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Finding out the WHOIS and IP of an impostor who used WordPress.com

  1. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've never had a WordPress account before yesterday and I wasn't planning on getting one because I'm already maintaining too many sites and blogs but a few days ago, I found a fake blog that's impersonating me and it's hosted on WordPress. This prompted me to create my own account and blog to help straighten things out.

    I've already sent an email to the abuse team about this but have not received any replies. That's okay since I know people are busy and frankly, a big part of me wants the fake blog to stay up because it'll help me catch who the impostor is. But I need WordPress' help on this. Internet fraud is a crime and I want to find out who to demand justice from.

    So, is there any way to find out who this person is? Any information about him/her? IP address?

    I can give proof that I am the real person and that the said fake blog was made by an impostor who stole information and edited it to suit their needs. The proper authorities of WordPress can certainly contact me about this. I am open for any kind of suggestion. But I am asking for help, to maybe keep the blog up and lead me to finding out who this person is.

    Much appreciated,
    Lorra

  2. You did not specify a blog address or reason for posting when you created this topic.

    This support forum is for blogs hosted at WordPress.com. If your question is about a self-hosted WordPress blog then you'll find help at the WordPress.org forums.

    If you don't understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, you may find this information helpful.

    If you forgot to include a link to your blog, you can reply and include it below. It'll help people to answer your question.

    This is an automated message.

  3. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    This isn't a support question but it's a question for WordPress.com just the same. I just don't know what kind of category this falls into because it's a bit out there.

    Anyway, my REAL blog is at http://lorraelenaangbuete.wordpress.com.

  4. pornstarbabylon
    Member

    Well it's a weekend and the response might be slow until tomorrow. Plus something broke on WordPress the other day and was done for two hours. So getting a usual quick reply might take a bit longer. But I just put the modlook tag on this post so hopefully someone can help you.

    I'm also being impersonated on Twitter and forums. Not here though. Can you believe Twitter wants my phone number and address to report an imposter ???

  5. pornstarbabylon
    Member

    Oh, and they won't hand over someone's IP number and information unless a court of law got involved. You'll only get an IP number if they leave a comment on your blog. But even that might not be their real IP.

  6. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Hey pornstarbabylon (I felt weird typing that down LOL),

    Yeah, I doubt they'll give me anything but I thought that it would be worth a try. I barely have options to work with so I'm taking every chance I can get.

    Some people are just crazy and sick. I wouldn't really mind if I didn't think that this could be potentially harmful to the career I'm building. I rely on clients to find my work online and if they find this fake blog, they'll probably think I'm hard to work with because I got someone hating on me or worse, believe that this fake blog is really mine and think I can't communicate properly and enjoy putting myself down.

    I find that sites make it hard for people to report impostors. I understand what you're saying about Twitter asking for too many personal information just to report an impostor. I helped a friend a few weeks back, to report an impostor on Facebook, and Facebook asked the same things.

    Instead of doing this, they should just tighten their security measures or something.

    Thanks for replying by the way! Hope you get rid of your impostor too.

    -Lorra

    PS Totally understand that people might be busy or relaxing because it's the weekend. :) I'm exercising my patience well.

  7. you can report the imposter's blog by going to Blog-Info > report as spam.

    Also you can report duplicate content to Google

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?hl=en

  8. You are correct that impersonating someone online is a crime; my advice is to contact law enforcement (use the non-emergency number if you feel guilty calling 911) and report it. You may not be able to obtain the IP etc from WordPress.com, but rest assured the police WILL be able to.

  9. Sounds to me, after reading your message on your real blog, its a personal thing between you two. Probably you said/wrote some things in your thesis that upset him/her to the degree that he/she went out of his/her (crazy) way to do those things. But you can report (oh wait, you did already right) it to WP staff. But its annoying yeah.

  10. The abuse team most likely won't respond, regardless of the outcome, for legal reasons. They won't give anyone an IP address or email address without a court order.

  11. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    It's really annoying. This person made another post about how I'm sending him death threats (when I'm not) and that I'm the fake one (which I'm not). It's sad that something like this happens online and services can't give anything to help out.

