This is a weird one, and it seems that it’s been going on a long time. I’ve gotten messages via Facebook and email to let me know that people are stealing my identity and then asking people for money, saying their daughter is sick. One scam artist is using pictures of my niece on their Facebook profile. I’ve also had people come on Facebook accusing me of being the one doing this, as if that makes more sense than some con artist downloading my pics and starting up their own account.
If you are reading this, you know who I am, and you know if I ask you for money to tell me to “Fuck off.” But that doesn’t help the people who are being scammed who don’t read my blog. Look, no one is stealing my identity because I’m an author. They are stealing my identity because my pictures are freely available, and because I wear soothing blue colored t-shirts, and everyone knows to trust a guy with a winning smile and a blue t-shirt.
I’m not the only person they take pictures of. The only reason these people get busted, and I even hear about the scams, is because they nabbed pics from someone who has tens of thousands of Facebook followers. That increases the chance of some overlap. Again, they aren’t taking my pics because I’m quasi-well-known. They are morons for taking pics from someone with so many followers. The rest of the con artists are invisible, because they are wiser.
If you see this shit happening, report it. Telling me about it won’t solve anything. I can’t stop these people. And no, I’m not going to wall myself off from the rest of the world because there are bad people who take advantage. There will always be bad people who take advantage. My general advice is this: If someone you don’t know is asking for money, assume the worst. Most people in dire need have at least a friend or a family member to turn to. And if they don’t, there are political and religious institutions who will help an honest person in need.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Even if the dude is wearing a blue shirt and looks a lot like me. In fact, if you see anything like that, run like hell.