A 12-year-old girl with aspirations of becoming a star was preyed upon by a con woman and made to undertake a series of increasingly bizarre tasks.

Jess*, from Melbourne, was told to enter several locations, including a legal aid centre, Centrelink and The Royal Children's Hospital, in April and "pretend to be somebody else" while under the instruction of a stranger she met on the internet.

The young girl was being told what to do by a person she knew as "Marley" who was posing as a casting agent for United Talent Agency (UTA).

Marley told her she was auditioning for a voiceover role for an upcoming Disney Pixar movie, but UTA has confirmed nobody named Marley has ever worked for them.

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The family now believes they were the latest victims of serial fraudster Samantha Azzopardi, a con woman with hundreds of aliases.

News.com.au has approached Victoria Police who say they are investigating a number of reports involving the 31-year-old con woman and were investigating whether any crimes have been committed.

Azzopardi is believed to be on the run after working as an au pair for a Melbourne family for a year under a fake name.

She told Tom and Jazze Jervis her name was Harper Hernandez, but when they confronted Azzopardi about her identity she took off.

Samantha Azzopardi with people she met in Sydney in 2014. Photo / News.com.au
Samantha Azzopardi with people she met in Sydney in 2014. Photo / News.com.au

Jess's family has viewed photographs and video of Azzopardi and spoken with the Jervis family. They are certain they were tricked by the same woman.

News.com.au spoke with Jess's stepmother, who said the family was still reeling from the encounter that included an unsupervised trip to Sydney.

"Jess and Marley had several meetings in the city where we now know she was made to do strange things pretending to be someone else," she said.

"This woman also flew my daughter to Sydney for an apparent audition that resulted in her having to go into Centrelink and again pretend she was somebody else.

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"In Centrelink, Jess had to write down on a piece of paper that she saw a ghost.

"At Legal Aid she had to give them a fake ID and birth certificate. It just doesn't make sense.

"Meanwhile, while all this was happening, this woman was buying her expensive clothing and spoiling her.

"That's when I knew something wasn't right and felt straight away that it was grooming."

The woman posing as Marley now has the young girl's birth certificate and her mother's Medicare details.

The supposed scam with Marley is eerily similar to one that another Melbourne family fell for earlier this year.

On that occasion, a woman calling herself "Coco" convinced the family of a 13-year-old girl that she was "in training" for an acting role.

The girl's mum told the Herald Sun that Coco flew the family from Sydney to Melbourne where the teen was again made to undertake a series of tasks, including cleaning international currency and playing the role of a girl whose sister had died in conversations with strangers.

A woman, using the name Coco and believed to be Samantha Azzopardi, is thought to have posed as a talent scout to dupe a NSW family. Photo / Supplied
A woman, using the name Coco and believed to be Samantha Azzopardi, is thought to have posed as a talent scout to dupe a NSW family. Photo / Supplied

Coco paid for the family to stay in accommodation in Melbourne but checked them in using the name Jazze Jervis.

When they confronted her about the two different names, the young woman replied: "I feel like I am now being interrogated."

Video of the confrontation shows the woman, believed to be Azzopardi, becoming increasingly agitated. The video has since been handed over to Victoria Police.

Azzopardi, 31, has a long history of impersonating others.

In 2010, she told authorities in Brisbane she was 14-year-old Dakota Johnson. Authorities provided her with housing and help but she was later convicted of forging documents and false representation.

In 2011, she told a family in Perth she was a troubled gymnast from Russia whose first name was Emily.

She told them she was 16 and her entire family had died in a murder-suicide in France.

In 2013, she told authorities in Dublin, Ireland she had been sexually assaulted by a number of men. Her story made international headlines, but when authorities discovered she was lying, she was kicked out of the country.

In 2014, she told authorities in Calgary, Canada her name was Aurora Hepburn, but they quickly clued on to the ruse.

A police spokeswoman said healthcare workers had "spent countless hours working on the alleged victim to establish the extent of her abuse and provide services for her recovery".

"We don't know exactly how she got here," the officer said.

"We are concerned about this happening somewhere else in Canada or anywhere."

In 2017, Azzopardi posed as a 13-year-old schoolgirl named Harper Hart. She tricked staff at a Sydney school into allowing her to attend classes but was later arrested and charged with four counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

She pleaded guilty and was jailed for one year.

News.com.au spoke exclusively to a young American backpacker who crossed paths with Azzopardi in 2014 while holidaying in Australia.

Emily Bamberger said she was told a story that seemed unbelievable, but she had no reason to believe she was being lied to.

Azzopardi told her she was "royalty", and she had been kidnapped as a young girl. A series of bizarre events ended after Azzopardi convinced Bamberger to get the pair fake IDs.

Bamberger was later deported from the country for fraud offences.

"I can't believe how creepy that was looking back on it," she said.

• Jess' name has been changed to protect her identity.