GRAND PRAIRIE -- Crystal Brown-Tatum is a mother, breast cancer survivor and entrepreneur. Now, she can add identity-theft victim to that list.
It happened on Facebook, and she’s learning there’s very little she can do about it.
The Facebook page identifies the person in the profile photo as 34-year-old Melissa Grant. Brown-Tatum of Grand Prairie has a major problem with that –– the photo is not Melissa Grant. It's her.
"It really took the wind out of me because it's such a violation of my privacy and it's fraudulent," Brown-Tatum said.
Brown-Tatum asked Facebook to take the page down immediately. But so far, there's been no response. The photo has generated several complementary comments from men.
"A lot of women may find this flattering or they may like that men are saying how nice the photo is," said Brown-Tatum. "But I am a happily married woman and I don't solicit those types of comments from men."
TCU religion professor Sage Elwell is an expert on social media. "If you knowingly agree to put an image or info or data about yourself in the public domain online, we all run into situations where it seems there's little recourse," said Elwell.
Elwell says while there are legal steps available to force the removal of photos down, most folks don't have the time, energy or money to pursue it. "For the average person, those legal steps become quite troublesome," said Elwell. "It's quite an ordeal to go through."
We sent a message to Melissa Grant, not knowing if there even is a Melissa Grant behind the page. We also contacted Facebook. Neither responded to our questions.
"I don't find it flattering," said Brown-Tatum. "I just find it horribly violating."
While Professor Elwell says Facebook users often use profile photos of people more attractive than themselves, Brown-Tatum says it's too easy for those people to get away with it.