What do you do when some nut job is pretending to be you on Twitter?

Hope the legal system catches up with them before they catch up with you.

I guess it had to happen eventually. After joining Twitter more than six years ago, I’ve got my first Twimposter.

I first became aware of him/her/it about a week ago when I noticed that someone with my name started following me. I checked out the profile. Here’s what it looks like.

ty4ns-twimpersonator 1-fake tynan.png

And here’s mine. Amazing likeness, no?

ty4ns-twimpersonator 2-real tynan.png

Aside from the photograph (of Indian actress Roopasree), the reversal of my first and last names, and some minor editing, this person had stolen my bio. And then he/she/it proceeded to randomly select a handful of my tweets and broadcast them out as if he/she/it had written them. I tweeted back “WTF???” but never got a response.

Lately, the real purpose of the bogus account seems to have become more clear. It was not to embarrass or lampoon me as much as to spam out links to eBay auctions for (probably) counterfeit copies of Microsoft Office and/or malware infested downloads of Twilight avatars, picking up a few shekels for every rube he/she/it managed to snare.

ty4ns - twimpersonator 3 - spam link.png

You know, the usual shite. Why pick on me? No reason that I can see. But Twitter has gotten much better about identifying bot-driven accounts that spew out spam all day long, so my best guess is that spammers have adopted a new tactic: Making themselves look as much like a real user as possible. The easiest way to do that is to copy someone else.

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