School official 'made catfish Tinder profile with pics of wife's ex' (2024)

A school district official in Illinois allegedly posed as his wife's ex-husband on Tinderto catfish women into meeting for sex – then got caught during a nail-biting sting operation.

In a scandal which has rocked the Moline-Coal Valley school district, board memberJason Farrell, 39, is accused of creating a dating profile using pictures of Mathew Harris, 40, a military veteran.

Harris was previously married to Farrell's current wife, but they divorced around eight years ago.

Farrell invented stories about serving in Iraq as he attempted to 'solicit women for sex', according to Harris, who shared screenshots of lurid Tinder conversations involving the fake account.

But father-of-four Farrell's alleged scheme came to an abrupt end after a woman informed Harris about the fake profiles and the veteran plotted an undercover sting to expose him.

In a scandal which has rocked the Moline-Coal Valley school district, board member Jason Farrell (pictured) is accused of creating a dating profile using pictures of his wife's ex-husband

Mathew Harris (left) said his fiancee Heather (right) was contacted by a woman who matched the fake Tinder account and they then plotted an undercover sting

The Tinder profile allegedly created by Farrell includes pictures of his wife's ex-husband, Mathew Harris, who claims that Farrell posed as him to meet women for sex

The bizarre events have gripped the small city of Moline in Rock County, western Illinois, where Farrell has refused to quit his position on the school board despite demands from colleagues and parents.

A Facebook page has also been created for residents to campaign for Farrell's removal.

He denies the allegations and his wife is believed to remain staunchly at his side.

Harris first raised the alarm about Farrell and the fake Tinder profile in late March, when his fiancée, Heather, was approached by a woman who had matched with the account.

The woman believed the profile was evidence that Harris was cheating. In reality, the account was created by Farrell to catfish women, it is claimed.

Screenshots show that messages sent by the fake Tinder profile include 'I want to take you out for drinks and then take you to bed' and 'I want to kiss every inch of that body'.

Harris and his fiancée asked the woman to continue messaging the account and arrange to meet the culprit so they could confront him. They already suspected Farrell was involved.

Mathew Harris claims he caught Jason Farrell red-handed after a woman who matched the Tinder profile agreed to help with an undercover sting

Farrell allegedly sent this selfie to a woman he met through the Tinder account, even though it reveals that he is not the person pictured in the profile

'The woman he matched with on Tinder agreed to meet him under the assumption it was actually me,' Harris said.

'I agreed to wait outside with Heather so we could all see once and for all that this person wasn't me, but more importantly find out who it actually was.'

Before the date, Farrell even sent a selfie to the woman – revealing himself as a different man to the one in the profile.

In footage shared on YouTube, the woman secretly recorded on her cellphone as she spent nearly 15 minutes with Farrell on the 'date' before Harris bursts in to confront him.

As Harris's fiancé records on her cellphone, he calls out Farrell and reads back some of the messages sent by the fake Tinder profile.

Thousands of people have since viewed the YouTube video and demanded Farrell resign from the school board. An emergency no-contact order was also put in place which bans him from contacting Harris.

'The man created a fake Tinder account, he was soliciting women for sex, meeting them as me, trying to convince them he was me despite the fact he looks nothing like me,' Harris said.

'There's women out there that he could have hurt that I don't even know that think that it was me and that's not fair.'

He added: 'He's very, very poorly trying to tell stories of my life, playing them off as if they were his.'

Harris said he wants criminal charges against Farrell but the Moline Police Department told that it has not received an incident report.

Harris posted a video to YouTube of the moment he allegedly confronted Farrell

Farrell has refused to step down from the Moline-Coal Valley school board and insists that the claims against him are false

During a meeting of the Moline Coal Valley school board on Monday, members voted unanimously to censure Farrell and petition the regional superintendent to remove him.

But Farrell has refused to quit. He claims the audio and video of the sting was falsified.

'I have no intentions of resigning from my school board position,' he said in a statement released on April 4.

'The allegations made against me are false. I have not been charged with any crimes but instead tried solely through social media.

'My wife and I, with the advice of legal counsel, will explore all of the options we have to respond accordingly to such heinous accusations.'

School board president Andrew Waeyaert told the recent meeting: 'We are not a court or jury, but the alleged conduct is just so deeply disturbing, and it has resulted in the district being cast in a terrible light.

'The board and administration have been inundated with inquiries, complaints, and FOIA requests about this matter, and it has monopolized all of our time.

'This situation and its impact have taken away countless hours from our mission, which is to serve kids and families.'

Farrell did not respond to a request for comment.

