Yesterday afternoon I got a message on Flickr from a user I didn’t know. He alerted me that someone on Facebook was using my photos and also harassing him and his family.
I didn’t know if it was real or not but it couldn’t hurt to search Facebook.
I searched and found some weird stuff.
Um. What?! I don’t have anything against the employees of Walmart, but I’ve never worked there or any other retail position. Also, I’ve never heard of the name “Consuela,” but I do know a couple of Consuelos.
I checked out the photos and “Consuela” had been using my personal and family photos for almost a year.
Hey, look, my sidebar photo. Also, that wasn’t a nice summer day in Pueblo, Colorado. It was hot summer day in East LA.
I guess we have something in common. I really like this photo too and have used it since ’08 as a profile or avatar photo.
This one really bugged me. That’s my family! Using my photos is one thing. That’s creepy, weird and just plain wrong, but using photos of my family is on another level. I’ve seen enough episodes of Catfish to know that this kind of thing happens, but never wanted to search for my own photos on Google Images. Where would I even start? I have thousands of photos online. By the way, I searched the stolen photos later. None showed up on the Facebook profile probably due to privacy setting. My photos did show up where they’re supposed to: my blog, Flickr account, friends’ blogs, and blogs where I occasionally comment thanks to Gravatar. I believe “Consuela” downloaded the photos from my blog based on the photo sizes and the fact that all my photos are friends only on Facebook. My download settings on Flickr are limited too.
After going through the photos, I sent a couple of messages asking “Consuela” to remove the photos. I also looked up how to report an impostor account and submitted my complaint. I posted about it on Twitter and Facebook. Several friends reported the fake account as well by saying the user was pretending to be someone they knew. Each time they submitted a complaint, I’d get a message:
Hey Cindy, it looks like this person is pretending to be you. You should report them for impersonation if you think they are.
Report “Consuela” for impersonation
I haven’t received anything from Facebook, but later in the evening I noticed my photos were gone. A friend told me a few moments later that there were new photos up on the profile. I’m assuming “Consuela” stole those too.