defraud someone they’ve never met – and I had certainly never heard the name Janessa Brazil."
It was only when so-called Tammy started asking for money that Simon started thinking something dodgy was going on and realised her photo was a stolen image.
That's when he discovered the real person in the picture was Janessa, who had been described as the most impersonated woman on the internet with more than 100,000 fake social media accounts using her pictures.
During the production of the podcast, Simon tried to get back in touch with the real Janessa and was caught out by a scammer for a second time.
He explained: "I had been catfished a second time! My Janessa then started asking for money to pay the bill for the hotel in Toronto where she said she had fled to escape the furore in the US.
"She sent me copies of emails from her bank stating that her accounts had been frozen. She said she owed the hotel $5,000 and asked if I could lend her the money.
"Although I knew the chances of this being a genuine sob story were vanishingly small, there was still doubt in my mind.
"I advised her to negotiate with the hotel manager. She told me he had tried to sleep with her and had confiscated her passport. I felt awful, despite my certainty none of it was true. I also felt there was a great story here and did not pull the plug."
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