I, like many of my friends, am on Friendster. Friendster is pretty much "six degrees of separation" with the internet, except it only goes three degrees. One of the best things about it is that you can often find a new group of friends that knows some of your old group of friends when you move. So lately I've been hanging out on Friendster a bit and have gotten in touch with some people that I haven't seen in some time. Because I've been contacted by some people I know, but haven't seen for a while, I leave my Friendster profile on "public." Every once in a while I get some spam in my Friendster inbox, but generally, that's pretty easy to see and I round file it pretty quickly.
However, this weekend I received a Friendster message from a girl named C____. I had never met C___ before and according to Friendster C____ and I were not closely related (Friendster tells you who you know someone through...I guess the three degree limit is why Kevin Bacon and I don't have any connection). The e-mail notification shows that C____ is pretty cute, but not anyone I've seen before, so I take a look at the message. Here's what it says:
Subject: Hi there [BA]I move around a lot, so I understand how much it sucks when you're the new person in a new town. So I feel some sympathy to the plight of the newly relocated. Sympathy aside, I'm intrigued, so I looked at C____'s profile.
Message: Hey there, just browsing around trying to meet some people from around here. I just moved to [city] a few weeks back and I hardly know anyone. I figured I'd give friendster a shot and see if I have any luck. I'll keep this short until I know you're interested. Just looking for someone to hang out and have a good time with....not looking for anything serious. I RARELY get a chance to check this account on friendster so if you want to chat hit me up at email@example.com and I'll send you some more pics. Talk to ya soon hopefully.
Her profile indicates that C____ is in Sales, specifically pharmaceuticals. Her hobbies and the rest of the information she writes in are pretty normal, but she doesn't have any friends...not in my city or anywhere else. Strange, but maybe she was just trying out Friendster and hasn't linked to anyone yet.
Then there's her "About Me" essay, which states:
I'm charismatic, fun, creative, and I like to think fun to be around. I have two very valuable assets. 1, my brain, and 2, my chest LOL! Hey, at least I'm honest! I wound up here in [city]. not by choice, but because my job forced me here. The only thing I can really complain about is not knowing anyone. My company definitely took good care of me. I have a furnished house (pretty small but I'm happy with it) and it also has a jacuzzi! If I can just talk them into a pool....LOL! Anyway! I'm just here browsing for new friends, nothing serious. By serious I mean I'm not looking for a "boyfriend", something physical is never out of the question. Alright, I've said enough for now. Message me if you'd like to chat and hopefully hang out.A little on the juvenile side, but there's one line that causes me some pause: "By serious I mean I'm not looking for a 'boyfriend', something physical is never out of the question." Besides the failure to use a semicolon rather than a comma, this statement is, well, weird. Not something I would write on a Friendster profile. But then again, everyone isn't me and I've seen some strangeassshit on Friendster.
Anyway, C____ also writes, about people she would like to meet: "Cool guys/girls to have a good time with. Sorry ladies, my gate only swings one way! LOL! :-)" Again, odd, but not entirely outside the sometimes-freakish statements that are written on Friendster.
So I figure, if someone is really having a difficult time finding people to spend time with in the city, even if I'm leaving, I can give them some pointers of good places to go, where to meet people and, if they check out as at least close to normal, possibly introduce them to some nice folks I've met. So, I send the following email to C____:
Hey there and welcome to [the city]! Unfortunately, I'm sort of on my way out the door. I was recently offered a job in [another city], so I'm in the process of selling my house and doing all the other fun stuff that comes with heading out of town. However, this really is a fun city (as I spend Saturday night cleaning for showings next week). There are a lot of great people in the area.
I'd be happy to give you the benefit of my experience here though. I've moved around a lot since I graduated law school and I know how much it can suck not knowing anyone in a new city. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you get familiarized!
As you can see, I do feel bad for people that are new to a city. I mean, in a few weeks I'm going to be one of them.
