LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina County Sheriff's Office has charged a Lufkin man of creating an imposter Facebook page for a Lufkin businessman and casting him as a homosexual.
Edgar Gordon Mathews, 34, is charged with third-degree online impersonation.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim told investigators that Mathews had created a Web page on Facebook without the victim's consent and said it was designed to harm his personal and public image.
The investigator looked at the Facebook page and reported the victim's name was adjusted to a female pseudonym and showed his pictures. It also referred to the victim's job, school, residence and status in pornographic sexual terms.
The victim told investigators that the page had already caused phone calls that were negative for his business.
Investigators subpoenaed records from Facebook which showed the IP address was connected to Mathews.
A warrant for Mathews' arrest was obtained on May 19 and he was booked in the Angelina County Jail on Monday.
Sheriff Greg Sanches said Mathews has been avoiding authorities since at least February, when they put out a bulletin that he was wanted on a drug possession charge. Sanches said Colorado authorities arrested him on that warrant last week and he was then extradited to Lufkin.
Including charges of DWI 2nd, possession of a controlled substance and theft, Mathews is being held on a bond of $60,000.
CjBaxter Group Principal Consultant Kent Hutchison, said in a situation like this where the criminal knows the victims, it's hard to protect yourself.
"Unfortunately, this type of scam happens a lot where people set up fake profiles as an opposite sex wanting to draw people in to try to get information to get dirt," Hutchison said.
"There is really no way you can prevent it. I mean, it's no different than me going out to your mailbox and stealing a check or stealing an ID, Hutchison said. "It is just a little bit easier using the social media because now it is just a point of a click."
However, he said there are steps you can take to help prevent things like this.
"It's really setting those privacy setting up where one, you don't fall victim, and if you do fall victim, it makes it a lot easier to go back and fix than it does if you have those gates wide open," Hutchinson said.
Hutchison recommended that you change your privacy setting more than just every now and then.
"It's a changing world, so don't just go out there and set them one time. I usually sit down once a month and go through the privacy settings just to make sure I've got the security that I am comfortable with" Hutchinson said.