There's more than one me out there!

I had an interesting story recently, but was waiting for to be back up&running; again. So…

One day I got an email like “Hey Aras, where are you we need to finish up our project soon”. Ok, I don’t know who is the sender, know nothing about any project I should be “in”, and the sender’s email address does not match the signature, so I just marked it as spam and forgot about it.

A couple of days later Paulius forwards me a message from the same sender, saying that he can’t reach me, the project has a deadline soon, so he started looking through and write to other people out there.

I still thought this is some advanced new form of phishing!

I check the website from the signature of the sender. It’s a real website; a bunch of people developing (or trying to develop) a MMO game. In the “technology” section of the website was a link to in.out.side demo: “this is a techdemo of the engine we developed”. WTF!?

Contacting the original email sender revealed all the story, which is quite simple in fact. They were looking for a programmer and found someone posting on forums, saying he has done in.out.side demo that won Imagine Cup 2005. He presented himself as me (with a slightly altered name) and agreed to work with them. How is this thing called by the way? Identity theft? Some time passed, in my understanding they haven’t ever seen any code from that guy, and then he just disappeared.

What makes it funny though that the guy never received any money from the job he was supposed to do either. I could understand reasoning behind presenting oneself as some other guy, taking the money and then running fast - but presenting oneself as someone else, doing nothing and getting nothing in return? Does not strike me as a viable “business plan”…

The moral? Never trust anyone online, especially if they are from Lithuania :)