Here it is, a screenshot from my Twitter page.
Anyone who knows me, knows this is me. Not just because I’m sitting on that blue ball that everyone got a kick out of, but prolonged the number of hours I could sit in front of the monitors creating things with pixels. Not just because it is in the field behind my former house in Lancaster County. Not just because there is a hint of that headcovering peeking from behind identifying me as a Mennonite business woman.
But there it is: my name, Elizabeth Mong. Now there are more than one of me—of that I’m certain. But I’m also sure that I’m the only Elizabeth Mong who has the papers from the State Department allowing me to use the unusual, made-up name of Quessity as my legal alias (in fact, I just sent a copy to Twitter). And I’m very certain that I’m the only one who spent hours crafting this unique selling proposition for my business:
"Exploring possibilities to power projects and transforming ideas into real solutions in website design and internet marketing."
But wait! Look—here is another Elizabeth Mong with the exact same USP and a one-letter off username on Twitter. She even claims to come from Lancaster County!
Now why would anyone want to impersonate me?
While I’m not certain of the motives, I am offended at the result. A Google search of Quessityo —the other Elizabeth Mong, pulls up pages and pages of “me”, leading searchers to “her” page in the mix. Any of my potential customers could easily assume this Twitter account was mine. And that is a big problem. See, “she” uses language I wouldn’t use, references what I deem vulgar and talks about trivialities that are not suitable for my image as a person or as a business. My following isn’t huge, but I spend time cultivating it and pay careful attention maintaining my online reputation. It’s something I advise clients on all the time and I keep my house in order as an example.
For the record, I can state here that “she” isn’t me. But what else can I do? What can you do if you are impersonated in a way that is detrimental to your reputation?
- I submitted a complaint to Twitter for review.
- I’ve investigated my legal rights and researched lawyers who handle identity fraud and criminal impersonation.
- I’ve tweeted a few hints that I’m on to “her.”
- I’ve investigated reputation.com as an option to helping me repair the damage.
For now, I’m waiting for Twitter to take action. I’m hoping “she” will get her own life and not hi-jack mine. And I'm building my case, because impersonation is punishable by fine and jail time.
And I’m still puzzled about why anyone would want to be me —the price could be very dear.