Identity Theft Problems on Hive and the Whack-a-Mole Solution

in Rant, Complain, Talk7 months ago

Imagine some stranger that happens to know you through some other site you have never heard of. After one look at the platform, you’d see your personal photos and story being shared for the world, even worse, monetized. Most people wouldn’t really find this a problem until they are the ones that fall victim of this form of theft.

Check out what happened to @creativemary from her experience dealing with an impostor on the other blockchain. Unfortunately, this is how I introduce Hive to some artists on Instagram when I tell them someone is posting their content pretending to be them. That's the first impression they would know about this blockchain.

This is why I keep a lot of my stuff private as an anon as much as possible. You don’t know who’s out there watching. Revealing who you are on Hive isn’t a necessity but it’s going to be a steep way to grow if you can’t buy your influence on the blockchain.

We have to thank users like @mhshoumik for setting a good example for committing ID theft. I lost count how many accounts are on his list that are still active. It’s user behaviors like these that ruin it for everyone else that are new to the platform. Whenever someone makes an introduction that’s too good to be true, there’s always a good chance it’s just someone pretending. It’s more difficult to trust new users and curators that just throw their votes at these new accounts aren’t helping at all. Curating posts also includes appraising who authored them and this seems to elude most users.

mhshoumik intro.jpg

He made this post on the old blockchain. Their introduction's text foretells a future.

The first sign of his handywork that I came across was was a user intro named @jasmintamban and her version of the intro whom I contacted the real relatives off the platform. There’s a string of accounts tied to the user after another search from the curation bot (made by @jazzhero).

Accounts pooling those funds to a single account is the collective power of side hustling at the expense of integrity and someone else's dignity. If you trace the introductions and manner of posting those accounts tied to @mhshoumik the semblance is quite strong.


The other names on the list were either faked ID or hacked accounts just funneling to a single account. Their mistake was using the #hiveph and #philippines tag to be visible. So I made a shit test on one suspected fake account, this one mentioned living near my area. I asked them in my local dialect to prevent Google translate from killing the mood. I even mixed it up with local expressions just to confuse the translation but this wouldn’t be a problem for someone actually living within the area.



The first one is a different Nationality (according to bio), second one was my target and yet the first responded to the question I gave to the second one in a different account.

Their replies were tangential when I just wanted to know where they were from and what’s the name of the resort. Google translate only picked up the part where I asked for the name of the resort. The funny part was I commented on a different user posing a different question but they responded to the question using a different account instead.
They probably thought I wouldn’t notice as they deleted the comment asap. Hitting two birds with one stone. This isn’t even the first time they tried fishing for votes on a different language.

Now I didn’t really provide a solution here. They’ll come back again with a new face and feel no absolute remorse. More than 1000 Hive was taken given to a single user farming multiple personalities and without any real consequences beyond a downvote. Should users like these be even granted visibility? I don’t know your side of the downvote debate but it’s always about “muh rewards” rather than talking about censorship.

It’s going to be a whack a mole solution when it comes to dealing with these types. They will never stop and curators that just throw their votes without verifying their community members are enablers to the habit.


Giving people more money on their posts isn’t going to help with user retention if a community is what you’re building. If these people came for the money, they will stay for the money. And when that well dries up they will leave and all you got is 50% of the curation value back and none of the community participation you hoped for.

A community’s status is a collective effort and we deserve the kind of community we get. You don’t see these shitty personalities on HivePH because it only takes one, and by some great exception, two strikes to excommunicate someone here. It’s fairly easy to weed out fakes on a tight knit community but when you’re dealing with a greater Hive ecosystem, it takes more collective effort cross communities.

Some bad actors need to get downvoted. If they received their stake freely, they have to give back some form of value that contributes to the positive health of the blockchain, be it community building, staking, development, and etc. But shits that like to fake their personality to game the curation system don’t add value at all. The only harm you give when downvoting these types of users are preventing them from generating income from their post.

If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.


