Identity Theft of "Peter Rost" Image and Name
When I did my recent blog post Take My Poll: You're In Control! and suggested that maybe I should start the Rost Post, competing with the Huffington Post, I didn't realize that so many would support the concept of a competitor to HuffPuff.
But someone clearly didn’t like the idea of me starting the Rost Post. That person seems to have returned every day and voted one more time for “Just go away!” Until he had amassed three votes.
And I didn’t think much of this, until I discovered that someone who had too little to do on Sunday afternoon had started a blog called the “Rost Post.” You can find it here.
And just in case this person has deleted the blog, here’s a photo.
You see the person who did this didn’t just take the name the Rost Post. He also used my name as the author of the blog and used my photo.
That is called identity theft or computer impersonation. Anyone convicted of identify theft may serve up to fifteen years in jail. Here's more reading. And many states, among them New Jersey, are now making computer impersonation an illegal act.
First I thought that this might be anyone, just doing a spoof on this blog, and figured that copying and is simply another form of flattery. But then I realized that this type of harassment can severely affect a person's computer identity and personal reputation.
So I set out to learn who the person was who had stolen my name and photo and registered the Rost Post.
For those of you who have read about the Huffington Post Troll Scandal in my earlier posts, the result may not be entirely surprising.
In the lower right corner of the new Rost Post I found this symbol.
It is a stat counter which measures how many visitors come to the blog and also captures the IP addresses.
And when I hovered my cursor above it I could learn the properties of this site meter.
This is what it said: http://s25.sitemeter.com/meter.asp?site=s25yacomink&refer=http%25
Of course I couldn’t know for sure if this was the technology manager Andy Yaco-Mink from the Huffington Post. It could be an imposter who tried to frame Andy and wanted me to see the site meter.
But it was almost a fluke that I discovered this link, if my cursor hadn’t passed over the symbol I would have missed it. And this site meter costs money. That indicated the account was indeed held under "yacomink."
Then something happened. The Rost Post posting which had been made on Sunday was deleted and a new one, exactly the same, appeared Monday morning. The only thing missing from the new one was the visible site meter and connection to “yacomink.” That if anything, proved that "yacomink" didn't want me to find the name "yacomink" in any link on this blog . . .
Fortunately, I had already saved the web page with the link information from which I can get complete properties of the icon which has since been deleted. Here it is:
The question is what to do now. I could notify the Huffington Post that it appears as of “yacomink” continues to harass me and has stolen my name and picture. Or that an impostor uses his name to harass me.
I could also call local law enforcement and report this.
I could notify the Federal Trade Commission here.
Or I could notify Google that someone, by stealing my photo and name, has violated the Terms of Service for Blogger.com. I would notify them here.
Or I could simply do a blog posting about this crazy person who keeps harassing me and isn’t satisfied with me having been fired from HuffPo.
I guess I'll start off with a blog about this incident.
After all, either has yacomink's name been stolen and cleverly used in the site meter to implicate him in the identity theft of my name or HuffPuff has an employee who is running amok.
You can read more about what the Department of Justice has written about identity theft here.