Karen Woodley, 23, discovered that her photos had been lifted by chance after her friend saw the profile on dating site Plenty of Fish.James Chisholm, who has known Karen for two-and-a-half years, was chatting to his friend who was planning to meet a woman he met online – Jodie WW.When James was shown the photos of "Jodie" he realised what had happened and told Karen.

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So James showed him my Facebook and found the exact pictures from the profile."I felt really freaked out about it.

Seeing your photo attached to someone else is weird."Some people said I should take it as a compliment but I haven't seen it like that at all.

I've seen it as somebody taking my identity."Karen's photos were taken despite her having strict privacy settings on Facebook.

When she Googled herself to figure out how Jodie WW did it, she found her photos on the search engine."I don't understand why my photos are going onto Google," she said. It makes you think about what you're putting on social media – people don't realise their privacy can be invaded so easily."Karen's boyfriend Nate Adamson was also upset and urged her to report the photos – but she has received no reply from Plenty of Fish.

The fake profile has since disappeared – but Karen doesn't know whether this was because the website took action or because she messaged the user. If they feel that they have to use another identity to develop relationships then there are significant insecurities there."It's weird to think that if my friend hadn't seen it I would never have known."How do I know it's not going to happen again?

" Karen's story will sound familiar to people who watch the MTV show Catfish.

In the American show hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph travel the country tracking down the users behind fake online profiles, who have used lifted pictures and false information to strike up relationships with strangers.

Daily Star Online has approached Plenty of Fish for comment.

It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles.

A fraud is sweeping online dating sites, according to a special report in this month’s issue of Glamour Magazine.

The scam typically works like this: A con artist, usually based in an Internet cafe overseas, will lift a photo from Facebook or another social networking site.