Melissa Bean: Accidental Social Media Maven

Linked to Facebook and YouTube in the last week

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 8:00 AM CDT
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Melissa Bean: Accidental Social Media Maven

Melissa Bean

Melissa Bean is a Facebooker.

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Illinois Democrat Melissa Bean has been raising her social media profile, lately, but it’s not something she’s likely to take credit for.

Recently, the eighth district congresswoman’s has been linked to controversy on Facebook and YouTube.

The Facebook episode relates to a group of fraudsters that is using her image in a phishing scam, according to the Northwest Herald.

Scammers create fake Facebook accounts using Bean’s name, photo and pictures of her friends and family and send an invite to unsuspecting victims.

I Am Melissa Bean

Once the victims friend the fake Bean, they receive emails asking them to donate money to bogus charities under the guise that Bean is endorsing them.

She’s not.

“As someone who has spent a lot of time working on issues of Internet safety and identity theft, I know how widespread scams like this have become,” Bean said. “I encourage everyone to be careful and follow common-sense procedures, such as those suggested at OnGuardOnline, before giving out personal or financial information over e-mail, or to someone who has contacted you via e-mail.”

Her real Facebook page is here.

Another incident involving Bean and social media comes via Arizona, where a congressional hopeful has launched an ad that was eerily similar to one of beans 2006 campaign ads, according to the Daily Herald.

Eric Wnuck, a former Kenosha resident who worked in Buffalo Grove – where Bean is a Rep -- and Vernon Hills, released an advertisement last week in which a series of strangers say  “I’m Eric Wnuck.”

Bean’s ad begins exactly the same way, and thanks to YouTube, voters from both areas have been able to compare the ads.

One commenter, a former campaign manager for the Arizona incumbent that Wnuck is trying to knock off said: "It's a brilliant idea for an ad. But I liked it much better when I saw it three years ago, when it was aired by Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill."

The attention has led to increased page views for Bean’s ad, which now has 1,300 hits.

Some politicians only dream of this kind of online presence, and Bean didn’t have to do a thing.  

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