Identity Impostor

Here’s something really bizarre that will blow your mind, but only goes to show that strange things do happen in the on-line world.  What if you have spent years growing a following, establishing an on-line reputation, growing your social capital to find out one day there’s an impostor with your same name that can change your social graph from one day to the next?

What would you do if someone in your marketplace had your same name and people were constantly getting you confused?

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Well….there happens to be an Ines Garcia in South Florida who is also a Realtor- luckily for me, she is no impostor and is a really nice person.  The similarities are quite shocking, she is also from Venezuela and she also has an architectural background….what are the odds?

I know I go out of my way to be known as “Ines Hegedus-Garcia”, but some people just choose to drop the “complicated surname” and remember the Garcia.  Ines has been nice enough to email me when someone confuses us or she will clearly just tell them that they have the wrong “ines”.  We even joke in the background about the fact that we both have good reputations, because it would suck if one of us dropped the ball.

Sometimes I think it would be so much easier if she was obnoxious, that way people would identify us on the spot.

So how can you address a situation like this?  There is no malicious intent and we may be sharing social capital simply because we share the same name.  From a business ethic point of view, it can get us into trouble if we couldn’t identify  a client or potential customer that was making a mistake.

I’m throwing it out there to get some suggestions because I am truly at a loss.  Neither of us intends to change our name – or to call ourselves “the other ines” or “bizarro ines” ….although THAT would make things so much easier.

What do you do if someone with your name in your market pops up?

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