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Man jailed for impersonating UFC star Cody Garbrandt in Tinder 'catfishing' fraud scam

Man jailed for impersonating UFC star Cody Garbrandt in Tinder 'catfishing' fraud scam
A British man has been jailed for defrauding several women out of more than $20,000 after using the image of former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt on the dating app Tinder before persuading the victims to send him money.

Paul Davies, a 30-year-old supermarket worker from Wales, used an image of the ex-bantamweight king as his personal profile photo on the popular dating service, claiming to be a successful 28-year-old regional manager for Audi who lived in a plush penthouse.

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Davies then gained various women's trust by "spinning stories" about his life, before making repeated requests for short-term loans, per the BBC. One of his victims wired $10,500 to the conman over the course of twelve months after Davies claimed that a cash point has 'swallowed' his ATM card and he needed money to visit his ailing grandfather. In reality, the funds were being used to fuel a gambling addiction. 

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Lord knows it’s a cold game #bloodmoney

A post shared by Cody Garbrandt (@cody_nolove) on

He later embellished the story to claim he needed immediate funds for a new passport and to pay household bills. 

The victim was only made aware of the scam when a friend informed her that the image in the profile she was interacting with was that of mixed martial arts star Garbrandt. Seven further victims were discovered after an investigation into the 'catfishing' - a term used to describe communicating with individuals online while using a fake persona. 

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Davies was jailed for 34 months on eight counts of fraud by false representation by Swansea Crown Court.

At the time of his arrest, Davies was on licence - or on parole - for previously having defrauded a woman out of $6,900. He will serve at least 17 months of his sentence. 

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