Thursday, May 31, 2012
(U.S.A.) A Natalbany man will spend the next 10 years in prison after using Facebook to stalk and extort sex from women, and even a 14-year-old girl.
Prosecutors say Adam Kolb, 26, would contact women through Facebook, and eventually have them send him racy pictures of themselves. When they tried to cut off communication with Kolb, he threatened to release the pictures on the internet or send them to their families.
Other victims said that Kolb had tried to contact them multiple times with sexual advances, even thought they had asked him not to.
The 14-year-old girl claimed that Kolb knew how old she was at the time of their relationship.
Investigators said that Kolb also used his job as a pizza delivery man to meet women. They said that if he made a delivery to someone he was interested in, he would take a picture of their name and phone number and use it to start harassing them.
Detective Ed Bergeron said in Fall 2011 that investigators had identified over 50 victims.
Kolb was sentenced by Judge Robert Morrison to serve 10 years for each count of extortion (7 counts) and felony carnal knowledge (2 counts). In addition, he was sentenced two years for each count of cyber stalking (9 counts), and six months for defamation by hatred. He will serve the sentences concurrently.
When released, Kolb will have to register as a sex offender.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The concept of the flame war online is certainly nothing new. It's been around since before most people were even aware the internet existed. However, more people are starting to look into the issue of why people tend to be such incredible jerks online when they might be perfectly nice in person. It seems that there are few different things contributing to the effect.
First is that people somehow feel "disinhibited" when sitting behind a keyboard and monitor -- whether it's because of the supposed anonymity, the fact that you're effectively "invisible" or even the fact that there's a time lag between being a jerk and any response to it. The fact that you're somewhat separate from the response just makes it that much easier to be a jerk.
Some feel that it has even more to do with the lack of direct human contact in terms of either seeing hurt feelings or hearing someone's voice. There's just less empathy involved in seeing black and white text then seeing a physical reaction to being mean. Some of the latest research on this actually looked at how brains process messages during a conversation, and noted that in a normal conversation the person is tracking a variety of different cues in terms of how the other person is responding, and those cues help moderate what we say. Without any such cues when sitting behind a keyboard, you don't get any of the warning lights to moderate what you're saying, and the natural tendency is just to go right to the extreme edge without ever cooling off.
( EOPC has been dealing with a individuals - one on another discussion board where we occassionally posted; who have strung together a bunch of unrelated facts to try and indict us for our anonymity. Most of the facts revolve around victims we helped who they are trying to 'prove' is us. These victims went on to do a lot of work with DV victims like themselves. Unfortunately DV advocated attract just as many disordered naysayers who are desperate to place blame as we do. We are hanging in there.
If things like this are happening to you - take a breath and step back before you react to accusations or disordered or negative individuals (such as your cyberpath) who string together unrelated things in attempts to construct a 'gotcha' moment for you. If you try to defend yourself? These 'jerks' will take it as your 'admission of guilt' thereby setting up a no win situation for you. Stay in what you know to be truth and distance yourself from these types of people. We are.)
Of course, so far, it doesn't seem like the research is coming up with many good solutions to get people to moderate what they say online -- other than suggesting that using video communications might help. Other than that, perhaps just being more conscious of the fact that it really is a human being at the other end might help -- but so far that kind of "self awareness" hasn't caught on. And, even if it has, as long as one person in the group is unable to moderate his or her speech, it tends to set off many others as well.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
By Alexis Singer
Reviewed by Gillian Fournier
After Alexis gives readers a bit of a briefing on her background, she launches into a detailed description of The Board, an online forum of sorts for thespians. The Board was a place she found comforting because despite not having any real friends, she seemed to be making digital ones that enjoyed talking to her about topics she was genuinely interested in. This ended up turning into a bad situation because although the majority of the people she had met on The Board seemed perfectly normal, there was one very sick individual waiting for someone just like Alexis. Phil, as he was known, was in his late 30s and preyed upon confused young women who frequented The Board. (sounds like our exposed predator DAN JACOBY!)
One especially lonely night, Alexis received a message from Phil asking if she was over 18 yet. This should have been a warning sign (even she recognizes that), but she was extremely desperate for some sort of attention and she replied. This was the beginning of a relationship of sorts that would include many inappropriate advances and words that no 16-year-old should ever hear from anyone (let alone a man old enough to be her father).
Throughout the book Alexis is coerced into having cybersex with Phil, taking naked pictures for him and even ends viewing a webcam live feed of Phil’s genitals. This may seem like enough to make anyone stop talking to a man like this, but Alexis explains how easily one can be talked into things. Phil was an expert at pushing the limits and then pulling back right when he knew she felt uncomfortable. He used this strategy to feel out how far he could push her and then later ended up getting what he wanted. What began with a simple request for an image of a new piercing became much more. In Alexis’s mind the transition didn’t seem like a big deal, since Phil made sure to ask for the “favors” in a very calculated manner.
