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1 year ago
I Caught Someone Pretending to Be Me on the Internet

The other day, I was just minding my damn business when I recieved the following random tweet:

.@KorinMiller You must be famous - people are using pictures of you on their @LinkedIn profiles https://t.co/GQ7m4Ba4hI cc @FauxLinkedIn

Um…that’s my photo on someone else’s LinkedIn profile. What the what? Who is this?!

Luckily, it was LinkedIn, so I could be the laziest detective ever.

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According to her profile, Amanda Brosia is a financial analyst at JP Morgan Chase & Co., who is also a James Madison University alum. Well done, Amanda!

Oh, and apparently she sucks at taking headshots because she stole mine.

At first, I laughed it off. I took a screenshot and posted it on Facebook for kicks—and my friends completely freaked out.

“That is crazy and messed up,” said one. “Shut that sh*t DOWN. Like, ASAP,” said another.

Okay, okay: They were right. On the one hand, it’s kind of hilarious (and seriously random) that someone decided to try to pass herself off as me. On the other, it’s identity theft—on some level, at least. So I decided to go on the offensive.

I reported Amanda’s pic-stealing butt to LinkedIn and, just to mess with her, invited her to connect on the site. I also sent her this message:

Hey Amanda!
It seems we look alike! Is there any reason why you’re using my headshot for your profile photo? I’d rather you didn’t.
Thanks!
Korin Miller

Amanda may be many things, but apparently she’s really friendly because she accepted my connection request within 15 minutes. And about two minutes later, she connected the dots and switched her profile pic to this one:

Something tells me that’s not her either. If it’s you, message her and tell her I sent you! We’re tight like that.

Bizarrely, she didn’t block me, so I took a look around her profile. And while surfing her connections, I noticed that a few of my friends were connected to her as well. This was getting weird.

I asked my friends how they knew Amanda, and…they didn’t know her, either. The best answer I got: “Sh*t. I need to stop accepting randos.” Preach.

While I like to think my headshot was stolen because it’s that awesome, apparently this kind of thing isn’t rare on LinkedIn.

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A LinkedIn publicist declined to give me numbers on how many people have their pics stolen on the site but said they have an entire trust and safety team dedicated to detecting and responding to reports of abuse.

“Members directly reporting fake or inaccurate profiles is an important contributor to their work,” she says, adding that LinkedIn takes “immediate action” when violations are uncovered.

But I still have so many questions: What compels someone to steal another person’s photo on a freaking career networking website? Wouldn’t you be worried that a recruiter would notice you look just a wee bit different when you go in for an interview? And do you really hate your own photos that much?

Finally, of all the people in various occupations you could gank a pic from—doctor, interior decorator, dog-walker—why the heck would you steal one from a journalist? You have to know she’s going to dig into it.

Sorry, Amanda. You’re totally busted.

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