One of the most memorable movies I have seen is called DERAILED. I saw this movie in 2007.
I remember many scenes of that movie and recommend that you watch it, if you haven't as yet.
In a nutshell, the movie is about this man who is a regular office goer and gets attracted to this woman (Jennifer Aniston) he meets in the local train he regularly travels in.
One thing leads to another, they go to a hotel to have an affair and THEN the real movie kicks in.
For some reason that movie stayed on my mind for a long while. It was the story of the perfect charade, the perfect trap and the perfect blackmail. My wife and I actually borrowed a copy to watch it again.
Circa 2012 - let me share with you MY STORY OF a potential DERAILMENT!
This happened on facebook (THE Local train) that I ride almost all day long!!
About 3 months ago, an attractive girl called Saandra Singh (NAME CHANGED obviously) showed up on my wall.
I assume she posted a couple of comments on my posts, but I didn't notice her.
I "think" I friended her (I friended everyone who requested me till i reached 4999 'coz I treat Facebook like the biggest, free-to-exploit media property that's ever been built).
A few days later, she POSTED on my wall saying, "Don't you check your messages?"
I went and checked.
Sure enough, there was message from her that read, "Hi, Handsome."
We began exchanging random messages.
She said she was a Single Mom, with a young kid. She won my sympathy!
And then one day, she sent me a sexually loaded message.
I was amused and also intrigued.
Was I that attractive for an Indian Girl to make such a blatant remark OR was there SOMETHING ELSE THAT I WAS MISSING? WAS THIS DERAILMENT in the making?
This is the diligence I did on her FB account to check my hypothesis that this was a CRIME in the making:
- Common Friends between us - NIL
- Posts on her wall - barely 3-5 over the year. Very disparate, very vague.
- Friends in all - less than 20
- PHOTOGRAPHS (and this is always the KILLER GIVE AWAY) - JUST 2
I kind of figured what was going on and SET THE BALL ROLLING FOR figuring out how DERAILMENT VIA FACEBOOK would be played!
Now, please appreciate 2 things:
- I am an Entrepreneur. I TAKE RISKS. This is not something decent, nice people do.
- I am a PASSIONATE SOCIAL OBSERVER. I like to get a hang of people and how they behave in the world. For that I do really weird, objectionable stuff.
- In my mind, I knew that if I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING SILLY, I would be able to explain my actions to my loved ones if the moment arose.
So, we began chatting.
And the chats were completely sexed out. Lurid, putrid, stuff that would make Penthouse look like a kindergarten nursery.
All this while, my heart would beat thinking, "HOLY HELL, what happens if these chat transcripts get copied and pasted on some blog/wall - what will happen?" - but I guess my "let's see what happens" attitude kicked in.
And then, as expected, the excitement died a few days later. There was nothing NEW to say. I mean how often can you say the same shitty stuff to strangers and hear the same shitty replies back?
THAT'S WHEN THE FIRST BOMB DROPPED.
She said, "Why not meet and do what we imagined in PERSON?"
THIS WAS IT. I ASSUMED she was a real high class hooker.
I declined, stating some really vague reason.
And then, in keeping with my experimental frame of mind, this is what I did:
- I asked her for her telephone number
She never replied.
- I threw some conversations that were a little evolved and a bit philosophical - she just got disinterested.
And then one fine day, LIKE A ROCK, she fell of the cliff.
I sent a couple of messages to her the next couple of days and I received no reply.
That's when I put on my thinking cap - I assumed she was a hooker and since I was not "converting, I wasn't worth it".
I kept a tab on her page.
Funny things began to happen. Her 'friends addition' was ALL MEN - all the types that fell under the "Working, High Salaries" bracket. She was cloning, I guess, her approach with me!
NO PHOTOS were added. In fact the of the 3 photos, only 1 remained.
I messaged her a couple of times.
My intrigue grew. I mean, if she is a hooker, then she should be responding to me right?
THE ATOMIC BOMB CAME THIS MORNING.
