A case of social-media identity theft

By Anya Schiffrin
March 29, 2011

A few years ago I needed to reach the Central Bank governor of Nigeria (yes, I know that sounds like the beginning of an e-mail scam). I went on to Facebook and saw there were several profiles and finally chose the one that seemed the most likely, which included a smart photo of him speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. I friended this man and duly received a reply. The next time I saw him I mentioned that we were friends on Facebook. His reply was “What is Facebook?”

But I suppose we don’t take social-media identity theft as seriously as it warrants until it hits closer to home. Recently, someone out there created a phony LinkedIn profile for my husband, the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz.

His friends are frustrated by the fact that he rarely reads or answers his e-mail so the idea that he would go to the trouble of  setting up a LinkedIn profile is laughable. Even more of a giveaway is the fact that the vandal who set up this account misspelled the phrase Nobel Prize as “Nobel Price.” Our friend Tina Rosenberg, who just published a book called Join the Club, laughed and said it must be a special spelling reserved for economists.

More worrying is the fact that this phony Joseph E. Stiglitz seems to be recommending
“Rilk W. Dacleu Idrac Senior Executive Ilc to Project Portfolio Management at The Boston Consulting Group” for his work in Kazakkhstan. The praise is tempered by this poorly written and ungrammatical reference that reads: “Had the pleasure to manage Rilk’s team on Kazakhstan’s FTCI reform advised and driven by the BCG. Always looking to deliver the best at the right time, Rilk enable of the great leader’s ability to learn very quickly and always succeed turning problem he faces into great achievements. Really looking forward working with him again, I’m sure the best of his career is yet to come. November 18, 2010.”

It would be nice to think that most people will immediately see this as a fraud, but there seem to be few remedies. We’ve emailed the folks at linkedin several times and asked them to take down the fake profile for my husband. Watch this space and in the meantime my advice is don’t connect to him.


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That’s awful! Considering how “careful” LinkedIn is, how could that kind of fraud slip through? They really should correct that for everyone!

Posted by cardman115 | Report as abusive

I had this happen to me on Linkedin. My name has been stolen by someone in India. I became so annoyed with the site and finally removed my profile. It is a shame that nothing can be done about this. I even have thoughts that my reputation may be ruined and I can not get a job because of it.

Posted by busybeever | Report as abusive

To all reader,

Note M. Dacleu Idrac, Rilk is not behind any usurpation or mail send behalf of his name.
A perpetrator with obviuos evil intentions has duplicated his linkedIn account creating a phony profile: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/rilk-wilfried -dacleu/16/97a/b42 and is getting in touch with people around the world!

Our legal team is working with IT secutrity expert to identify the perpetrator and release the information! this isn’t the first time, there are many other similar case listed by LinkedIn legal team!

Dobting this coment,
please don’t hesitate to reach out directly with me and feel free to let us know any contact you should have with a perpetrator acting on this name

Marilyn Aldadia
Personal Assistante – Legal & Conformity Affairs
to DEA Chieff Officer
Mubadala Development Company

30125 Al Amra Bulding, Abu Dhabi UAE

Posted by Maldadia | Report as abusive

The last post is surely from the guy named Dacleu.

Posted by ICHTUS | Report as abusive