Identity Theft | Doctor’s photo hijacked, used to advertise product

Dr. Evita P. Bondoc is one of the latest victims of an extremely brazen type of identity theft. In a September 25, 2018 Facebook post, she revealed that a website selling a product called Valgorect featured her photo. There was a big problem, though, Dr. Bondoc had never authorized the said website to use her photo.

Moreover, the website feature identified the person in the photo as Anna Ibañez. Dr. Bondoc, though, recognized the photo as the same one that was used in her profile on the website The Filipino Doctor.

Check out the screenshots of Dr. Bondoc’s photo on The Filipino Doctor and then on the site promoting Valgorect below.

 

The legit profile on The Filipino Doctor.

The product testimonial with the hijacked image with a different name and possibly fabricated details.

In her Facebook post, Dr. Bondoc lamented:

I am a victim of identity theft.

My photo was used in a site without my permission and was tagged under a different name. The website (http://www.properfeetcare.com/ph-official-f1/) shows that I am Anna Ibanez, an orthopedic surgeon with 17 years of experience. (How I wish I finished medschool that early!) It also shows that I am recommending a certain product for bunion treatment.

For people who will come across this website,
let it be known that:
1) Yes, I am the woman in the photo but I am not Anna Ibañez. I am Evita T. Paguia-Bondoc.
2) I do not know any Anna Ibañez.
3) I am not an orthopedic surgeon. I am a radiation oncologist.
4) I have not recommended any products for bunion or hallux valgus, much less Valgorect Feet Care Gel.
5) I am not, in any way, connected to bunionsolis.com nor properfeetcare.com.ph.

I do not know what to advise my colleagues so they will not be a victim of such crime other than do not post photos of you wearing coats in public listings. But if you really must, please use a lower resolution photo or put a watermark on them. There are just monsters out there who thrive in cheating, stealing and dishonesty. They got this photo of mine from @TheFilipinoDoctor.

Under Republic Act No. 10175, which is the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, this illegal act is most definitely a clear case of computer-related identity theft, which is defined as “the intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right.”

This is not the first time that something like this has happened. However, this type of identity theft continues to be rampant.

For cybercrime complaints, you can get in touch with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group or the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Cybercrime.

1 Comment

  1. silverlokk

    October 1, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    No, this is not identity theft. At best, this is a case of copyright infringement, as Dr Evita has the exclusive right to her photo.

    ID thieves do more than steal your image or open an account in, e.g., social media using your name. An ID thief will pretend to be you, open bank accounts under your name and home/office address, apply for credit cards, and buy goods and services using your name with his address as delivery address. Here is the definition of the US DOJ, which might be consistent with that of RA 10175. In brief:

    Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.

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