A Miami food blog has been duped by an anonymous writer-marketer posing as a New York Times food scribe, who hoped to garner some press for a few South Florida restaurants.
This is a warning to you, the enthusiastic eater, to make some effort to learn who your recommendations come from. As online food and restaurant marketing has boomed, the Internet has become clogged with shady characters posing as earnest gastronomic guides. The fraudsters collect some benefits from the joints they boost.
"It's all completely out of the blue," she said in an email.
Someone posing as Clark first reached out to the website in February last year offering to write a post focused on South Florida spots suited for family dining, according to emails provided by Sergio Calzado of Miami Food Review.
The Yahoo address in those emails didn't respond to inquiries, and the Brooklyn-area number told New Times it was a wrong number.
Clark, meanwhile, said she never heard of Calzado or his website and set the grey lady's legal team into action.
"This is scary," she said.
Calzado, who said he doesn't take payments for posting articles on his site, but acknowledged accepting the occasional free meal, removed the post announcing Clark as a contributing editor and the lone post "she" sent.
The two later spoke over the phone, and Clark is trying to figure out who has pilfered her name. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.