Police defended releasing a photo of Peter Marc Jacobson, who is most famous for producing the hit TV show The Nanny and being the ex-husband of the show’s star Fran Drescher, by saying they cannot “know every celebrity in the world”.
According to Jacobson, a total of seven fraudsters have used his photo to create a fake online profile in the last year.
In this incident, which took place in June and July last year, someone posing online as a businessman called ‘Peter’ conned a 53-year-old woman in Austria out of €46,000 for diamonds.
The fraudster said he was going on a trip to Asia to buy the gems but first needed financial support for the venture. When he requested a further €65,000 the woman turned to police.
Authorities had released an online photo he used to encourage people with information to come forward but it turned out the profile was fake and the photo was in fact of Jacobson.
Writing on social media, Jacobson said: “Oh please can you get it out there [that] he used my picture…I feel awful for the woman he scammed. Just terrible someone would do that to someone.
The police said that the victim was sure that the photo was of the man who had defrauded her.
“The victim had twice personally met the suspect. He had also shown the victim a photo with an ID. Apparently they used the photo of a celebrity. He must also look remarkably similar to him,” police spokesperson Roman Hahslinger told the ORF.
“The photo came from the victim and she was also of the opinion that it was the same man. The police can not know every celebrity in the world,” he added.
Police say they are continuing the search for the fraudster, who told the woman that he lived in London although according to his victim he could not speak English very well. Anyone with tips as to the true identity of ‘Peter’ should call the Vienna provincial police on 01-31310-57800.