Country singing sensation John McNicholl is warning people to be careful online after he discovered his picture had been used by someone else and who was pretending to be him.
The Foreglen award-winning singer and his band have entertained audiences all over the world, so he is used to having his picture taken by fans who post them online.
However, when John was alerted by people in Indonesia that his picture had been taken and used by a man who said he was from Melbourne, Australia, he admitted he found it “creepy.” John discovered his picture appeared on the man’s passport, and a work identification card.
John was also horrified to learn the man had taken pictures of John’s family and posted them on his Facebook page, claiming they were his relatives.
“It’s creepy,” said John.
“When I first heard about it I was freaking out, and I was thinking ‘what am I going to do?’. He had even taken pictures of family members too, and they were freaking out,” said John.
While John said he is over the initial shock about what happened, and he can laugh about it now, others may find it very upsetting.
“I am used to being in the public eye and my picture appearing in different places, but this is creepy,” said John.
“It just shows you how easy it is for your identity to be taken and how careful you have to be.”
The singer, who is currently touring Ireland, contacted An Garda Síochána in Carickmacross in County Monaghan. They say they have been in contact with the PSNI about the matter, and enquiries into the matter are continuing.
The County Derry artist was recently mentioned by Irish singing star, Daniel O’Donnell when he joined a galaxy of stars for “The Late Late Show” country music special.
Daniel spoke highly of John McNicholl as being among those responsible for reviving country music among younger fans.
John said they have a long standing friendship, and have shared the stage several times.
Among the accolades John has received over the years are the Hot Country Award for Best CD and DVD for his Album ’Love Songs’.
In 2001 John was the proud recipient of the Best Newcomer Award from Country Music UK.
Among other great highlights of John’s singing career to date include sharing a stage with Daniel O’ Donnell and Cliff Richard at the Kincasslagh Festival, County Donegal. John also played support to the Elton John.