Well this is a new one for me… As I sit here doing my routine promotional work I came across a Twitter post that is in Chinese and bylined by Elizabeth Leer with my picture. Would be no big deal except, I do not speak Chinese nor did I write the article that is shared in teh Tweet. They have even used my website’s tagline to make it look like it is being sent from my website. Other than this, I can find nowhere where the article is linked to me in order to remove it.
So, as I am at a loss I am reaching out to my followers for advice. Anyone ever dealt with this kind of issue? And if so, how? Below I have pasted in a copy of the screen for a visual. I did not want to paste the link for two reasons. One I do not wish to promote their fraud anymore than necessary to stop it. And, two, I do not want to inadvertently implant any embeded phishing coding.
March 12, 2018
This is my last update regarding the recent content theft situation. As of today, iWrite which is one of the organizations that this individual sold my work too has banned this individual from working with them or their affiliates in any capacity.
I have also notified Upwork that this individual is posting job ads on their site under multiple aliases requesting that writers work outside of their site for him, which is an immediate ban situation. Since I am unaware of what other companies besides Upwork and iWrite this individual is working through, all I can do is spread the word within the industry at this point.
In addition, I was able to locate the customer who ended up buying my work for 5 or 6 of the articles and have as such issued Cease and Desist orders to them. Two of these customers have contacted me back and we are working out arrangements. One will be removing the article if he does not choose to accept my offer to keep it up under my byline with a link to my website; and the second has already changed the byline as well as added the link. I felt it only fair to offer them this option since they were also victims in this situation and would apparently not be receiving refunds from the companies in question. Plus, the extra exposure of my byline increases my Google ratings.
In the end, this was a lot of work for a little reward, but knowing that I am stronger than I thought I was and the feeling of vindication knowing that this person has been outed, banned from some sites, and is unable to pass plagiarism scans with my work now, has made it all worth the effort. I know I have not stopped him, but I have made his life more
difficult and brought awareness to the problem.
Hopefully this will inspire any other writers out there to stand up for themselves and not feel helpless in this situation. These types of criminals count on their targets to to just accept that there is nothing they can do about the situation and move on. It is my hope that my fighting this individual, and documenting it for other writers and end users to see will increase the number of people who fight back, and decrease the number of these kinds of individuals within the industry; or at least make it much harder for them to pull their scams.