Spare Us Your Fake Identity and Bogus Chutzpah — We Know Who You Are

Authenticity In the Digital and Social Media Age

Phil Rossi
5 min readMay 4, 2018


Ah, the good ole days. The B.G. Era (Before Google), when shady people and other culprits could lie their way through life and clean your clock.

Business partnerships, investment opportunities, and a bogus home improvement. Like that crater in your backyard that was supposed to be the family swimming pool.

Howdy, neighbor. By any chance, did you see my contractor?

Oh, you mean that con man with the pencil over his ear and your twenty grand in his back pocket.

Yeah, that’s him.

No, I haven’t. Not since he skipped town.

Just like our swimming pool sham, builders like this could fudge their credentials and murky past. If outed, they would change their name, and number, and paint the trucks.

Good luck finding them. Many moved away to fleece other victims. In the end, most of these goons got away with this stuff. Crazy, right?

There were no search engines or websites to research and verify their track records. If these hucksters could scrub their personal histories by reinventing themselves, how did you uncover this nonsense?

Most often, you didn’t. Back in the B.G. Era, it was difficult, time-consuming, and very expensive with no guaranteed results. Imagine that? And the stakes could be high — awful high.

A prospective employer, salesman, or partner who in fact was dicey and dishonest. If you bought Mister Charm’s bait, you could have magic beans and misery. (I did, and that’s another article).

Back in the day, I also worked for a private investigator. The legwork, time, and phone calls finding these monsters have been replaced with parlor magic like MyLife and Intelius. You need to find somebody, presto — social media, online records, and the various links to cross-reference from a web search.

This is why I can’t believe the number of scammers popping up every day. For all the Internet’s negativity and downside, it’s a real boon for saving time if you know what it is and who it is you’re looking for.

Disclaimer: Within reason. I’m not talking about that African Prince and email buddy. Those characters aim to snare your bank accounts in lieu of transferring fortunes.

The Internet also provides a climate of transparency. Once we sniff out the BS, we fumigate and surf somewhere else.

I don’t mean those charlatans on Facebook either — the ones living the high life. The rock star vacations, steakhouse dinners, and gangsta lifestyles--yeah, those. Come on, man — gimme a break.

We all know Facebook’s an acid trip to Disneyworld. Sure, the Magic Kingdom has roads and bridges and feels like a real place, but it’s far from real. Ignore these jokers and their shenanigans.

Even if the showing off has some cred, who cares? Real success is humble and inspirational, not in-your-face hogwash. The people you want to learn from are the ones who grind it out. The ones who took ten, fifteen, and twenty years to become an ‘overnight success’.

Mr. Big Shot behind the Facebook curtain. Ignore these moogs and their hocus-pocus.

The bigger issue for most of us is the lines between honesty and how much authenticity we decide to share. How do we present ourselves without going over the edge of credibility? We want to make a formidable impression with the facts, not the ‘filler’.

Reminded of all this when I was recently invited to interview with a sports and entertainment agency. After reviewing my resume and cover letter, I was contacted with an opportunity for a position that differed from the one I applied for.

I’m a realist, guessing it wasn’t a mistake. Another cocky company practicing the shell game — recruiting piss ants they don’t want to pay, much less cultivate.

As an opportunist, I felt they might be in need of my experience and skills in the original capacity. Employment ads might mean business is robust and expanding. A good situation for all while wondering if I overreacted without hearing their side of the story.

When I inquired about the original pitch versus the new one, I got Runaround Sue. Sue’s attitude suggested I needed to be more gracious and appreciative for being chosen and considered.

Sue wanted me to get in line, be a good soldier, and stop asking questions. Didn’t I know I was on deck for the opportunity of a lifetime? Uneasy with the interview slot, I told Sue I’d get back to her.

When I researched the firm, I discovered a cult leader masquerading as a founder and CEO. The one and only, ‘Paulie G’. (Not kidding — no last name, even in the firm’s mission statement).

Mister G liked to strut his stuff at VIP events while collecting selfies with pro athletes and other celebs. Treating the troops to half-a-day Fridays and all you could eat Korean barbecue, before speeding off in his Maserati for the next adventure.

When things look and sound too good to be true, you know the rest. I could care less about Paulie G’s real name. My curiosity centered on his work history and volcanic rise to Business Developer and Marketing Guru.

Apparently, Paulie G had previous companies that all went bust. The current one had also been regenerated, in the middle of another rebranding and renaming effort.

I don’t want to insinuate Paulie G’s a shady character. An uber-inflated ego isn’t a crime, nor unethical, despite the rocky roads it often travels.

Outside the entertainment value, my research uncovered the ‘falling out’ with former partners and agencies Paulie G co-founded. All this snooping from a desktop in my one-bedroom apartment. We’ve come a long way, sweetheart.

After connecting these dots, I emailed Runaround Sue to remove my candidacy. What’s the point in calling Sue and Paulie out? Instead, I wrote this article.

By changing their name and location, they don’t change a thing. It’s just a different version of hooliganism.

Spare us the bogus identity, lifestyle, and accolades. We all have the time and tools to snuff the fraudsters out.