Family’s anguish as criminals use Nicola Bulley’s photos to catfish online

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

In a heartbreaking turn of events, the grieving family of Nicola Bulley has been dealt a new blow as unscrupulous scammers use her photos on a dating website to deceive innocent individuals. Nicola, a 45-year-old mortgage adviser, tragically disappeared on January 27 after dropping off her two young daughters at school and taking her beloved dog for a walk along the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre.

After an intense search operation, a passer-by found her lifeless body in the water on February 19, leaving her loved ones devastated. The inquest into her death revealed that she was not assaulted or harmed, with the cause of death confirmed as drowning. Dr Alison Armour, a Home Office pathologist, stated there was “no evidence” of any third-party involvement in her passing.

Nicola’s family, still grappling with losing their beloved daughter and mother, were dealt another painful blow when they learned that scammers had used her images on profiles for a dating website. The profiles were part of a potential catfish con, where criminals use fake photos to manipulate unsuspecting individuals seeking companionship online.

The fake profiles on the British dating site used photographs from the police appeal launched to find Nicola when she was reported missing. The con artists presented her pictures under different names, such as Faustina, 46, and Elorm, 41, supposedly from London. The family was devastated to discover that Nicola’s memory was being exploited for malicious purposes.

Nicola’s husband Paul Ansell and their two children (blurred for privacy)

Upon learning of this distressing situation, the family immediately took action, and lawyers have been informed to address the matter. In response to our inquiry, Venntro Media Group, the operator of, has removed the fraudulent profiles from their site. However, the pain inflicted on Nicola’s loved ones by this cruel deception is immeasurable.

Adding to their anguish, Lancashire Police’s handling of Nicola’s disappearance also sparked outrage. The force disclosed private details of her struggles with alcohol and menopause during their search for her, leading to intense media scrutiny and speculation from amateur sleuths. The intrusion into the family’s private life only intensified their grief and heartache.

As Nicola’s family continues to come to terms with their loss, they must now face the pain of witnessing her memory exploited by heartless scammers. This fresh agony is a harsh reminder of the cruel world that can prey on vulnerable individuals, even in their darkest hours of grief.

Her loved ones will forever remember Nicola Bulley as a cherished daughter, devoted mother, and beloved partner. Their grief is unimaginable, and the exploitation of her photos for a scam only compounds their suffering. It gives us all a reminder to all of us to remain vigilant in the face of online deceit and other scams that exist out there.

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