Over the years I’ve heard of many cases of online identity fraud. I thought it was mostly celebrities and high profile personalities who were at risk. It seems I was wrong.
Recently I’ve witnessed this type of violation first hand.
Beware of Impersonators
Elio Assuncao, Owner of ‘YODspica‘, is a so called ‘social media expert’ from Cardiff. He claims to be an expert in everything from cloud computing to LinkedIn and seems to have a very strange way of promoting himself.
For a while now he has been using a URL (www.allanbbeaton.co.uk) and a Twitter account using my name (@alanbbeatonsht). I’ve tried a number of times to contact Mr Assunscao to ask him to stop but have heard nothing. It’s now reached a point where I think the public should be made aware of what’s going on.
Should I Be Flattered?
I guess in many ways it’s a great compliment. I can’t see any other reason to pretend to be me unless you wanted to get business off the back of my professional reputation. In many ways I should be happy that I clearly have a professional reputation worth stealing.
Beyond this, these recent events simply serve to reinforce the point I made last week about the number of cowboys running around calling themselves ‘social media experts’.
Would You Want to Work With This Man?
Whilst trying to rationalize Mr Assuncao‘s actions, the overriding question my mind was:
‘How does he have enough time to do all this?’
If you provided cloud computing, social media, Adwords, and mobile app development services, and provided a high level of service, you’d be far too busy to set and maintain all these sites and profiles. Either Mr Assuncao has cloned himself or he is really struggling for work.
A Social Media Expert?
As you might expect, as soon as I found out who was behind these violations of my professional identity the first thing I did was have a look at Mr Assuncao’s presence across the social web.
Well, that was a mistake.
A quick LinkedIn search returned two Elio Assuncaos:
So, he has two LinkedIn profiles. Now, not only is this pointless – and often quite detrimental – it also completely goes against the LinkedIn terms of service. You are one person, so why have two profiles? – Unless you wanted to hide something of course.
So, after LinkedIn it was over to Twitter. This is what I saw…
Where do I start? Automated @ replies to each new follower?
Really? Does that qualify as engagement?
You might as well not bother.
Also, this guy has nearly 20,000 ‘followers’ and has sent 30,000 tweets. If he @ replies to all his new followers that means that at least 70% of his tweets are identical to the ones above!
A quick look at his many (duplicated) Facebook pages was enough for me to draw my conclusion:
This guy has no idea what he is doing!
How can someone like this give other people advice on how to use social media?!
To make matters worse. I had to endure personal stalking on Foursquare from Elio where he attempted to steal the mayorships of all of the places that I frequented. No big deal of course, as Foursquare is as much of a game as anything but, it was his premeditated approach to hassling me that raised the alarm bells. With the help of another Foursquare user in Cardiff, we were able to have all Elio’s 120+ mayorships revoked and even had him banned for a period of time. Guess what? He’s at it again.
When I injured my shoulder in a training accident, Elio had to audacity to post: “What comes around, goes around.” As if breaking your collar bone is something that you would wish on anyone! Even some things are too low for Facebook. Some thoughts are best kept to yourself; otherwise, there are those around that may begin to judge you before reading this post.
I Have Two Requests:
Firstly, I’d really appreciate it if Elio Assuncaos would answer my requests to stop piggybacking on my hard earned professional reputation.
Elio: you are breaking the law and harming the reputation of your own business.
Secondly, and far more importantly, if you don’t know how to use social media, please don’t sell your services as an industry expert. You are harming, not helping, the businesses that are unlucky enough to employ you as well as damaging the reputation of the real industry experts.
Please, leave it to the professionals.