Posted by: Jo Duxbury | 3 November 2010

Plagiarism – second time around

I had an email from a contact today alerting me to the dodgy activities of an outsourced marketing consultant in Jo’burg who is passing off other people’s content as her own – and fraudulently claiming accreditations and membership of associations that are simply untrue. My contact wanted to verify if indeed this person is a member of Freelancentral (she isn’t). I went to take a quick look at this person’s website and surprise, surprise, she has stolen content from me too.

Googling some of the phrases from her articles (for example: “It’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many business owners”) shows that the work is mine and was originally published on this site, on my Peppermint Source company’s website and as one of my “Marketing 101” columns on IT Web. Lower down in the search results (and with more recent dates) is the plagiarist’s version of it where she has lifted entire chunks of my copy, as well as her modification of much of it (complete with freshly-added typos…).

This person has even had one of her (my?!) articles published on a South African business website (I certainly hope they did not pay her for it). I have emailed them to let them know that they are in breach of copyright by publishing it and that their contributor is a plagiarist. I’ve had no response from them as yet.

On her LinkedIn profile she also claims to be a member of ‘The South African Freelance Central Association’. Yesterday it said she is a member of ‘The South African Freelancers Association’ (SAFREA – and she isn’t). There’s no such thing as the South African Freelance Central Association, but there is my site, Freelancentral – from which this person will be barred should she ever attempt to join us.

I have emailed this fraudster asking her to cease and desist immediately, copying in my lawyer, who will be the next person she hears from if she doesn’t comply right away. I’m hoping she will do so, be professional and apologise.

This person is a direct competitor to my Peppermint Source outsourced marketing business. Did she honestly think that her theft of my work would go unnoticed? While there is definitely enough work to go around, and competition is healthy, the space we operate in is small, and I know many people in it. I have spent over five years building my reputation and credibility in this industry and have worked extremely hard to get to where I am today. So it makes me angry, disappointed and frustrated when someone with no scruples steals my work. (It’s not the first time it has happened.)

One thing I’d like this person to know is this: What goes around always comes around.


  1. You should write an article on this topic for Destiny — I believe this might be a bigger problem that happens very often.

  2. You should at least name her, how else will we know to avoid her?

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