Spoofin Email, Identity Theft, and Trying To Make My Life Difficult
A few weeks ago I posted about an upcoming billboard competition I am judging in St Louis along with Andrew James of the Good Citizens Gallery. The winning design will be installed for a full month on a billboard facade atop the Good Citizens gallery in conjunction with the SGC international. The post I made was harmless enough, simply stating that the competition was still accepting submissions. Two days later I got a strange email from Andrew, who at this point I had no contact with. The email started out normal enough, explaining the billboard competition rules, submission process, etc. While I had never spoken to or emailed Andrew before, I thought he was simply writing to explain the rules of the competition and nothing more. As the email progressed it became clear that the email was not written to fill me in on the details but rather to address a more pressing issue, a purportedly threatening email I had sent. The email that I had apparently sent Andrew had a link to the TOSAT project making it look as though I might "disturb" the competition billboard. His response was understandably upset and he made it clear that my "behavior" was unprofessional.
The thing is, I never sent Andrew any email. I immediately called the gallery and spoke with Andrew for the first time. I explained that I had no idea who had sent him that email but that I was one of the judges for the billboard competition and had no interest in threatening him or manipulating the billboard. After some detective work I found out that the originating IP address came from the Toronto Star. After contacting them it became clear that someone had "spoofed" my email, hoping to incite ill will between Andrew and I. My thinking is that someone at Pattison outdoor sent the email cause they are still upset over the TOSAT project. While I understand that all is fair in love and war,iIdentity theft is pretty nasty behavior.I know I am somewhat of an idealist and have been known to go off on people here and there over email, but I try to keep this behavior to a minimum. If you receive an obnoxious email from me, please take a moment to consider whether or not I was actually the sender as I clearly have enemies out there that would like to cause problems between me and my colleagues.
While this behavior is inexcusable, it is not entirely unexpected. Both www.publicadcampaign.org and www.publicadcampaign.net are copy sites setup to draw web traffic away from my site and to criticize the PublicAdCampaign agenda. As time progresses the outdoor ad industry continues to show their true colors in their desperate attempts to reverse the tide of public opinion.