Chicago mom battles imposter site on Facebook

Last Monday morning I was about to finish my post for Chicago Parent, after being in the ER with my daughter for a four hours, when a friend sent me a message through Facebook:

“I didn’t know u had a fitness club for ages 50+ !!!”

She included a link to the fake Facebook page of ME!

I’ll spare you the conversation we had after that. I felt violated and insulted.

I spent the morning trying to figure out who was behind the page and hit dead ends. A local moms-in-business networking group gave some good advice to report it and I began to post in private groups and received a swell of support.

I went viral with it through Instagram, Twitter and posted it to my Healthy Jasmine page.

I have yet to receive a response from Facebook, but here is what one friend received:

“Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for harassment and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on bullying and harassment.”

REALLY?! I spent much of my day on Facebook trying to find a way to report it. They don’t make it easy. In order for me to report someone else pretending to be me, I have to report the following items:

  • Scanned or digital image of a government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport, for example)
  • Notarized statement verifying your identity
  • Copy of a police report about your claim

    Note: Incomplete or inaccurate requests won’t be processed, so be sure to choose the correct report type and include all of the information requested.

I found myself thinking, who the heck are you to ask for those types of IDs? I don’t feel I comfortable faxing you my ID. A notarized statement? Now I have to go waste someone else’s time to sign off and stamp that I am who I say I am.

And a copy of a police report about my claim? Seriously Facebook, I live in the city with a lot of murders. I am sure I would give a good chuckle to the boys at the CPD.

All of this got me rethinking the pictures I post on social media. My husband, who is not a fan of Facebook, has asked me to remove all the kids’ pictures. I have begun the process. As I began to remove the pics from my Healthy Jasmine page, I noticed the stolen headshot was not on my fan page, but my personal page.

I’ve been warned by other law professionals that Facebook is taken too lightly and we post pictures on the internet of our kids too freely. I’ve done my part in making sure my settings are as private as they can be.

Thank you to all who have taken the time out to block and report this imposter page to FB and even going the extra step to leave a comment for them to remove my picture. If you feel compelled, head on over and report the page, I am hoping Facebook will eventually get the picture.

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