I spend hours and hours on line, and enjoy flitting back and forth between my Gmail inbox, Linked-In, Facebook, YouTube, the occasional celebrity gossip page, blogs of the moment, etc., like some dizzy little bee collecting pollen for honey (my own blog).

One of my favorite quick reads (and a favorite because it is short and sweet) is MarketingProfs snippets. Today’s article asked, What Will You Do if Your Brand Gets Jacked?

Worse, what will you do if the “brand” that gets jacked is YOU?

This week I’ve had to ask myself just that. I’ve had a profile posted on Match.com for a bit more than a year. An odd email was sent to me out of the blue by a tantalizing playboy/pilot type that had been torturing me with on and off flirtatious emails. The cryptic message he sent recently…”Now I know where you went!” with a subject line “Pond getting bigger!”. We went back and forth for a while, him teasing that I was up to some shenanigans with my profile, and me being clueless about what he was referring to.

Finally he writes me the profile name of my impostor, and sure enough, I did a search and there I was! My new handle–“Bellagirlforu.”

Bottom line, I’d been hi-jacked. Yes, Identity Theft 101. Apparently some shyster had downloaded my profile pictures and text, and uploaded them with a location of Yonkers, New York, for a probable funds-wiring scam.

Besides plagiarizing much of my original text, I’d been given some new past-times (watching hockey?!!), a promotion and raise (I’d become a VP of Sales & Marketing for an unspecified Ad Agency), and swapped my genetic make-up for a new ethnicity: “I am a mix of italian, greek & hungarian. What a mix!!” Among my alter-ego’s favorite things was posted the appalling: ” I love to cook almost any kind of food. I like the color red because it reminds me of excitment [sic] and passion.”

Well, I guess I can choose to do a few things…pursue some remediation, ask for pallitive measures from the Match wizard behind the machine and do as Yolanda of Match customer service instructs, write the executiveteam@match.com, and maybe I’ll escalate my concerns by dropping a note to folks like Craig Wax, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Match.com or some Chinese menu combination of these 4 options (thanks Jeremiah Owyang):

Option 1: Continue legal path: Rail against Match about the abuses of this invasion of privacy, holler ’til I’m blue in the gills and generally allow myself to feel violated.

Option 2: Join the campaign: See how I can help Match and others who use their site and other like CareerBuilder and Craig’slist learn to identify and thwart these pesky fake identities and apparent phishers.

Option 3: Redirect focus on issues: Just blog about it here, and perhaps be slightly flattered as well as amused that someone would think my photos scintillating enough topurloin for romance.

Option 4: Walk away: Fuh’get about it. Maybe that’s what will happen in a couple of weeks, as the sometimes bizarre parade of real characters flashing up through Match-generated emails blots out the odd events of the week.

Let’s see if Match will step up and deliver as they suggest their users do, and “Be a Good Citizen… Put your best self forward, be truthful, be courteous and be upfront” and help their subscribers to be able to do that as well. I promise to provide an update in a future blog installment if I hear anything back from the Match people.

Published in: on May 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

It’s a small world

‘m fortunate to work for an organization that gives me daily exposure at least via email to people around the world. It’s always fascinating to read my the auto-return messages from emails I send out to the organization’s members across the globe. Some I understand a little, between my gringa Spanish and high school French, and some are simply beautiful hieroglyphics to me.

Here’s a smattering of these cryptic messages…most of them I noted where they originated from…

메일 받는 사람이 보낸 확인 메일입니다.
보낸 시각: 2008-03-19 오전 5:07

From Japan: メッセージ 宛先: 件名: 送信日時 に開封されました。

From Warszaw, Poland:
Twoja wiadomość… Wysłano: 2008-04-21 21:22
odczytano w dniu 2008-04-22 08:29.

From Verona, Italy:
Sarò fuori sede fino al giorno 28 Aprile 2008, con limitato accesso alla mia casella di posta elettronica. Grazie per l’attenzione.
I will be out of the office until 28 April 2008, and I will have limited access to my e-mail. Thank you for your attention.

