A North Side family wants to fight back against an online identity thief, but they are not sure what can be done and to whom.
“It feels like there’s nothing we can really do to stop it,” said Ryan Griffith.
Since late 2011, Ryan’s pictures have been used on a fake Facebook profile under the name Taylor Wayment.
"We didn’t really look into it until recently because I started getting text messages and emails from people, like, every week saying they had received messages from him,” Ryan said.
Then last Thursday, Ryan’s face made local TV news in Salt Lake City where affiliate KSL spoke with a woman who was contacted by the person using Ryan’s pictures.
Ryan’s family, who lives in Utah, saw the story.
The victim told KSL that Taylor Wayment sent her a message that referenced the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ali Griffith, Ryan’s wife, says her friends- who are members of the LDS Church- have received similar messages.
The Taylor Wayment profile, which has since been deactivated, used pictures of Ryan and his 2 year old daughter.
The scammer behind the profile said his wife was deceased.
“It just makes me mad that my daughter, who is innocent and 2 years old, is being portrayed as someone she’s not by some stranger we don’t even know,” said Ali.
Another fake profile has popped up using Ryan's photos under the name Sam Gilliland. There is even a fake profile under the name Emma Gilliland that uses pictures of Ali’s mother.
The family has reported the profiles to Facebook but has not yet received a response.
Under Texas law, there is nothing that can be done to criminally prosecute the scammer because it appears the Griffiths were not the intended target of fraud, harm, intimidation or threats.
“It’s not worth posting pictures if they’re going to be stolen by someone like this,” Ali said.