A Sydney man who was served with an apprehended violence order after he turned up on the doorstep of Love Island Australia host Sophie Monk clutching a single red rose has claimed he was the victim of an elaborate catfishing scam which left him $7000 worse off.
Brian Rapley said police questioned him “like I was some crazed stalker” but he insisted he had months of messages on his phone between him and the person he thought was Monk.
“I feel like such an idiot,” Mr Rapley told the Daily Telegraph. “But I thought we were in a relationship”.
Police were called on April 25 to Monk’s New South Wales central coast home after a man was seen outside at 7.30am calling her name. When he returned later that evening, cops swooped.
A Sydney man has claimed he was scammed by someone pretending to be TV host Sophie Monk.
Mr Rapley, 49, said five police cars descended on him.
“They said to me ‘What are you here to do to Sophie Monk?’ and I said ‘I’m here to meet her for the first time, we are in a relationship’”.
Monk wasn’t at home as she was with her husband Joshua Gross in Queensland filming movie Zombie Plane with US star Vanilla Ice.
“I do not know any person by the name of Brian Rapley. I am not in a relationship with anyone by the name of Brian Rapley. I am currently happily married to my husband Joshua Gross,” Monk said in a statement to police.
Mr Rapley wasn’t charged but was served with an AVO and told not to approach the TV personality.
Brian Rapley was served with an AVO after turning up on Monk’s doorstep. Picture: John GraingRapley showed the Telegraph messages he claimed he thought were from Monk. Picture: John Graing.
He told police that he genuinely believed he and Monk were communicating after he left a message on her official Instagram account.
“Then next thing I get a message from another account but with the same profile pic as Sophie, saying ‘Hey its Sophie … let’s chat here, my manager reads my official account, so this is better,’” he told theDaily Telegraph.
Over a four-month period he said he and the person purporting to be Monk chatted regularly.
Mr Rapley showed the newspaper multiple messages he claimed he thought were from the star.
One of the messages to him said: “I love you”.
But there were red flags when the “relationship” never went from messaging to phone calls.
“I did think that was weird. I was like ‘If you are who you say you are, you could walk into a shop and get a new phone for free’”.
However, the account said their phone was broken and they were too busy to buy a new one.
Sophie Monk and Vanilla Ice are filing the movie Zombie Plane.
‘I look like a right fool’
Mr Rapley then said he fell for a scam whereby the person he thought was Monk said she was “getting all this money” but asked him to send her cash in the meantime.
When he questioned why he would be sending money to a well-known star he was told it was just “bank account drama”.
Eventually, he said, the person he was messaging gave him Monk’s address and told him to meet her there on April 25 so they could finally see each other face-to-face.
Mr Rapley said he was embarrassed.
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“Look, I know it sounds stupid … I look like a right fool but the truth is I’m just lonely, and I believed her.”
The western Sydney man will appear in court for an AVO matter on May 16. Police told the Telegraph they were looking into Mr Rapley’s claims he was catfished and scammed.
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