NJ Diva Girl

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    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Stolen Identity

    Well it happened. I guess it was bound to happen. Somebody stole my identity. Some one anonymously tipped me off. This is the first time this has happened. Well not really the first time, but it is the first time it happened the way it did. The the very first time was when somebody stole my artwork from online. I did a self portrait and somebody stole it, erased my name and used it as their own. They even claimed they drew it and that it was them in the art. Yeah right! I went through holy hell to get their Yahoo account deleted and have them reprimanded.

    This time was different. I mean way, way different. Ok so back in 2000 I entered a "Ms. Sexy Thick Girl" contest and I won. I won $1,000, a tiara and the 2000 title. My bio and photos were published in a magazine and could be viewed on the web. The photos were great. They did my hair and makeup. I looked fabulous. One of the pictures featured me with an off the shoulder numbers on. Anyway, some fool decided to steal the photos from the website and use them on some adult website. The site featured my photos as the main photos with a "click here" to see more. When you click the link, naked ass and boobs galore! In BOLD CAPS, "AMERICA'S HOTTEST BLACK FREAKS". It looked like it could be my ass and tits, but it wasn't! Oh no, I couldn't have this. I sent about 10 abuse complaints. After about two weeks I received an e-mail stating:

    Unfortunately, we are currently unable to determine the truth or falsity of the statements or ownership of the photos. We can certainly sympathize with your position and wish to take appropriate action. Furthermore, we do have a simple procedure to deal with this issue.

    Please send a legible copy of your photo identification to our office along with a signed statement claiming you are the individual posted and would like the material removed.

    Ok so ain't this about a bitch. Now I have to try to prove who I am. So I fax in a copy of my driver's license (DOB, Lic#, street address blocked out). A week later, I receive another e-mail. This time, it says:

    We have received your fax regarding your photos being used without your permission, however I am not able to clearly identify you via the photo identification that you sent to our office as it came through too dark. Please refax this information, the best way is to make a lightened copy of your license, then fax it that way.

    Ok, so at this point I am getting really pissed. There is no phone number listed for the IP host. So, I decide to try it again, I send a scanned, color copy of my credentials (everything but my photo blocked out). This makes about 12th letter in three weeks. The letter says:

    Yesterday, I re-faxed a lighter, clearer, color scanned copy of my photo ID as requested. As of today, the imposter still exists. In an attempt to speed this up, I am attaching a scanned copy of my photo ID along with my October 13th and 17th letters. I have been trying to resolve this for nearly three weeks and still - no results. This is a serious matter as this impersonator has been perpetrating the fraud for over a month. What is further sickening is that my very innocent photos have been altered and are being used for a site of an adult nature, while you sit back and do nothing.

    How ironic that it is so easy for this person to imitate me but it is proving difficult for me to defend who I am? All I ask is that the photos be removed as I do not wish to be associated with such filth. Surely, I want to avoid getting my legal counsel involved. Please advise.

    Two more days pass, and you guessed it, no response. Then all of a sudden, I had the perfect solution. I guess I was thinking about the Woody Wood Pecker episode when the announcer repeatedly says, "If Woody would've gone to the police, this would never have happened." I made a print screen of everything and called my local police station.The detective asked me a couple of questions over the phone and then asked me if I wanted a car dispatched to my place. I said sure.

    Two detectives showed up 20 minutes later. I have to admit, I felt a little guilty having them use their time for this situation when there was probably somebody out there who really needed emergency assistance. Anyway, they took my basic information and I told them everything. I showed them the printed materials. One of the detectives asked me if I had any idea who or why my photos had been stolen. Of course I didn't know. The other detective kept saying, "Wow, these are some nice photos". Anyway when it was all said and done, the report was filed and the IP company was set to be subpoenaed. I had legal counsel in place. But, two days later, I get a call from one of the detectives and he tells me, the matter has been resolved. He went on to say how much the web hosting businesses fear law enforcement, courts and any legal dealings. So, the company agreed to immediately remove the content and the user.

    Ok so that's the story, finally I saw some results. I'm still going to press charges against the culprit. Ultimately, I have to give it up for 5-0, the PohPoh, OooeeeEeeoooeeeEee, the Cops, the "Men in Blue" and whatever else they are called. By filing a criminal police report, I saw results. They don't just eat donuts, racial profile and beat up on innocent law abiding citizens. I have a new found respect for them. They actually helped me.


    At 10/24/2005 7:50 PM, Blogger chele said...

    That is messed up. I'm glad it all worked out for you though. BTW, Luke Cage directed me to your spot.


    At 10/25/2005 11:04 PM, Blogger Myrah said...

    Wow that SUCKS!!! How did you know in the first place your photo was being used? the first time and the second not sure which you were tipped off. I wouldn't even know if my photo was out there like that! Glad you got the police involved!


    At 10/26/2005 9:49 AM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

    Wow, that story really scares me. I sometimes wonder if my cartooning may not be a good idea since anyone can steal them and use them however. Good you brought in the PO!


    At 10/28/2005 12:59 PM, Blogger Chicalookate said...

    I am glad you got that taken care of. It is scary what can happen. There are some twisted people out there. I do believe that sometimes the threat of legal action is enough to get them to change their tactics. Good luck.

    On a not scary thing I had a friend steal and publish some poems I had given her. I was out of state and my stepmom forward them to me thinking I would like to read what B had written. She had the nerve to say it wasn't easy when I confronted her. I called her boss (she was on a PAID internship) and B ended up losing a very cushy job. I haven't spoken to her since.


    At 10/30/2005 10:44 AM, Blogger Luke Cage said...

    Unbelievable story miss. At first, I thought as the tale began you were referring to your blog moniker (NJ DivaGirl) was being vicked. But the identity theft was your true self.

    How tragic that people are out there extending themselves so far to do something so criminal. It's stories like these why folks are more concealing in revealing their identities on the web. But I'm more happy that the matter was resolved quickly and through official means. Good for you.

    As an artist, I've seen my artwork pop up in different corners of the web and watched people take credit for creating them. Hey, if they are going through all of that trouble just for my art, in some backwards kind of way, it makes me feel kinda cool. But that's a far cry from what you went through. Be well dear...


    At 11/05/2005 1:42 PM, Blogger princessdominique said...

    That is CRAZYYYYYYYY! But at least you know how to get things done. Some people would have just let it happen and sit by. Glad you stuck to your guns. Are you going to post that picture ever?


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