A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from a random man who lives in Miami, Florida. He wrote:
“Alert! You have an Avatar copy cat of your profile that was just created late July on FB with same cover photos. Check it and see.”
I didn’t believe him. I thought he was a spammer. So, I checked him out and found that he was a legitimate person who lived in Florida and operated a business down there.
I went to check to see if he was correct. I didn’t find anything but I was probably blocked. I asked Elizabeth Montoya, one of my project managers at HJMT, to look into it. She found the identical page.
This hacker took my photos from my current Facebook page and duplicated the page. All my photos were identical but the phone number, email address and address were different.
The man told me that he found me by looking at the logo on my computer to check out the type of company I have. A couple of days later, he received the following message:
How are you doing today, I’m glad to received your mail anyway I we like to tell you more about my self my name is Hilary JM Topper,I come NYC in United state of America residence here, I has more than 30 years of public relations, advertising and marketing experience. In March 1992,I founded HJMT Public Relations, Inc., a boutique Public Relations/Social Media firm located in Melville, Long Island, Manhattan and in Rochester, NY. I have received numerous awards and honors for accomplishments within the industry from PRWeek, Long Island Business News, News day, Girl Scouts of Nassau County, the Communicator, International Association of Business Communicators, Long Island Center for Business and Professional Wo men, Diversity Business.com, and the Stevie Awards. In addition,I was just admitted into the Hall of Fame of Long Island Business women and won an honorable mention from the PR Daily Awards for a lifetime achievement award anyway I am single I don’t have any kids but I am looking for a good gentleman who I can spend the rest of my life with that’s how i come across your profile and hoping to know more about you? That is all I guess…. a little in depth….love to know more about you. What you do for a living now, your likes and dislikes. Take care of yourself and have a blessed week at work Regards Hilary
The man told me that he wrote the following message back to these folks:
Sorry, you don’t appear to be the person that is represented here, your use of the English language is not commensurate with somebody was a public relations firm in New York, this is called and avatar I do not know what your motivation is or why you are making this lengthy inquiry in the Queen’s English but I have reason to believe that you’re located in West Africa and that you are not this person.
And we immediately acted. Elizabeth, Lisa Gordon, Mary Austin and I all reported the fake account. We also asked the man who sent me the messages to do the same.
Next the same man got an email from this fake account asking him for money.
I became outraged. I couldn’t believe that this could happen. I wrote to Facebook one last time and then called my attorney.
Luckily, Facebook responded quickly and took down the duplicate page. If we didn’t react quick and if this man didn’t tell me what was going on, this may have been a major disaster.
Just warning you to change your passwords often and beware of duplicate pages! Let me know if this ever happened to you.