NOTE: I published this post at 6:30 p.m. on May 14. By midnight, the fake Brent Reser profile had been removed by Facebook. Thanks to everyone for reporting the account. Facebook acted very swiftly.
As someone who has a professional career in social media and who takes his personal brand very seriously, what I saw last night almost made me vomit. My friend in Montana sent me a couple screen captures of a Facebook profile. The images I glimpsed at made me a little uptight.
This particular profile belonged to a guy named Brent Reser. Hmmmm…funny. I know that name and I know that person. Only this was not Brent’s Facebook page that I have grown to love. While the cover photo and profile photo depicted the image of the only Brent Reser I know, something wasn’t right. What was going on?
Okay, enough of the sarcasm. My friend had sent me images of a Facebook page using my name and likeness. I scrolled through the screenshots wondering if my friend was playing a joke on me. After I coached him through on how to provide me with the URL for the page it became clear that he wasn’t. I visited the page myself and saw that an impostor Brent Reser was out there “living” in New York City.
I was upset that someone had decided to create a Facebook profile using myself. As I know I am the only Brent Reser on the planet (it’s true) and as I have already met my double once before, there was no question that this Facebook page was a complete scam. Someone out there was tarnishing the honest work I devoted to establishing my personal brand on the world wide web. You bet I was angry.
But soon my mini rage turned to laughter. I started reading some of the bizarre statuses on the page:
* Drinking coffee (I don’t drink coffee).
* Knicks are worse than ever…P.J. do something! #diaster (I know how to spell “disaster.”).
* Motivates me to fight with this weather – Listening to Bob Marley (I hate Bob Marley).
* Xmassss (Do you mean Christmas?).
The complete random photos used to make up my mock profile also gave me a chuckle. They had all somehow been lifted from my Instagram account over a two week period in late November and early December. I then took a look at my 300+ “friends.” All weird, random people. I decided to look at my “interests.” I had liked several different pages of New York sports teams. I had also liked obscure no-name athletes such as Carlos Reutemann and Pat Cash. I liked a public figure named Sergio Tacchini and a business called Christmas Ice Caverns. It was all a complete farce.
My theory is that some low-life con artist is using my information (including the information of thousands of others) to create fake Facebook profiles. He/she is then selling “likes” or “friends” on Facebook to businesses or celebrities looking to take a shortcut when it comes to building their social media channels.
Although I still have a sense of humor about this whole thing, I do need to get this account deleted. Now that I have written this blog post (thanks for the topic you scammers) I will go about the proper channels in doing so. The URL of my imposter page is www.facebook.com/brent.reser.9 . If you are bored tonight, I would love it if you visited the page, clicked on the “floating dots” button right next to the message button on the cover photo, and select report this account.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery but that doesn’t apply here. A good reminder in all of this is to constantly check social media and the internet in general to make sure your name is not being taken advantage of. Although I wish everyone knew that I detest the music of Bob Marley and thus would dismiss the fake account when they saw it, I know this is not always the case. Be on the lookout! Don’t Blink.