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What Happens When Someone Steals Your Identity On Facebook?

One victim, Amy Vernon, spoke out about her harrowing that is still unresolved...

With all the new light shed on so-called Catfish cases, little attention has been paid to the women whose pictures were stolen and associated with another identity. But writer Amy Vernon told a compelling personal story on her blog of finding a Facebook page featuring her photographs— and a completely different person's name.

The identity stealer, Vernon writes, likes Subway, but Vernon likes Blimpie's. Perhaps more disturbingly, Vernon's impersonator also likes guns and racist jokes.

So what can Vernon do? She complained to Facebook—and now, Vernon is playing the waiting game—despite help from dozens of friends and blog followers who reported the profile to Facebook, too.

As of post time, the fake profile is still active.

Has your photograph been used on someone else's social media profile before? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

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  • Kristen

    Been dealing with this for almost a year now.

    And I just got an email from a facebook user the other day saying he was receiving messages from an account pretending to be me, and so were several of his friends. The user was asking them for lots of scandalous photos.

    I've received tips from people all over my state, and even in another country. Usually they run one of the fake profile's photos through a google images search. (That's how they found me and notified me of the fake profile(s).)

    I'm afraid it is someone trying to get naked photos of people to sell to websites that post the photos for profit, etc. I don't know how they came across me and my original images, but it's very unfortunate. I can't locate (therefore can't even report) the accounts pretending to be me, because most of them have tight privacy and/or I am blocked.

    There's virtually no solution. Stop posting photos online if you don't want your image potentially associated with someone other than yourself. 

  • Annie MacDonald

    I had someone i my home city that I had et put herself on Facebook & use my name etc. She kept trying to post to me but I ignored her ( she has mental heath issues). After ignoing her for a while & not answering she finally ook the hint & ditched the page she had made as me. It wa not a huge worry as I knew  who she was & knew she was looking for attention, & I could easily call the police BUT if this had happened without me knowing who or why etc. I would have been up Facebooks rear & had it off immediately. FB needs to act quicker  on these issues!!!!

  • Dr. Letitia Wright

    I produced a movie called the Power of Mentorship and on Meetup, someone was using the movie poster picture ( which included me) as the avatar for her group. It made it seem like, we were all people who belonged to her meet up group. I complained to Meet up via email, explaining who I was and how the photo was being used. I also sent links to the official website ( where the poster was) as well as links to my website and photos of me and that she did not have permission to use my photo and she was not part of the movie. In less than 48 hours the picture was removed. No questions or fan fare about it. I appreciate Meet up being so responsive.

    At that time, I had no idea this was a growing thing. 

  • Becky Cortino

    TY for covering this. I'm sorry this happened to Amy. Unfortunately, this has been happening for years -- all kinds of pictures are being taken and used to create other profiles. Even actual names are used to establish false identities, and mislead. This has happened to me as well. All the perp has to do is "block" the *target,* fine-tune the 'search' settings, and... Perhaps through vigilance in our networks, we can diminish this invasive practice of contrived identity. I would like to see a more effective means of reporting on all social media platforms. Regarding my experiences, my matter is public record, case filed, currently in law enforcement's hands.

  • AmyVernon

    FYI, I updated my original post - she has changed her profile photo, finally. Not clear if it was due to Facebook approaching her or the social media pressure. Either way, that's what I wanted.

  • Tinu

    Very encouraging to see this covered here. And my picture hadn't been assigned to anyone else's social media profile but I have had someone make up a testimonial quote using my name and picture. Very dismaying. And why doesn't Facebook have a way to call and address this with her? It can't be a question of scale if Amazon has a way to call a representative.

  • AmyVernon

    Thanks for the coverage. I don't know if I'd call it "harrowing," but it sure as hell is annoying. And wrong. I appreciate the extra eyes this will bring to it. I'm just astounded that after three days, it's still up.

  • Linda Bernstein

    Thanks for covering this. I am appalled at FB's slow response here.