    I live in the Philippines so going to the authorities/police is probably not going to help me a lot.

  12. If he's in the US, you can presumably call the US authorities on him, because he's still breaking US law. If he's not, and you don't want to get a court order, the best thing you can do is out-google him. That means using your name in your blog, picking a template that shows the author of each post, even possibly typing your name at the end of each post, putting your name in the post titles, eg "The World According to Raincoaster" or, even better, "Raincoaster's World View". The more times you use your name on your blog the higher you'll rank in searches for that term. To really juice it up, you could make your name a category or tag and when you use it on your blog, make the words an actual link to the category or tag.

  13. Oh, and there IS a stat program you can use on WordPress.com that will show the IPs of your readers.

    http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/01/06/getclicky-real-time-stats-for-wordpress-com-blogs/

    So if you can get him to look at a post or page, you can get his IP. If your site gets tons of hits and you don't think you'll be able to pick him out from the crowd, make a page or post and back-date it to 2005 or something like that, and then find a way to let him know you said something about "this internet drama" on it. He will DIVE for that page, and then poof! You have your IP.

    Not that I've ever done this a time or two in my life.

    Oh, and you can also get IPs from emails, so if you can get him to email you directly you can trace it, provided of course he's not using a proxy like AOL.

  14. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    I wonder how seriously WordPress takes these kinds of things. I hope they don't get annoyed at me and think that I'm spamming them but I'm getting worried since this person is already creating lies that are severe such as accusing me of sending him/her death threats.

    I don't want for it to come to a point where he or she will attack my family and friends too.

    This person visits my Tumblr, which is my main blog. Is there any way to add a counter to that?

  15. You'd have to ask Tumblr, sorry. No idea.

    WordPress basically won't act without a letter from a lawyer, a DMCA notice (if he stole your writing and posted it), a police request, or a court order. That's not because they don't take it seriously, it's because they do, and they don't want to be sued by both sides.

  16. pornstarbabylon
    Member

    We have access to the Tumblr template. Go to your Themes and at the bottom, click Use Custom HTML. Stick the counter somewhere at the bottom of the code above ./ body and / html

    Save the template in case anything goes horribly wrong.

  17. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Thanks for helping out with the counter. I added a counter earlier and now that I'm looking at the people who are looking at my Tumblr, I don't quite understand. No real names are attached to the IP addresses that appear so it kind of bites. It's sort of useless but I'll have my techie friend look at it again tomorrow. Maybe he'll understand it better.

    As for the DMCA notice, I'd love to use that because this person completely stole my photo and my writing and posted them without my permission but I don't have the money to spare. Converted to Philippine Peso, it amounts to P5,000. That's a lot of money. :(

  18. If you really want to take someone down go after the host. The host can be held reliable and won't risk legal action if you can prove to them that you are the real person. Send them all your information.

  19. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    It's hard for me to do that because I'm not in the States but also because I don't want to reveal more information than necessary. Even if it's a trusted site like WordPress, leaking my own information on the Internet can still be risky.

    I have since emailed two WordPress email addresses and I'm currently waiting for them to reply. I don't know why they haven't though since they already replied to someone else who also sent in a complaint in my behalf. They just said that I should email them personally. But I did, even before this friend sent in her complaint.

    Am not sure if they're purposely ignoring me. I do hope not.

  20. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Hi t3ck, what reply? When I click on the link, it just takes me back to this page.

  21. @lorraelenaangbuete Yeah when you click the link it should show you this reply

    The abuse team most likely won't respond, regardless of the outcome, for legal reasons. They won't give anyone an IP address or email address without a court order.

    Which this link brings you to when the link is clicked and yes it will bring you back to the same thread but the reply should be at the top of your screen.

    P.s. I deleted the comment on my blog for the sole purpose I answered your question here.

  22. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    Hi t3ck,

    I understand that what I want is unlikely to happen because I know about court orders and the legality of things. I guess I was just expressing my frustration.