School official 'made catfish Tinder profile with pics of wife's ex' (2024)


How to tell if a Tinder profile is a catfish? ›

You can't find any trace of them online

You've searched their name on the internet but they don't seem to exist. Or they do, but the photos don't match the photos on their dating profile. Someone who only tells you vague details about themselves, and nothing that can be fact-checked.

How to identify a fake profile on Tinder? ›

Suspicious or unrealistic photos

Chances are, if a picture looks too good to be true, it is. People may use stock photos to create fake Tinder profile pictures, so if they look posed, edited, or generic, consider running a reverse image search to ensure it's not a stock photo you can buy online.

Is catfishing on Tinder illegal? ›

Is catfishing a crime? Catfishing is not explicitly a crime, but the actions that often accompany catfishing, such as extortion for money, gifts or sexual images are crimes in many places.

How to report fake profiles on Tinder? ›

How to Report
  1. Open the person's profile.
  2. Tap the ellipses icon.
  3. Select the option to Report.

How can you tell if someone is catfishing you by a picture? ›

If you suspect you're dealing with a catfish, use an online reverse image search to find out if the person's photos are on anyone else's online profiles. You can also search their messages online. Take any particularly unique or romantic lines they've written to you and search to see if they pop up anywhere else.

How to uncover a catfish? ›

Verify their picture using a Google reverse image search to check whether their image is really of them. You could also search for them on other social media platforms. They may be a catfish if they have barely posted anything, have a very low friend count or are not tagged in photos. Check your privacy settings.

How to check a fake profile? ›

Verification Symbol

However, not all legitimate public figures have the checkmark yet. In this case, search other social networks for accounts with the same name. If the profile pictures, account name, location, and other details match up, the account is likely real. If they don't, it's probably fake.

How can I find out if someone I know is on Tinder? ›

Put Their Name Into Tinder's URL

If you type in the URL “,” you might be able to find who you are looking for on Tinder. If you aren't sure what username the person might choose, look at their social media profiles to see what usernames they have used in the past.

How do you prove someone is real on Tinder? ›

Verification is an important online dating feature that lets you know that a match is who they say they are. Tinder introduced photo verification in 2020, and currently all you need for verification is a video of your face. Tinder hopes the expanded verification process will give users more peace of mind while swiping.

What percent of Tinder profiles are fake? ›

Fake profiles on Tinder are like weeds in a garden of potential love matches. While it's hard to pinpoint an exact percentage, some studies suggest that around 10% to 30% of profiles may be counterfeit. So, fellow swipers, stay vigilant and trust your instincts when browsing through those digital dating waters.

What do catfishers want? ›

Why do people catfish? People catfish because they have low self-esteem or want to use a fake identity to gain someone's trust for the sake of defrauding them. People also catfish to ruin someone's reputation or engage in cyberbullying.

What states is catfishing illegal in? ›

While many population-dense, torts-focused states like California, Texas, and New York make it illegal for a catfisher to use another's picture to impersonate that specific person, Oklahoma is the only state that outlaws using another's picture to become someone new.

How to check if a Tinder profile is real? ›

Ways to spot a fake user
  1. They don't have social media accounts. ...
  2. Their bio screams fake profile. ...
  3. They only have one photo. ...
  4. Their profile is missing basic information. ...
  5. Their messages come too quickly. ...
  6. They want to connect off Tinder right away. ...
  7. They avoid proof of life.

Can you go to jail for fake Tinder? ›

Fraud: Depending on the level of deception and whether financial crimes were involved, creating a fake online dating profile can lead to fraud charges.

Does Tinder tell who reported you? ›

If you still have access to their profile, the most effective way to report someone is directly from their Tinder profile. These reports are treated confidentially and the person you report won't be notified.

What to do if someone Catfishes you on Tinder? ›

If someone is pretending to be you on Tinder, please report it to us using this form, by selecting “Someone is impersonating me” from the dropdown menu. Make sure to add all the requested information, including any details you have about the impersonator's profile.

How can you tell if your partner is on Tinder? ›

The best way to be sure is to look at his downloaded apps.

If you have a spare moment with his phone, search through his apps for sites like Bumble, Tinder, Match, or Hinge. If you find any of these on his phone, it means he's most likely been using them (or at least hasn't deleted them yet).

How often do people catfish on Tinder? ›

Approximately 10% of all online dating profiles are fakes or 'catfishes'. The statistic that approximately 10% of all online dating profiles are fakes or 'catfishes' suggests that a significant portion of individuals engaging in online dating may be misrepresenting themselves.

How do you know if someone else is on Tinder? ›

Put Their Name Into Tinder's URL

If you type in the URL “,” you might be able to find who you are looking for on Tinder. If you aren't sure what username the person might choose, look at their social media profiles to see what usernames they have used in the past.

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