Hey! I totally agree with Giving people more money on their posts isn’t going to help with user retention if a community is what you’re building. I believe that every community should test their new members in the long run and see how involved they are. The most frustrating part if I may call it like this is the fact that if a scammer gets away with it for a long time , as in my case for more than a year, those rewards can't be recuperated or frozen. Is this maybe an Achile's heel of the blockchain where if someone could do anything about it then it would give the blockchain a huge advantage? In online scamming happenings money can't get frozen or recuperated. Imagine an algorithm which would at least transfer the remaining funds or stake to the true owner of the content before the scammer can do anything about it.

There is always this desire to communicate with other people while the threat of exposure and unwanted attention is on the other side. Revealing one's identity when you create content is almost inevitable. If you want to be believed and have need an identity.

If you have the means to get a big stake then you need no identity as money works for you and there is no need to produce content and therefore have an identity in real life behind the account.

There are days in which I dream of being a recluse , a hermit living in a log cabin in the mountains and enjoy my life away from the world. Preferably with a loved one and my own offsprings.Maybe this would work until the innate desire of sharing my creativity would kick in.

Scammers have been doing nasty things on the face of the Earth since eons. It is what it is. I am happy that Hive members took action and from what I have been told the account has been muted , the scammer has powered up in order to make passive income from his/her earnings...and this is it.

The most frustrating part if I may call it like this is the fact that if a scammer gets away with it for a long time , as in my case for more than a year, those rewards can't be recuperated or frozen.

I agree, this is why they get the nerve to do it over and over again at the expense of someone else's identity for a few cents. There are no real consequences like getting sued for identity theft and the barriers to entry aren't that high with just creating a free account.

It makes it harder for other people new to be trusted and delegated some resource credits too. And creating free accounts already costs a lot of resource credits due to the demand for more when games on the blockchain became popular and these activities don't even have anything to do with the blogging side.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter. Reading your post about it made me consider creating other accounts just to secure the names I will use in case I do decide shifting my stage name to other social sites.

To have peace of mind is crucial. Now that I look back I am not sure if exposing oneself completely is a great idea, it can backfire. It is awesome if someone manages to keep anonimity and still create and be considered a good member of the community.

Identity theft would be a great deal if the person they are stealing from has the power, desire and means to file a lawsuit against the scammer.

The possibility to keep rewards with a stolen content is maybe a glitch of the blockchain system. The transparency of the blockchain makes it frustrating to witness how the thief can keep and create passive income from those rewards.

Anyway, I am happy that it got solved.

Have a great weekend😁

Nothing in your comment I can disagree on.
Have a happy weekend and stay safe :>

It always surprises me the huge amount of energy such people waste into shadow copying content by others.
Every one on that planet is unique in their own way. Their personal story, told with their own words through their experience would probably bring them much more that those few thousands they exploit for a limited period of time. Once they are busted, it's game over. Or is it?

Because they want the benefits of fame without building on the skills to earn that fame in the first place. The most successful bloggers had years to invest in their storytelling skills and shaping an entertaining personality. Most people will be successful at one of those two.

If there's nothing else going on about your personality that make people want to be interested in you, there's also a high chance they wouldn't bother whatever it is that you're up to as well. There's no consequence real consequence getting busted other losing digital face they can recover as an anon.

The sad part is that many interested new users on the blockchain get to wait longer for free accounts because these types of users hog the line and come up with more fake identities worth a few cents. Thanks for stopping by :>

Unfortunately you are right about all those points. All valid ones.
By the way, the art NFTs are a real mirror of that too.
Famous people sell shit and people pay crazy money for that while the great art of other not-so-well-known artists is either never sold or sells for much less.
As I love to say... our platform is almost a copy of the RL with the exception some manage to remain anonymous.

Have a great weekend! :)

As I love to say... our platform is almost a copy of the RL with the exception some manage to remain anonymous.

Even being anonymous is a reflection of what's out there. And same sentiments on the NFT thing, it's just the branding that makes their NFT sell and not the craft entirely.