Eventually, Alexis’s mother ended up finding out what has transpired and immediately banned her from the Internet. She also tried to find her daughter support groups and hired a detective to see if Phil could be prosecuted for being an Internet predator. In the end they decided not to press charges; the case could have caused more harm to Alexis’s life than one would think.
Alexis went to college and started to distance herself from the Internet and from Phil, though she does admit in the end that she still speaks with Phil every so often (though not in a sexual manner). She now has a new boyfriend and is learning the value of social interaction and honest love and friendship.
The book is very easy to read because it is small, the type is large, the chapters are short and without fail, each chapter ends with a little mini cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading. The average to slower reader will be able to finish this book in less than two hours without breaking a sweat. The topic is interesting and engaging and Alexis is a character that is very relatable. Overall, Alexis represents the everyday girl you meet in high school — though she is sweet and endearing, there is nothing extraordinary about this character. She is simply ordinary, and that makes her real.
I think this book is a good resource for young girls who might be involved in an “innocent” flirtation with an Internet “friend.” It is from the point of view of a victim of online sexual abuse and therefore readers can empathize with her. It also does a great job of explaining teen loneliness.
I think that Alexis is a talented young writer and I hope to see more of her work in the future (hopefully about a brighter topic for her sake). As of September 2010 she is only 19, so I think readers can look forward to a wealth of interesting literature from Ms. Singer.
Monday, May 28, 2012
When 65-year-old David Silbergeld was found dead in a quiet Delaware park -- the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head -- few familiar with his case were surprised. Silbergeld had become much maligned in the small Pennsylvania town where he had been an adjunct community college professor and something of a local celebrity. Silbergeld was fired from his job and found himself the target of federal scrutiny when it was revealed that his long-time claims of having been a Navy SEAL were fraudulent. Moreover, Silbergeld was receiving full V.A. disability as a result of ongoing symptoms stemming from his special-forces service in Vietnam.
In fact, Silbergeld, like thousands of other special-forces pretenders, had never enrolled or graduated from any military special forces school or program. Although he claimed to have killed eleven enemy troops in hand-to-hand combat, no evidence of any combat experience existed. At some point along the path in Silbergeld's grandiose fabrication, those familiar with real SEAL training became suspicious and David Silbergeld had the grave misfortune of becoming the focus of a veteran’s organization devoted to uncovering SEAL fakes. In short order, Silbergeld's lies were made public, his heroic house of cards collapsed, and he took a walk with a revolver rather than face the consequences of his sham.
In recent years, several special-forces watchdog groups have sprung up to combat the problem of phony SEALS and fraudulent medal winners. Wall Street Journal writer, Amy Chozick, recently showcased the work of two of these groups, AuthentiSEAL.org, and VeriSEAL.org. Both groups are run by genuine SEALs, mostly veterans who are sick and tired of hearing wannabe's claim membership in their elite fraternity. Both groups boast remarkable success in identifying frauds and their websites often contain extensive lists, even photos, of those they have outed as imposters. At times, these watchdog groups are tenacious in exposing the fakes to their families, employers, and communities. At present, AuthentiSEAL.org claims to have uncovered about 20,000 SEAL fakers. The tone of these organizations suggests a broad assumption that all fakers mean to diminish the glory of genuine SEALS and that all should be tracked down and humiliated. There is no record of the personal aftermath for their victims nor any body count ticker for suicides. It is unlikely that David Silbergeld was the first. He certainly won’t be the last.
The purpose of this short treatise on faux Navy SEALS is not to stick up for special-forces fakers, nor am I interested in questioning the motives or methods of those who hunt them down. As a former naval officer, I object to any deceit related to one’s military record and I hold particular admiration for colleagues who have what it takes to make it in the SEALS.
My objective is merely to broaden our perspective on the why question. Why fake a special-forces background? Too often we might assume that all fraudulent SEALS are malignant sociopaths bent on milking the SEAL ruse for all it’s worth. If we see these men as deliberately exploitive, lacking any conscience or remorse, and fundamentally criminal in the sense of using the fraud for immediate and tangible gain (e.g., cash, benefits, employment) then they might indeed meet diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopathy) and severe consequences are easy to justify.
But experience suggests there are other "types" or clusters hidden in the population of would-be SEALS. In addition to old fashioned sociopathy, I propose that there are at least three other prominent motivations leading to SEAL (or Special Ops) faking.
First, there are the Narcissists. The Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by extreme egotism, arrogance, an unquenchable need for tribute and admiration, and an ongoing wish to be seen as special or unusual. True, the Narcissist is lying about his SEAL record just like the Antisocial, but his reasons are different. The Narcissist is using a SEAL persona to gratify profound needs for attention and may be uninterested in any tangible gain. Think of the Narcissistic fake SEAL as making a desperate attempt to compensate for his own sense of inadequacy; yes, Freud would say the man has SEAL envy. This type is so convinced of his own worthlessness that only perpetual adulation will ease the pain -- enter the SEAL.