    Especially since WordPress hasn't been replying to my emails about taking this fake blog down, despite my insistence that I can present credible evidence that I am the real person. This poser has posted only one picture of me, which is the first picture you'll find when you look for my name in Google Image. Also, the stuff that is posted about me on the site are stolen from my Tumblr or are shallowly written because this person doesn't know me. He/She has nothing on me.

    This person was most probably slighted by the review I made, which I did to exercise my freedom of speech. I only mentioned the names of those I gave good reviews to. I didn't mention the names of the people I gave bad reviews to. I respected them enough to keep them nameless. But apparently, this person still took that the wrong way.

    I would have been fine if I was flamed. I can just ignore that but identity theft is a different story. I wish WordPress staff will already reply to my emails. They've already replied to a friend who sent in the same complaint in my behalf rather quickly, I was expecting them to at least acknowledge my emails in the same way.

    If you are connected to the people who can take down the blog, it would really help to know whether my request is at least being looked into. Again, if I need to submit more evidence, then I'm more than willing to do it. I am not a celebrity, not someone who's looking for a fight. I think my comments on my review were based on aesthetics and design and communication principles. They weren't written to hurt people, nor to put them down.

    This person has gone too far and I hope WordPress can see that. If this fake blogger is the real person, why would he/she be putting him/herself down? There's no sense in doing that. Clearly this person wants to malign me in a way that's against the law already.

    I hope I get a response from WordPress soon.

    Thank you,
    Lorra Angbue-Te

  23. "despite my insistence that I can present credible evidence that I am the real person"

    Please send the evidence in an abuse report. Staff cannot act on an accusation alone.

  24. @Lorra
    Please excuse me for butting in but I too have been impersonated on twitter. This is the link to their impersonation policy http://help.twitter.com/forums/26257/entries/18366-impersonation-policy

  25. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    @tellyworth
    I have already presented a clear description of the entire story and I have been waiting for the staff to reply. What more can I present to them? I asked them whether they require a particular piece of evidence because I am not the kind of person who'll carelessly give away information to people I don't know.

    What would prove that I am the real person? Pictures? Email addresses? A link to my Tumblr? Fingerprints? Articles that I have published on our newspaper here in the Philippines (which clearly shows I don't speak like a LOLCAT)? My Social Security Number? A report from legal authorities? I can give them all that but I need to know which one to give.

    @timethief
    "Impersonation is pretending to be another person or entity in order to deceive."

    This is precisely why I know that I have a case because this person is pretending to be me in order to deceive. But for the life of me, I can't understand why this person would go through such lengths to do this. I am not a celebrity. I am not a public figure beyond having a public blog (which just means that everyone's a public figure but that doesn't mean their privacy is open to violation).

    It's just sad that I have to be the one who'll go through all this trouble when I'm the affronted party and I am the real person.

  26. "What more can I present to them?" - I don't know, you said you can present credible evidence (suggesting you haven't yet).

  27. I do believe that it may be necessary for you to go to a notary public and get certified copies of personal documents that demonstrate that you are the party who is being impersonated and not the other way around, and then send them to wordpress.com.

    I'm not a public figure either. The impersonator was a sicko.

  28. lorraelenaangbuete
    Member

    @tellyworth

    I have sent them evidence which is why I asked what more can I present. But I also understand what you're saying. I've sent them an email again with photo evidence, of my work ID and me holding my work ID, among other photo evidence. I hope this is enough to convince WordPress that I am authentic.

    @timethief

    I'm glad to hear that you have seemed to resolve it. These people have no lives, to actually have time to devote to doing something like this. It's a sad sad world.

    If my photo evidence isn't enough, then I'll go to a notary public to get copies of documents.

  29. There is a very simple, free solution. You said the impostor has stolen your content (pictures and writing). Send the DMCA notice, which you can do as a simple email. Here is a template:

    http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/09/dmca-notice-of-copyright-infringement.html

    Do not post more personal information in this thread, but you can safely give it to staff, who will guard it.

    And no, IPs don't link to personal names anymore. They rarely ever did.

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