It’s a pity that some people must take drastic steps to attempt to smear the reputation of another person. Sadly there are all kinds of people both online and off. One tactic taken by some is to do a “Joe Job” to smear the reputation of another person. Total waste of energy, but it happens.
Just ask Scott Allen, coauthor of the Virtual Handshake. All Scott wanted was for a blog comment spammer to stop spamming his blog. He got exactly the opposite in return. Not only did the person not stop what they were doing, they proceeded to march across the internet impersonating Scott (and his wife) by leaving comments on other blogs.
Scott has taken steps to stop the flow of spam. These are good ideas to use if this ever happens to you.
- I´ve reported this to the FBI as a case of identity theft and fraud.
- I´ve reported it to About.com´s legal department, since they are now implicated by the impersonator linking to my site at About.
- I´m going on a counter-PR campaign to make sure my name stays clear and that this person is caught and prosecuted. This is what the vast majority of the people who gave me advice said to do. The legal process will be long and arduous. Counter-publicity is the only way that I can immediately combat the damage this person is doing to me right now.
Those steps will help Scott make lemonade out of a pretty lemony situation. It’s stirred up some great publicity for him. The trait of a pure entrepreneur!
What you can do to help. If you receive one of these bogus comments, please do the following:
- Leave it up until I can capture a screen shot as evidence.
- Make a note of the raw IP address.
- If you can, please make a note of any other comment spam from the same IP address. This is particularly important.
- Contact Scott with the information.
- Once I´ve confirmed back to you that I´ve got the screenshot, delete the comment.
How did Scott put all this into action? He activated his network of contacts and colleagues. Never underestimate the power of your network. That’s why it’s so important to keep it alive.