Karen Matthews reportedly lied about her kidnapping conviction in order to get a job in a coffee shop.
Matthews, who was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of the kidnapping and false imprisonment of her daughter Shannon, is now living under a new name in the south of England.
A source told The Mirror: “Karen came to the coffee shop around 2013 looking for voluntary work. We took her on three days a week.
“We knew her under an alias. She had to go and see the probation officer every two weeks.
“She said she had done stupid things. When probed a bit she said it was to do with shoplifting.”
The 41-year-old’s cover was only blown when her colleagues recognised her amid the publicity for the BBC drama series The Moorside, which re-examined the bogus abduction.
The source told the newspaper they were “shocked” to learn the truth about Matthews, adding: “She’s been a friend.”
Since The Moorside aired, the mother-of-seven has complained she has been bombarded with death threats, and continues to maintain her innocence.
Shannon Matthews was found 24 days after she went missing on 19 February 2008.
The nine-year-old was drugged and tethered in the base of a divan bed at the nearby home of the uncle of her mother’s then lover, Craig Meehan.
Like Matthews, Meehan’s uncle Michael Donovan was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
After the trial, Shannon was taken into care. She was given a new identity and now lives with a new family.
The Daily Star reports that Matthews, who was released from prison in 2012 having served half her sentence, has been using Tinder in an effort to boost her love life, but is so short of cash she has only been able to use the dating app in free public wifi spots.