News

Election troll steals Sydney man's identity

Sydney man Adam Burgess had his name and photo stolen by a Bundaberg troll.
Sydney man Adam Burgess had his name and photo stolen by a Bundaberg troll.

A VOCAL Facebook personality making political claims across several Bundaberg Facebook groups is not who he claims to be.

"Adam Burgess" - who purported to be from Monto originally, makes frequent trips to Kingaroy, and had a stint living in Singapore in 2012 - stole the name and photo of the real Adam Burgess, a car salesman from Sydney.

Mr Burgess was "confused, lost and worried" when the NewsMail contacted him this week to bring the profile to his attention. The photo is a staff photo taken from the website of his workplace.

"It's definitely not me," Mr Burgess said.

"He's obviously stolen the picture off our company website and it's disturbing."

The person impersonating Mr Burgess on Facebook has an axe to grind against the Labor party and unions and has been making claims about candidates in the upcoming Bundaberg council elections.

"For 15 years I was a member of different workers' unions throughout Queensland and always voted Labor, until last year when I found my girlfriend in bed with a union heavyweight, who I considered a friend," the impostor wrote on a Facebook post.

The real Mr Burgess has taken steps to report the page to Facebook.

"They replied thanking me for my report and said he had been blocked," he said. "We didn't want to block him - we want the page shut down."

The page was finally removed - or the mysterious poster went to ground - late on Thursday.

Candidates have also slammed a faceless Facebook page that has published claims about candidate associations with unions and 'rated' them out of 10. That group claims to have no association with the Adam Burgess troll.

Police say the issue is not a police matter. 

"In any sort of fraud, we have to prove some kind of loss," a spokesperson said. "It's different if it was on a bank card or a library card - but Facebook is a public forum. It is a civil matter."

Mr Burgess said he wasn't sure where to turn for help.

"I don't even know how to go about it. Facebook couldn't care less," he said.

"I don't even do internet banking because I'm that paranoid, so I'm worried about what this guy can do."

Council candidate Peter Macklin has blocked and banned the Adam Burgess profile from his business and candidate pages in the past for making disparaging comments.

"He was trolling during the federal election a couple of years ago, and now he's appeared again," Mr Macklin said.

"He has two home towns - he doesn't know if it's Monto or Kingaroy.

"A number of candidates have been trying to figure out who he is."

Mr Macklin said he had suspicions but declined to name them. "If it is either of these people it's absolutely ridiculous and very sad," he said.

Candidates including Brad Evans and Elise Cottam are Facebook friends with the Burgess impostor and both said they didn't know him.

"He sent me a request, and I add everyone," Ms Cottam said. "I have no idea who he is. Anyone who writes those kinds of things - I try and stay away from all of that."

Topics:  bundyvotes2016 election facebook identity theft trolls



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