This is just weird, but what about social media isn’t weird? We “friend” people we’ve never met. We share our plans, location, and mother’s maiden name with the world.
In New Zealand, weird can be defined as a 28-year-old Auckland woman who created and used several fake online profiles depicting young, pretty women to befriend unsuspecting high school boys.
I can definitely see my 16-year-old self falling for this.
Sometimes, after creating a fake Facebook profile, the woman would use her other online personas to break the news that her fictitious creation had been killed, referring her high-school friends to a tribute website where they could leave messages mourning the dead young woman. So far, around 40 of this scammer’s young victim’s have been identified.
What a bizarre prank, playing on the emotional wellbeing of a kid!
Making it even more macabre, the scammer borrowed profile pictures of real Facebook users, as well as pictures of their children, friends, and family, and created memorial videos eulogizing them. Posing as the mother of one of her creations, she informed one boy that her daughter was in the hospital after a suicide attempt.
The woman committing these acts is either extremely disturbed or extremely intelligent. Either way, it’s very creative and probably prone to copycats. This woman should be banned from the Internet entirely.
Social media sites could go a long way in terms of protecting their users by incorporating device reputation management. Once a user has been banned, device reputation allows websites to analyze the history of that user’s computer or other device, which may have been used for spam, phishing attempts, predatory behavior, profile misrepresentation, or even credit card fraud. Device reputation alerts businesses to suspicious behavior, uncovers the device’s true location, and exposes hidden relationships to other high-risk accounts and devices.