From Guatemala City, Guatemala:

Subject: VISITA A HONDURAS Queridos amigos, por favor enienme la direccion de correo de la oficina de Honduras para confirmar que en esta semana iremos a visitarlos.

From Eindhoven, Netherlands:
Geachte heer/mevrouw,
Tot en met 5 mei a.s. ben ik afwezig. Voor dringende zaken kunt u telefonisch contact opnemen met …
Met vriendelijke groeten,

Op al onze diensten zijn onze algemene voorwaarden van toepassing zoals gedeponeerd bij de kamer van koophandel te Eindhoven en waarin onder meer een beperking van de aansprakelijkheid is opgenomen.

De informatie opgenomen in dit e-mailbericht is uitsluitend bestemd voor de geadresseerde(n) en kan vertrouwelijke informatie bevatten. Indien dit e-mailbericht niet aan u is geadresseerd, bent u niet gerechtigd tot kennisneming. Voorts is openbaarmaking, vermenigvuldiging, verspreiding en verstrekking van deze informatie aan derden niet toegestaan. Indien dit e-mailbericht abusievelijk aan u is verzonden, verzoeken wij u ons onverwijld op de hoogte te stellen en het originele e-mailbericht te vernietigen.

From Brussels, Belgium:
Automatisch antwoord bij afwezigheid: ik ben afwezig tot 14 november 2007-tijdens mijn afwezigheid wordt deze mail NIET gelezen! Voor dringende zaken kan u uw mail doorzenden naar Paulbergen@drtpartners.com of naar het kantoor bellen of faxen: el=016 55 33 40 fax = 016 56 72 98

From Stockholm, Sweden
Hej! Tack för ditt e-mail. Jag har semester och kommer åter till kontoret måndag den 5 november.Med vänlig hälsning

From Zürich, Switzerland:
Für Ihre E-Mail-Nachricht danke ich Ihnen bestens. Unsere Büros bleiben am Donnerstag, 1. Mai 2008 und Freitag, 2. Mai 2008 geschlossen.
Gerne werde ich nach diesem Datum Ihre E-Mail bearbeiten.

Freundliche Grüsse

From Moscow, Russia:
Ваше сообщение
Отправлено: Втр, 15 Апр 2008, 22:06
Просмотрено Срд, 16 Апр 2008, 15:55

From Helsinki, Finland:
Seuraava viesti on automaattinen vastaus —Olen 26.10. saakka osoitteessa http://www.mannerheim1906.com Tyttäreni Mikki huolehtii viestistäsi. My daughter Mikki will care for your email.

From Seoul, Korea:
>읽지 않음: January 2008 PI Monthly Update

From CopenhagenDenmark
Tak for mail. Jeg er ikke på kontoret i perioden fredag 6. juli 2007 – fredag den 13. juli 2007 og læser derfor ikke min mail før mandag den 16. juli 2007.

From Munich, Germany:
Ich bin vom 23.04.2008 bis zum 27.04.2008 nicht im Hause. Ich werde unregelmäßigen Zugriff auf meine E-Mails haben.In dringenden Fällen wenden Sie sich bitte telefonisch an unsere Zentrale unter …
I`m sorry, but I`m out of the office from 23.04.2008 until 27.04.2008. I will have irregular access to my
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Yours sincerely

From Paris, France:
Pendant mon absence, merci d’adresser vos e-mails à …

and a few more…

Notificación de lectura:
El mensaje que enviaste fue abierta por el destinatário.
Ese aviso no da garantías de que el mensaje fue debidamente leído o entendido.

받는 사람의 컴퓨터에 메시지가 표시된 시각은 다음과 같습니다. 2008-03-19 오전 9:44

수신자의 메시지 읽음 통지입니다.

수신자: omarov@eltal-uweman.com
원본 메시지 전송 날짜: 2008년 3월 17일 월요일
원본 메시지 ID: <EF89152D077A10478A04A6CC45A9E3E0443283@server.Polaris.local>
메시지 확인 날짜: 2008년 3월 18일 화요일

Published in: on May 2, 2008 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment