An Orange County woman is warning others to be careful on social media after she fell victim to a modeling scam on Instagram.
“I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other girls that are thinking about something like this because it’s really easy to fall into the trap when someone’s so nice,” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
The suspect in this scam, Ricklynn Parnell, sent a direct message to her on Instagram asking about if she’d be interested in modeling and sent over what appeared to be official contracts.
Parnell offered the woman to model for $175 an hour, and because of his convincing items and approach, she decided to meet him at the Seal Beach Pier.
“He was very charismatic, nice, gentleman. There was no red flags with that,” she said.
After he took photos of her with a camera, he then wrote her checks for $2,000, but they weren’t any good.
He arranged another meeting, and that’s when officers got involved and met him there.
“We have reason to believe there are at least five victims he’s done this to, but based on the ease of this crime, it’s very likely he has targeted other women which is why it’s so critical for us to get the suspect’s picture and the M.O. out there because we are very interested in having other victims come forward to make sure they can prosecute those crimes as well,” police said.
Parnell, who has a criminal history, now faces three felonies for identity theft, defrauding by false pretense and check fraud.
“It’s just sad because I’m a trusting person and it makes me scared that other girls would fall for this because I feel like I’m good at catching scams too, I have people DM me all the time with stuff like that, so it’s just scary the lengths they went to do this,” the victim said.
Police believe he has other victims of possibly more than check fraud alone out there.
“It’s through his sweet talk and through his convincing nature that he’s willing to gain their trust, who knows what else he can convince them to do,” police said.
[As Aired 2.27.2021 kCal9 News]