2012-06-18

Alert! Identity Theft

I'm really upset. I knew that writing a blog - or sending just about anything in the net - is at the risk of getting your rights to your content being compromised. I put a watermark on the pics and hope they won't be cropped off and the pics stolen away. I never thought someone would steal my identity. How could that even happen? I'm anonymous. But someone has.

I received an email from a company saying they would agree to my request. What request? "My request" was attached in the mail: Doo claiming for free samples in the purpose of reviewing them in this blog. The shipping address was a post box number in Punjab, Pakistan. (Do note that I reside in Finland, Europe). That person had claimed to be the owner of this blog and had generated an email address similar enough to mine - just one dot missing. Fortunately this company had themselves approached me before so they had my real address in their contacts. In a lucky error they replied to me instead of the imposter. So now I'm aware that there is someone outthere trying to ask for products using my identity.

Have you had this happen to you?
Have you taken any steps to prevent this?
What could I do to prevent this from happening?

If there are companies outthere reading this and waiting for my review - I'm sorry but I don´t do reviews in exchange for products. I never ever contact companies for free samples. I like to buy my own stuff. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to win in a draw or a couple of times in nail art competitions, sometimes people close to me surprise me with a gift. Mostly I just buy them myself. I mention brands and put up links just to be informative to my readers. The only thing I get from it is an organized nail file for me and for others to read. I am not affiliated with any company. I don´t have sponsorships nor do I seek for them. Sometimes companies approach me and only once have I welcomed products to try. I don´t have as much time to invest in this blog to keep up the regular posting that sponsorships require. This blog is a stress-free place for me, where I can express myself when I feel like it, with what ever colors I choose to wear at the time. There are other girls doing a brilliant job at reviewing products and showcasing new collections, keeping us updated on the latest novelties.

I love being independent and I´m really really upset that someone is now taking advantage of that - claiming for free products and then maybe selling them forward. Most probably doing it to other bloggers too.

What can I do about it? I don´t want to stop blogging and I wouldn't want to make this blog a closed community. But I feel really violated. I also feel the threat for other bloggers. I sincerely hope the companies use some measures to check the real identity of the people who claim to own a certain blog.


Please, if you have any thoughts on how this kind of theft could be prevented, tell me. Do warn other bloggers about this too.

18 comments:

  1. wow thats really crazy. sorry i dont have any helpful advice bc i don't know how this stuff works. but i like your point that you mention brands and whatnot in order to be informative. thats how i feel too. geez what a shame someone's trying to use your name to get free stuff!

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  2. Voi luoja sentään! Miten tuollaista edes voi tapahtua! :O Olen ihmeissäni.

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  3. Wow this is horrible. I don't undestand such people, why would you do this? Never read this before, I really don't know what do to. Maybe call with the police? They probably have some rules when it comes to stealing identities on the internet.

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  4. Ugh!! I am really sorry to hear about this!! People who do stuff like that are really pathetic! :(

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  5. Thank you girls. I checked the online service of police force and they don't have a standard protocol for crimes like these on their site. The fact it happened abroad complicates things even more. The imposter was using a post office box and what appears to be a false name (Asrar Khan - really common name it seems by googling). That person seems to be a professional at this kind of activity, being sure to cover his/her tracks.

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  6. wow, thats awful :( :/ varmaan on monen muunkin bloggarin oikeuksia loukattu tuollalailla, eihän se varmasti mukavalta tunnu :( toivottavasti näin ei tapahdu toiste!

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    1. Jep, vielä kun ajattelee että oli aivan sattuman oikku jotta sain edes tietää asiasta. Varmasti jäävuoren huippu :(

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  7. That's just insane and ridiculous!! If that person wanted to get free polishes, that idiot should start up her own blog, make it popular herself and *then* ask the companies for free samples / stuff for reviewing. Asking in someone else's name is ... Umm... I don't have words for it!

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  8. Thank you for the heads up! I think I may have a small solution (although, it will not fully prevent this from happening): Make a page or banner on your blog stating that you do not endorse products, so that once the company who is contacted sees it, they will know it is an imposter! You could also make your real email address visible, so the company can see it, and hopefully know the one sending the emails is a fake. I hope this helps :)

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    1. Thank you! The email address was a dot away from the email I really have (doopolishing, whereas I have doo.polishing). I'm afraid it's still too easy to mix them up even if I put it on the side banner, it's such a little detail :/

      But I'll change my profile text so it clearly states that I'm not affiliated with any company, thanks!

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  9. That's horrible! and really scary to think that someone is using your identity. I wish there was better security!

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  10. OMG, this is so crazy! I agree with Rainbowify Me, but then, when I think again - this person could get a good job too and then just pay for the stuff. But I guess both take time and it's just easier to steal! Grrrrr, I have no words either!!! >:( It's a very good idea that you wrote this post, so every company waiting for your reviews, can see what's happening. :S

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  11. Thank you for all your concern!

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  12. This is so disturbing! I have never heard of anything like that! I don't think there is much that you can do about it since there is no way to track it :(

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    1. Yep. I've received several emails this week from various companies "replying for my request". Luckily they seem to have checked out my blog and taking my real email address from here so they haven't replied to the thief. But no way of knowing how many companies have replied straight to him/her :(

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  13. Apua, kuulostaa ihan hirveeltä! :O Ei ois kyllä tullu mieleenkään että jotain tällästäkin voi tapahtua. Jo pelkkä kuvien tms. varastaminen tuntuu inhottavalta, en voi edes kuvitella miltä tällänen tuntuu. Ja sitten vielä, kun ei edes oikein voi itse tehdä mitään estääkseen tällasta, argh.

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    1. Niinpä. Aluksi tuntui tosi kiukuttavalta, mutta minkäpä tuollaiselle voi muuta kuin tiedottaa ja varoittaa muitakin asiasta. Nyt taas pilvet väistyy ja tekee mieli palata blogin pariin :)

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Great to hear from you! Thanks for taking time to comment :)