April 16, 2015

I Got a Creepy Message

"Face of the Man" by George Hodan
So, I'm careful about who I accept as a Facebook friend, but I wasn't too concerned about Google +. I added a person to my circle because I'm building my audience on my social media platforms (except Facebook). Well, this man sent me an interesting message. It screamed stalker creepy to me. The man may not be a stalker, but it still matches what a predator might send. I'm especially aware of this after reading Anna Salter's book on predators.

Hello dear, how are you today? I got attracted to your picture and wish to be your friend, however thanks for accepting my request and I promised you won't regret meeting me, I must confess you are looking beautiful, as you can see my name is [John Doe]; [50+] years old from [city, country] but I am currently in [state, country], professional in [profession], on photo with my only son, unfortunately my wife passed away two years ago, though I'm not here for relationship but coming across to your beautiful picture has giving me a good reason to love again and I will appreciate if you can give me a chance. I believe age different and distance can never be a barrier in relationship as the most important is love and understanding to see what fate has in stock for us, kindly reply through your contact email to my private email address [email]. I can’t wait to know more about you as well as telling you more about myself. Note that stable communicating is the only key to every successful friendship. I’m sure you would find me interesting if you give me a chance. Looking forward to hear from you. Take care and stay bless, truly. [John Doe]

Okay, let me break down the scary aspects of this message:

1. He has taken a singular focus on me like I'm his next target.

2. Trying to engender trust with "You won't regret meeting me" and "Note that stable communicating is the only key to every successful friendship." You have to build trust over time and not with flattery.

3. FLATTERY saying "confess you are looking beautiful." His NICENESS does not equal TRUSTWORTHINESS. Ted Bundy was nice.

4. My profile states I'm married, so that should be a signal to not communicate.

5. Unsolicited, and has nothing to do with what I post on my Google+ account. He should go to a dating website if he's really interested in a relationship.

6. Plays the sympathy card: widower with child. Guess who else played the sympathy card? Ted Bundy.

7. Age gap of 25+ years. Age gaps can indicate a predator. Think of teachers who target their students. Even a 90-year-old can still rape somebody!

8. CHARMING. Predators charm people with their likability. For some reason, we think likability means trustworthy.

9. I don't know him; he may be a 14-year-old or a 80-year-old woman.

10. After my cousin read this, she pointed out that it's probably a phishing scam. The bad grammar may indicate that.

Of course, I blocked this guy. I also learned my lesson not to add anyone to my Google+ account who I don't know. I just figured he wanted to follow my writing. Next time, I'll be more careful.