A few months ago I participated in a media conference call by Hawker Beechcraft about quarterly financial results. Using a combination of phone and computer, I watched graphics appear on the screen and finally asked a question. There was a transcript so that those who missed the conference, mostly stock analysts, could review it later–including my question. That may be how the perp (a slick term for perpetrator, if you watch police dramas) got my name. He used it to announce to Bell Helicopter that he was Alton Marsh of AOPA Pilot
. After an exchange of e-mails that frankly included phrases I might use, he was denied an interview, but persisted and ended up having Bell officials call a number and talk with him. His e-mail address included my name as the first part of the address. He pretended to be me during the interview. After many weeks, I got an e-mail from a Bell spokeswoman asking, “Where’s the article you were going to write?” I suggested I might have amnesia since I could not recall doing the interview. Finally, Bell e-mailed me the number I had supposedly used–one that turned out to be a disposable cellphone in Manhattan. Since learning of the misrepresentation, I have described the incident to a government agency that looks into such issues. Have a nice day, whoever you are.
For the honest people, if my e-mail doesn’t end in aopa.org (or my personal e-mail account ending with Comcast), it isn’t me. If the phone number isn’t from the 301 exchange, it isn’t me. If we talk on the phone and I don’t clear my throat or cough in the first five minutes, it isn’t me. I have asthma.
Tags: AOPA Pilot editor, fake reporter, fraud, misrepresentation