Morecambe councillor victim of fake dating scam

Coun Margaret Pattison.
Coun Margaret Pattison.

A fake profile of a Morecambe councillor has been published on an online dating site.

Coun Margaret Pattison said she was contacted by a local man to say photos from her public Facebook account had been used to create a profile on dating site Badoo, which has more than 360,000 members.

The fake profile included her name and age and had described her as a lesbian.

Coun Pattison, who represents Heysham North on Lancaster City Council, said she intended to highlight the issue to raise awareness.
She said: “I highlight my work as a councillor on Facebook and the page is set to public.

“We make sure as a Labour group that we highlight all the work we do in the community.

“The first I heard about it was when a local person contacted me to say he’d been on the dating site and seen me on there.

“I worry that they are conning people for money.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you.”

Coun Pattison, who is married with children, said: “It was my name, my picture, and they said my age was 53, but I’m actually 54!

“They also said I’m a lesbian.

“I’m married. We just can’t believe it really, it’s a bit worrying. I don’t know how long it’s been up for. You have to go on the dating website to report it.

“I got in touch with Clive Grunshaw about it, who told me it wasn’t actually illegal to take pictures off a public site.

“It just makes me feel a bit vulnerable really.”

Coun Pattison said she had been contacted by a woman following an interview she did on Radio Lancashire, who said the same thing had happened to her.

She added: “I’m going to speak to her, and I’m going to see how we can highlight this so that people are more aware that this can and does happen.”