Have you seen this guy's photo?
Chances are, if you perused news reports and social media posts about terror attacks this year, you've seen his photo — among the dead or missing.
As the Twitter image above indicates, he was heralded as a possible victim after the Istanbul airport bombings last month.
As well as a passenger on the EgyptAir flight that crashed in May.
And as one of the shooting victims in the terror attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June — even becoming part of a New York Times video montage of victims, France24 reported. (The Times reportedly has since edited out the man's photo from the clip.)
More from France24:
And that’s not all. This man’s photo pops up in connection with all sorts of different tragedies. On June 19, for example, Mexican police shot at a crowd of people protesting against education reform, killing at least eight people. Social media users shared his photo again, only this time they claimed that he was the official who ordered the police to shoot.
After the EgyptAir crash, several media outlets, including the BBC, saw through this scam and reported that Internet trolls had been putting up fake posts about crash victims, apparently to trick the media. Though BBC journalists said that this man did not really die in the EgyptAir crash, they weren’t able to identify who he was or establish how his photo ended up online. They did, however, note that the social media accounts that first shared posts about this man being a victim in the crash were all based in Mexico.
France24 got hold of the social media users in question, and they all told the outlet that the man in the photo used to be their friend — until he cheated them out of money. He reportedly owes one guy about $1,000, France24 reported.
You can check out the BBC's report here.
Here's one angry ex-friend's explanation:
I lodged both civil and criminal complaints against him, but because the legal proceedings are dragging on and he still hasn’t given us back our money, we decided to punish him by posting his photo online. Our goal is to ruin his reputation. We want the whole world to recognize his face.
@NoFolloweresess pic.twitter.com/pyzcG6i0tl— Chaironimus (@chairotron) May 21, 2016
To top it off, France24 even tracked down the actual man in the photos to get his take. It didn't publish his real name:
My photo is everywhere because of someone who started it as a prank after a legal dispute. I never reported the people who did this to me because, in Mexico, nothing ever happens in these kinds of cases.
Now, my photo has appeared in several stories that were widely shared on Twitter. I contacted several media outlets like the BBC and the New York Times and asked them to delete my photo but they never responded.
Esta es una de las personas que atacan a Alejandro Fernández. Se presume él fue quien le desgarró el ano. pic.twitter.com/DeYWJsmzHt— infamito bautister (@Mr_Infame) June 28, 2016
If you're concerned a similar sinister prank could ever come your way, France24 reported that the consequences for carrying out such a deed vary by country.
In the case of the individuals lining up against their ex-friend, France24 — citing Mexican law — noted that prison sentences from six to 24 months may await those who perpetrate "slander, calumny and defamation to the prestige of an organization or the honor or dignity of an individual."
(H/T: Daily Mail)