After waking up earlyÂ from an anxiety dream, I find out from an internet friend that my identity has been hijacked by someone at an Asian website. This imposter signed up at the site’s forum using my login name which consists of five initials, my avatar, and my photographs.Â All the photos were either lifted from this blog or from another fashion forum of which I’m a longstanding member. The picture above is the avatar I’ve usedÂ most consistentlyÂ and it can also be found right here in the ODJ section of my blog.Â
Toward the end of last year I started to watermark my pictures because I had heard that another site had also used my photos. However, in that case, it was more or less a forum where they talked about me (and referenced me) as opposed to this situation where someone pretended to be me.Â Unfortunately I can’t read Chinese so will have to get my Dad to help me contact the moderators at this forum to squash the matter.
The photos stolen are of no consequence to me…for now anyway.Â They’re just fashion pictures of my purses, which lead me to believe that this identity thief is a retailer of counterfeit designer bags who’s using pictures of my authentic bags to peddle their junk.Â But I will admit IÂ was startled to see my avatar and a few pictures of me carrying my bags at a site I didn’t even know existed.Â Thank goodness I decided early on to never show my face in any of these modeling pictures.Â Yes, there’s an assumption of risk when you put yourself out there on the internet.Â And yes, I understand that engaging in e-communities comes more often with benefits than downsides, but theft is theft.
So if you happen to see my avatar or pictures of gorgeous accessories with www.larkieatlarge.com watermarked across them, think twice. That might be me. Or not.Â When in doubt, please ask me.Â
In any event, I’m just thankful my friend alerted me to this. One of the advantages I mentioned above is the extra layer of protection you build when you genuinely participate in an online village.Â Â Trust does come in time, and more often than not, faceless strangers become friends who help you police and navigate sometimes very slippery slopes.
For now, I just want thatÂ thief to give me back my name.