She said, "I am a part of a conspiracy to make you meet girls. All our chats are saved. Some of the messages will be tampered with. Other girls will also contact you - to lure you into meeting and doing some misconduct - ALL OF WHICH WILL BE photographed. The conspirators are people you know and trust. In your case, they don't want money - they wanna RUIN you personally".
I asked her for help with people's names - she turned quiet!!
Honestly, I don't know why she informed me. Probably because the last few messages I sent to her were genuine, "hey hope life is good with you etc. etc." types. Maybe my Rodinhood Monastery posts got to her :-))
All this while, I am ASSUMING it's a her - it could easily be a man.
PHEW - PHEW - PHEW - PHEW!!!!
My hunch was right. My risk was worth it ('coz I am posting this as the first story).
My experiment points to proving that THIS is the FUTURE of Blackmail.
- Find noticeably visible, vocal and probably successful people on facebook
- Start with messages that can be stored and presented as proof.
- LURE into meeting physically
- BLACKMAIL AND/OR RUIN.
Lesson? when you get a message from a decent looking person from the opposite sex (or same sex like I received the day before), just be warned.... All that glitters is actually POISON.
But I guess, you knew that already, right?
Hmmm. I say:
Wooh....People have some time and money to ruin other peoples profiles, careers and lives.....But as a true & good human being u came out early and winning....I am also amazed with the girl / guy 's confession / alert message ...... This also shows that good people with good karma get helped by the almighty before falling into a trap...Cheers to the Big Rodinhood / Sensei...
Its a scary thing to have happened.
We use Facebook to authenticate users on Mingle Trips. The original reason was that this would make it easier for people to sign up and we will also be able to eliminate fake profiles. However, Ive noticed that many people create new accounts for Mingle Trips.Some are clearly suspicious because when I see their FB profiles, I see only scantily clad women in their friends list.
We are trying to build a credibility rating using the FB profile using the number of friends, age of FB account and number of relatives. I love your idea of using number of pictures too (will have to check if developer api gives us access to this).Will have to see how it evolves.
Good thing you didn't fall into a deeper trap.
people you know and trust are more dangerous then unknown.....im glad our Rodinhood is safe....lesson for us be safe do not get derailed....
its strange how you disclosed everything so casually..its takes guts to explain your mistakes and warn people from doing it....today i learned something new as a blogger (at my own personal level)... thanks..
Your share has reminded me of something that happened with me a couple of years back. I worked for a company called Group 4 Securitas and quit in 2004. Now being a manpower organization there were close to about 2000-3000 employees. I was not in touch with many and this is b4 FB days. Many years later in 2009 an ex colleague invited me to a British High Commission charity event I used to be a part of. She said I can also catch up with ex colleagues.
It almost felt like a re-union :). And then one colleague came up to me and in a very sinister way asked me "R u on Fb ? " I said yes ! Isn't everybody ? Then she said when did u add me ? I was a bit surprised and replied " no, you are not in my friend list !" She immediately called another ex colleague saying " see I told you it can't be Sugandha "
What then unfolded was that since I was not in touch with any colleague from that organization except one who was not on FB someone was impersonating as me and indulging in very offensive chats with many ! I was shocked.
I asked for the name and learnt that the person had vaguely modified my name. I immediately went and look dup on Fb to haul the person up but realized that he/she was very smart. he/she had blocked me off so i could not search ! I requested the girl who still had the imposter added as me to let me access her account. She did and I went thru all the conversations with her and a lot of other colleagues. It was really awkward as i don't even know for how long was it on till i figured I accidentally learnt about it !
Thankfully I had the presence of mind and i took screenshots of all the conversations the impostor had made. Tried registering the complaint with the police, but some how I think the impostor got a whiff of it and soon the profile disappeared.
So the big question in todays world is " how does one know if someone is masquerading as you under a false name and is up to some really evil that can destroy your character ?
I am sure the person who was up to this nasty mischief was someone I had known in the past at workplace. Someone who was doing it on purpose with the intention to malign or satisfy his/her own dark side under my name.