Identity Imposture on Facebook


On November 12.2007, on channel 10 (Israel), Yaron London, program presenter of  “London and  Kirschenbaum”, told his audience that an impostor has usurped his name and made him a member of Facebook without his knowledge. His suspicion arouse from the  bizarre question of his friends about his ‘interest in women’ . After a brief inquiry he found to his asthonisment,that he is the victim of an identity imposture.(Yaron London is a well know media star in Israel) ,see here video in Hebrew’ and here

A further look about Facebook  imposture and identity thefts shows that the case of Yaron London is a  minor one, there are more severe cases.

My identity was stolen on Facebook..”one morning last November a letter drops on the doormat of Victoria Sennitt’s family home. It’s addressed to the 24-year-old university graduate and is from a mobile phone company welcoming her to a new contract and explaining the ins and outs of the deal she has just signed up to”…….”When Victoria joined Facebook she To aid the process she filled in her online profile with as much detail as possible – adding her e-mail address, home address, phone numbers and even her date of birth.”…..”The ironic thing is that in the real world I am really careful with sensitive personal information,” she says. “I shred anything that might be of use to anyone; all my correspondence, my old bank statements, bills and documents”…see more.

Why (Your MySpace) or Facebook Profile Might Get Your Identity Stolen...”If you have an account on one of these sites, go ahead and look at your profile. If you filled out each one of the fields, people would know your full name, your address, your birth-date, your employer information, your hometown, your phone number, your email addresses and a lot of other personal information that you wouldn’t want just anyone to know about you, let alone acquire easily just by visiting your profile page.”…” The problem has gotten so bad that nearly 50% of Facebook users are displaying enough information to steal their identity”.. see more.

Is Facebook stealing your identity?…”According to new research by Sophos, 41% of people accepted the friend request of their fabricated Facebook profile ‘Freddie Staur’ an anagram of ID Fraudster. Of this 41%, 78% of people listed their address, while a massive 23% listed their current phone number. According to Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, “while accepting friend requests is unlikely to result directly in theft, it is an enabler”. He goes on to say that our laissez-faire attitude is, “giving cyber criminals many of the building blocks they need to spoof identities”. Indeed one user diviluged his mother’s maiden name – information often requested by websites in order to retrieve account details.It is bemusing why we put this level of trust into a public website.”…”Facebook has recently announced its intention to allow even those not registered on the site to search for a specific person through search engines such as Google, without even visiting the Facebook site. Even on a university network level this trust in facebook is madness.”… see more,

A funny story from “Slate”…”Rudy Giuliani’s daughter is supporting Barack Obama”…”On her profile, she designates her political views as “liberal” and—until this morning—proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).” According to her profile, she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it. In what may be an effort to avoid public connection to her famous father, the future Harvard freshman and recent graduate of Trinity School in Manhattan uses a slight variation of her name on the Facebook site. But she didn’t lock her profile, allowing any Facebook user with access to the Harvard or Trinity School networks (more than 42,000 people) to view her detailed profile. (As a Harvard student, I was able to see it.)”.. see more.

Advertising on Facebook and the controversy about Facebook-Beacons…”Beacons track what people do on the Internet while being logged in to Facebook. When I read an article in the New York Times, the New York Times will send a short notice to my Facebook profile which then will be displayed to my Facebook friends (or whoever can read my feed according to my privacy settings). I need to be logged into Facebook.”…Fred Stutzman explains how this works: Any time you load [a] Beacon-enabled page, Facebook knows exactly what you are looking at. In essence, this setup is sending your clickstream and path data to Facebook, precisely correlated to your Facebook identity.”…see here and here.

Facebook users risk identity theft Facebook…”The BBC consumer show Watchdog conducted an experiment by setting up a fictional identity on Facebook called ‘Amba Friend’, accompanied by a cartoon picture of an attractive girl in her 20s.The team then contacted 100 people at random inviting them to be her friend.Despite knowing nothing about the person, 35 of those contacted replied immediately – giving ‘Amba’ and the Watchdog team access to any personal details they shared on the site.”..see here.

On ‘Investor Daily News’…”Dawn Telfer is one of thousands of people across the country who has had their identity stolen from the internet. Dawn missed seeing her friends and work colleagues while on maternity leave. Discovering social networking sites gave her the ability to stay in touch. Most of the websites insist on certain personal details before they will allow you to set up an account with them. She had to provide private information such as “full” name, address, phone number, email and date of birth, much of which went onto her online profile. It ended up costing her 6,000 when someone stole her identity after reading about her on MySpace. “They were able to contact my bank and set up two overdrafts in my name then transfer the money out,” said Dawn.  “The bank told me that they would only refund the money if I could prove the transfer was fraudulent. You try proving that you haven’t made an online transfer. During the months they investigated, they froze my bank account!””, see here.

The list can be continued indefinitely…

And finally a short opinion found on a blog.4-…”I have deleted / deactivated both my Myspace and Facebook pages because they were annoying me and social network sites are the cultural cancer of the 21st century”…see here #4.

I published this story on NowPublic and add here the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.
good stuff:It’s something I always wondered about… if I search for, say, “Tom Waits”, I get all sorts of name matches of people claiming to be the alt-folk-rock-cabaret-noise legend…

Primo, are YOU the REAL Jordan?    Secundo, I hope that in NowPublic there are no identity thefts.

Tertio, thanks for the flag.

Rob Peters super editor Rob Peters

You know the adage “things will happen while they can”.   Rob thanks for the flag.

liamssoft news wrangler liamssoft at 12:21 on November 14th, 2007

good stuff:korzac, Many thanks for the new ID theft stories which need as much publicity as they can get. We are getting the same in the UK ID theft Hits Britain online and offline.

I read your article: very impressive. Publishing a list of the worst postcodes for identity fraud is a good idea for every country.    Thanks for the flag.

good stuff: korzac, a problem which will most likely only get worse and Facebook doesn’t seem to have a way of preventing it.

ryan thanks for the comment and the flag.    BTW, Moti Kirschenboin on his tv program  ”London and  Kirschenbaum” said that at his age he doesn’t need a Facebook but a Facelift.