You have a great weekend as well :>

Sadly people who do this are in countries where that 5 or 10$ they make on a post goes insanely far in terms of their local currencies so it’s easy for them to do it sadly.

True, for some places in the world it may be much more tempting. I think generally it is more about education, coming from family, society, school. People who ask themselves the question: "What I am about to do, is it OK if anybody else does that to me?" won't even touch what doesn't belong to them...

Funny example, from Hive, one guy I was following, put this question in a post at the time HIVE was floating between USD 0.10-0.20, "Why is the price of HIVE so low". His reputation was in the range of 60 and he had about 50 HP! Well, buddy, if everyone does what you do, the price would be USD 0.0000001 :D He isn't in my circle of interests anymore :D

That's exactly why we have downvotes on the platform; although unfortunately sometimes they are tossed because of some nonsense drama, in these cases they help to set some justice.

Nonsense drama is still content but that's just my opinion. Like upvotes, downvotes are also a form of expression not supporting an author or content but that's another rabbit hole of a subject to deal with.

Makes me wonder about platforms like Blurt which have no downvotes and users can't be deplatformed have no real protection about intellectual property or identity. Thanks for stopping by :>

That characteristic of Burt, especially after seeing what Steem became, was one of the reasons to not even giving it a chance. Cheers! !BEER

Hey @adamada, here is a little bit of BEER from @pardinus for you. Enjoy it!

Did you know that you can use BEER at dCity game to **buy dCity NFT cards** to rule the world.

Glances at this the other day but I felt like shit so I couldn’t respond lol sorry for the delay here!

If I’m in the new user section, I extremely rarely hand out votes now, and only if they say they were referred to hive by someone I know that should hopefully keep them in good standing and not scam people out of some funds. I think that curation accounts definitely shouldn’t be spending much time in the introduction section giving out votes. I’ve seen a bunch of them and it’s nice to see someone get a potential good payout but at the same time I think that’s setting us up for failure out of the gate. It promotes just new account creation for sure but then when the person doesn’t get good payouts often they most likely get frustrated and leave, taking their rewards with them many times.

Sucks but I’m not shocked that people stole Mary’s content sadly. I’m not as cool or popular but I wonder if anyone is stealing my or some of my followings content. When the hive split happened, someone spoofed my account which was hilarious and flattering! I was a meager 5 or 6k stake but got spoofed up there with the likes of Taras and stuff. Felt great lol

I recall my first payout being less than 0.5$ and only 75% of that was actually given to me by the system when it was 75/25 author/curator split back then. I'm seeing more users just getting spoiled with the love bomb but haven't undergone the test of time screening.

It's not like a lot of users rewarded are giving anything back to the platform like doing promotions, antiabuse, and community management. Most just came for the free stake and airdrops and I'm fine with that, what I'm not cool is trying to introduce newbies to the platform with unrealistic expectations where they gain a lot of rewards then those gradually decreases thinking they've done something wrong.

There are users like @shoumik31 who willfully repeat making fake identities or steal some because there are no real consequences beyond downvotes. Turds like these just need to eat shit in a corner and die.

Most people wouldn’t really find this a problem

Most people I know think that I'm craaaazzzyyy...erm...well...probably technically true but what I actually meant to say was that with my selection bias of mostly knowing artists, most people I know have serious issues with this and because they also generally only know beyond any measure of a doubt that crypto can't possibly be anything other than a scam, stuff like this just further "proves" it to them -_-

You don't see this happen when the community is proactive at gatekeeping with verification. I mean, it's still easy to keep anonymity while still showing it's the same person providing the content. It's that literal monetary aspect of the content creation and lack of real consequences beyond downvotes that further incentivizes the bad practice.

Good investigative work. !PIZZA

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Sabi na ang off nung reply nung heygef, di ko nagets ng buo yung message mo since it was written in your native tounge pero it was a great move!

Napaisip ako bigla kung gagamitan ako ng translator, malas niya lang di pa nag switch yung account pag comment kundi sakop rin yung ibang account na iniimbestigahan.