Earlier today, I heard back from C____. The first paragraph of her e-mail stated:
Hey [BA], thanks for getting in touch! So how is your weekend going? :-)I'm thinking, well that's a little forward. Ok, it's a lot forward. I mean, geez, this girl really must not know anyone. Inviting me to a baseball game after having gotten one e-mail from me, much of which wasn't substantive? And why wouldn't she say thanks for my offer to tell her some info about the city?
A bit about me....I'm a Chicago woman, who moved to the [city] area for my job (sales) and I officially know 0 [that's "zero" -BA] people. I never imagined a change like this would be so hard and lonely to say the least. I definitely want to meet up with you soon if you're down! According to friendster, I live close by so we could really meet whenever you want. GREAT NEWS (if you're a baseball fan) my boss gave me 2 tickets to the [crappy American league team]/[other crappy American league team] game for the 14th...it's at 7:05PM. Care to come with me???
My answer lied no farther than the next paragraph, which stated:
I posted A LOT more pics (as I said I'd give you!) on my newest personal, some are topless but NOT bottomless but they're at http://www.b____hookup.com/c____2k5. My profile is listed in that site under "BackSideBabe". I wanted to post my personal info (i.e. phone # and my personal email address) there for 3 real simple reasons. 1) It's DISCREET! 2) I never have to worry about being contacted by children since only adults are allowed in the site and 3) I know all the replies I receive are genuine. I've met 3 people off of this site, and it's truly made me feel safe. I had a nightmare of an experience in the past that I don't want to happen again. Thats all I've got to say right now, let's just plan on meeting soon! Cause you know what that means... ;)So many questions came to mind... Why did C____ decide it was important to qualify that her "added pictures" were topless, but not bottomless? (Seriously, ladies, if you ever are discussing pictures with nudity, total or partial, just say "naked"... it's all any guy needs to hear.) How exactly did people C_____ met off the site where she was posting naked pictures make her "feel safe," and was this feeling at all related to her decision not to post "bottomless" pictures? What exactly was this "nightmare" experience and does C____ really expect posting naked pictures for solicitation by strangers really ever provide her with a way to avoid such a "nightmare" in the future? And the all-important question: How exactly did C____ settle on her nickname, "BackSideBabe?" But before I can ponder these questions further, I notice the new footer at the bottom of this e-mail:
Give me a call!
***The following is a requirement of this website: "If you are offended by adult material or are not of legal age to view such material, or if you simply would not like to hear from any members from this website, follow this link to be removed:" http://www.b____hookup.com/subscription.phpSo, yeah, it's pretty clear to even me that if C____ isn't really an old fat guy typing with one hand at his computer under the auspices of claiming he's a 28 year only pharmaceutical sales rep, then C____ is in sales alright, but it's sure as hell not pharmaceuticals. Needless to say, this seems to me to be the perfect time to have some fun. I have an idea, but want to enlist the help of a friend (because, let's be real, this situation is just too damn funny to deal with it alone). I call my friend, A____, give her the whole rundown, and propose my solution. (To A____'s credit, she knew with the Friendster e-mail that this was either prostitution or porn. Yeah, she's a smarty.) After we both stop hysterically laughing, I send C____ the following e-mail:
Whoa there...OK...I think you've got the wrong idea. But, I think this is probably the point where I should tell you the reason I'm moving away from [this city] and to the [other city] is to take a position as a prosecuting attorney. In other words, I've accepted aposition as a law enforcement officer.... (This is the part where you would say,"Oops!")
With that information, I imagine this will probably be our last contact. But hey...have fun at the ball game. Oh, and it's just my personal opinion, but it's just not baseball with a designated hitter.
Sometimes, you've just got to love phishing schemes...
Oh, and lest I forget, special thanks to H____ who, because C_____'s boobs looked real in her picture, suggested I should at least get the free baseball game out of the deal.
Update: As much as I love comments, this post has gotten a little out of control, so I'm turning off the comments. I'm glad so many people have found it helpful and/or entertaining and I hope it continues to help more people avoid this phishing scam.