The email that landed in a Los Angeles college student's inbox this spring was the stuff of male fantasies.A fashion model had seen his profile on a dating site and wanted to meet."She just basically said I was hot and she wanted to talk and get to know me better," recalled Josue "Sway" Vides, a 24-year-old student at El Camino College Compton Center. But when they spoke by phone, she volunteered a full name — Klara Wester — and a quick Google search showed that Wester was a real person. Wester was an up-and-coming model who had campaigns for Guess and a clothing line in her native Sweden.
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The conversations with Vides eventually turned into phone sex with an exchange of nude photos.
"She said things that any guy would love to hear from a model," he said.
"She made it seem like she really wanted a relationship." But when she flaked out every time they were scheduled to meet, Vides grew suspicious.
When she asked for money, he started investigating.
Harvey Lindsay, an 18-year-old British man, said that when he sent a private message asking for an autographed photo, @klarawester agreed, asking for his home address.
"It's kind of scary," Lindsay said in an email to The Times, adding that he never received the picture. Then, late last month, she contacted him with an urgent request.Marlon Kuhnreich, a Canadian fashion photographer, said it never crossed his mind that the account he and others in the industry were following was fake. She's not Miranda Kerr, so why would anyone bother impersonating her? As convincing as the Twitter account was, Vides began to see red flags in their personal conversations. There had been a problem with her paycheck and her phone was going to be turned off unless she quickly came up with 2, he recalled her saying. I don't have anyone else," she wrote in text messages that Vides provided to The Times.She gave him the PIN for her Sprint account, but when he logged in he found her phone number was registered to Brown in Indiana.He uncovered evidence that his phone paramour was actually a man in Fort Wayne, Ind., named Justin Adam Brown. She's in Sweden and has a serious boyfriend," said her New York agent, Madeleine Root.A cosmetology student and part-time drag queen with a high-pitched voice, Brown was the subject of a 2010 Times article about an online scam in which he impersonated another Guess model, Bree Condon, to swindle men out of money and gifts. An agent in Stockholm said Wester was unaware someone was impersonating her.Wester's profile on the dating site, Date Hookup.com, turned out to be fake, as did a Twitter account on which someone purporting to be the model bantered with admirers, mainly men, about fashion shoots and her life in Los Angeles. Brown is on probation for the Condon scam; as a condition of his sentence, he is barred from using social media.