Some social media websites may have fake profiles of you - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some social media websites may have fake profiles of you

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(WMC-TV) – These days, most people have an account with a social network.  And if you don't, chances are that you know someone who does. 

What Laura Ashley Floyd found when googling her name was that she did, in fact, have several social media profiles.  The problem was, she did not create any of them.

"It was very disturbing, I felt violated by it," Floyd said.

She said she stumbled on a profile claiming to be her on a site called mylife.com. She did not create the profile and the information was not true.

Laura said the false information did not just stop with her. She said she found fake profiles for friends and family members, too.

"Grandparents who have been deceased for over a decade," she explained.

But mylife.com was not the only site. Laura said she found incorrect information about herself on similar sites.

"There were maybe four or five websites that did speak to me and actually agreed to remove these profiles," she said.

Where did the sites get their information? We checked with law professor James Gibson.

"Mylife.com is a little bit Facebook, a little bit E-harmony and a little bit of a data aggregator that grabs information about you from across the Internet, and it puts together a profile that you can use for dating purposes or general social media purposes," Gibson explained.

Professor Gibson said if you notice a site like this with incorrect information about you, you should act quickly.

"I think your first best bet is to contact the website itself and object to it because whether there is a legal obligation or not, websites that want customers and want a good reputation in the community, are going to be responsive to consumer complaints like that," he said.

Laura is not alone. There is a mylife.com account for just about everyone, and whether the information is true or false does not really matter.

"It is not a crime to lie on the computer," legal expert Steve Benjamin said. "We know this from problems associated with dating sites."

Benjamin says the only way something like a fake profile would be illegal is if the person was using your identity to commit a crime or used your image for advertising purposes without your permission.

"It becomes a crime to the extent that they are trying to get something in return," Benjamin said.

Mylife.com says over 200 million people use the site and sometimes fake profiles may pop up. But the company says it has been in business for 12 years and would not consider fake profiles a big problem.

The company sent this email response, in part, saying:

"When someone finds a record they don't want listed, we make it easy for them to either claim a record and delete, or call customer care to have their information edited or removed without any cost."

"It's very creepy," Laura said. "I think people should have some kind of legal protection."

Laura's message: if you haven't already, do a Google search on your name.

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