I’ve recently discovered that someone had set up a dodgy Twitter account, impersonating me. They’ve been removed, and it was a relatively simple process, and I thought I’d share the experience in case it happens to you.
In reality, it was relatively innocuous, in fact one might say I got off lightly – it could have been much worse. See, I currently run two Twitter accounts, one in my own name – @SueViskovic:
And one that I run for Elixir – @Elixircoaches.
I very rarely tweet from the handle in my personal name, and only have very few followers on that account, rather I tweet from @elixircoaches most often, on behalf of my team.
I have a Google Alert set up on various phrases that are relevant to us, including my own name. This is how I discovered that someone had set up a dodgy Twitter account, pretending to be me. I received in my daily Google alerts, a link to a Twitter account that looked like me but indeed was not. They called themselves Sue Viskovic (correct spelling), but the handle was @SueViskiovc (incorrect spelling). They even used my photo, stolen from my personal profile. Thankfully the tweets they were sending out were rather innocuous so far, but nonetheless, they had managed to gather well over 100 followers – most of whom are people I know, who didn’t look closely enough to see the misspelling of my name (or maybe didn’t know the difference!) They likely figured I was a bit flaky, if they read the postings on that feed.
It was a relatively simple process of wading through the Twitter Help articles to discover how to report an impersonation, then providing information to prove I am the real me, and the offending account was deleted from Twitter. In fact, they did it so quickly that I didn’t have time to go back and capture a screen shot to show you just how similar the handle was to the real me.
The situation could have been worse, as I said – and I hope this gives you some tips to follow to prevent something similar happening to you. Do you have Google Alerts established for your personal and company names and key words? It’s worth setting them up just in case.
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Sue Viskovic CFP is the Founder of Elixir Consulting; a sought-after speaker; a business coach; and author of a number of books and programs designed for advisers.
With over 15 years’ experience in financial services, with roles spanning banking, funds management, advice and licensee services, Sue has built her career and her business on helping financial advisers, accountants and risk specialists to improve the way that they run their businesses and deliver advice.