Mesa mayor used in 'Catfish' scam

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Mesa Mayor John Giles is the victim of a 'catfishing' scam. (2 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5] Mesa Mayor John Giles is the victim of a 'catfishing' scam. (2 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5]
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Someone was using pictures of the Mesa mayor, not to get votes, but to lure ladies.

Mesa Mayor John Giles, who's been married for over three decades, now finds himself in the middle of a bizarre "catfishing" scam that stretches from the East Valley to Canada.

Apparently someone was using images of the first term mayor and posting them on the popular dating website Match.com.

"I have to admit, before this, I'd never heard of Match.com, so no I've been happily married for 35 years and social dating is not something I have any experience with," he said.  

But he's getting a quick on-line lesson.

A woman in Vancouver, Canada, tipped off the mayor after she became suspicious of a man using Giles' pictures on his dating profile.

Giles says he doesn't know who's using the images.

He's tried contacting Match.com, but so far they have not responded.

In addition, Giles says he is working with Mesa police to determine if any laws were broken.

Giles joked that this led to an awkward conversation with his wife, but added it's not entirely a laughing matter.

"I'm not really a victim in this situation because I'm not interacting with anybody, I wasn't being fooled by anybody, I'm literally the prop that was used to facilitate somebody else being creepy," said Giles.

Giles is now using this experience to warn the public about the dangers on social media.

"It's not just funny that my image got stolen, it's potentially a serious thing if somebody is going to be tricked into sending money or somehow being victimized by somebody who's trying to trick them."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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