DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been slow to participate in any social media activity. I have not joined any websites because I don't feel comfortable with them. Plus, I figure I am too old to be doing what the kids are doing. Anyway, I learned the other day that someone -- I don't know who -- made a Facebook page with my face and name on it and started inviting people to be my friend, only it wasn't me. This person clearly knows me because he invited quite a few people I know personally to "friend" him. I learned from one of the people who thought it was suspicious that I would have made a Facebook page. Long story short, he has now accumulated hundreds of Facebook friends as me. I can't access the page because it wasn't made by me. I don't know what to do. I feel so violated. I haven't been able to reach the person to shut it down. Is it possible that this person can get away with identity theft like this? Can I stop it? -- Violated, Westchester, New York
DEAR VIOLATED: You are right that this is a form of identity theft. You have every right to feel bad about it. The good news is that you can do something about it. You can contact Facebook directly in writing and explain your situation. Provide proof of your identity and an explanation of what happened in detail. Ask for the page to be taken down. Alert your actual friends who you know have "friended" this imposter. If for any reason Facebook does not respond within a few days' time or at all, contact your local police to ask for support.
You might want to sign up for the most popular social media sites and register your name, even if you never use it. In this way, you can ward off having others claim your identity ahead of you.