A second, though considerably less common variety of faker is the traumatized veteran. Here we see a service member who actually did time in the service, and may have been involved in combat. He suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and may have related memory difficulties or in rare circumstances, psychotic symptoms. Very gradually, his service-related stories morph to incorporate affiliation with special-forces, unusual missions, or other false information. What part of this is deliberate and what part is more unconscious and linked to traumatic symptoms? In some cases, this is not at all clear.
A final profile among the ranks of faux SEALS is that of the utilitarian fibber. I suspect this may constitute one of the largest groups of special-forces frauds. The utilitarian fibber adopts a false SEAL persona only in isolated circumstances -- at least at first -- to get jobs, get friends, or to get laid. (this would apply to Barber, Thomas & Haberman)
One would not be surprised to see younger, less mature folks in this group. In this instance, the deceiver slings on the SEAL story like a cape, hoping to use the elite persona to leverage access to career advancement, social status, or perhaps just the sack. In contrast to the antisocial or the narcissist, expect this fake to fess up more readily when confronted; he has less to lose by coming clean.
Posing as a member of the special-forces is clearly illegal, not to mention upsetting for all of us who respect and admire the real thing. But remember that SEAL fakers are a varied bunch. While some are malignant; others are just pathetic. ...we should hold all of them accountable...
(This applies to our exposed predators: Phil Haberman, Nathan E.B. Thomas, Jr., Joseph Cafasso and William Michael Barber. (see list on upper right column of this blog and click the name for more information) While some didn't say they were SEALS, they did lie about their military involvements. Thomas even implied he was CIA and fighting the Taliban. LOL
Barber used his special military training to con his way into a job as a criminal investigator. Cafasso got the media to buy him as a "Terrorism Expert!"
The only terrorism these guys know is the emotional and mental lies they visit upon their hapless victims! - EOPC)
Sunday, May 27, 2012
(U.K.) Hiding anything? Kirsty Chapman looks like a respectable mother - but her photograph appears next to a pseudonym on Facebook that sends vile abuse to memorial pages
Appearances, they say, can be deceptive. Kirsty Chapman (blonde, slim, pretty) is perhaps living proof of this.
To the outside world, she is a respectable housewife and mother of three. Most days she can be seen out and about in fashionable jeans wheeling a pushchair near her home in Wales. Remember these details — in particular, the fact she has three children. They make what you are about to read all the more shocking.
For Miss Chapman’s photograph has become chillingly familiar on the internet. Often her Facebook photograph has appeared next to a pseudonym. One of these is ‘Percy’, whose activities have become notorious — targeting the bereaved with vile insults on Facebook tribute sites. It would be hard to imagine a more cruel or sadistic ‘hobby’. One such memorial site was created for 16-year-old Megan Moore, who died when she tripped and fell under a train at Angmering station near Littlehampton in West Sussex in 2009.
Among the countless (sincere) messages of condolence for the hugely popular Megan was one from ‘Percy’: ‘Did this whore really have over 10 thousand friends?’ it said. ‘Or is that her client list?’
‘Percy’ has also joked about abusing Madeleine McCann. The precise wording cannot be repeated in a family newspaper.
The online slang for individuals who specialise in this kind of abuse is ‘troll’. They get their perverse kicks by leaving malicious outpourings on discussion forums, chatrooms, blogs and, most commonly, memorial sites, with the sole intention of causing pain and grief.
Miss Chapman denies she is Percy. Her photograph, posted next to Percy’s sickening attacks, were put there by someone else, she says. It would be easy for anyone to take her photo from Facebook and it would certainly take someone with a twisted ego to put their own picture next to such abuse. So is she being trolled herself?
Jessica had a loving, very middle-class upbringing. So how did she become a victim of the Rochdale sex gang? Perhaps she has made an official complaint to Facebook? ‘No,’ said her boyfriend Darren Burton. ‘What the f*** can she [Kirsty] do about it?’
In fact, there is a procedure for removing fake identities from Facebook. To begin the process, users can click on the ‘help’ button after logging onto the social networking site, then choose the option marked: ‘Report abuse or policy violations.’ Some might think Miss Chapman’s failure to do so is surprising.
Most revealing, perhaps, is the fact she lives with Darren Burton, who says he met her trolling and who is, by his own admission, a serial ‘troll’. His alter ego, or internet persona, is ‘Nimrod Severn’. Burton, a railway worker, and Miss Chapman have been together for more than two years and are believed to be engaged.
Among the memorial websites Burton has targeted are those of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse and murdered student Anuj Bidve, gunned down in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Boxing Day. ‘Rot in p***’ is the message Burton left for those grieving Anuj’s death.
When Burton was once challenged online about the hurt and upset he was causing bereaved families, he replied: ‘F*** ’um.’
He has also singled out Madeleine McCann. His vile contribution, using his Nimrod alias, was left on a website specifically set up to mock the missing youngster and her parents, called ‘I Found Maddy . . . She Was Under The Bed All Along’.
And guess whose posting is directly above Burton’s odious comment? The aformentioned ‘Percy’, accompanied by a picture of Kirsty Chapman.
The term ‘troll’ is thought to derive from a fishing technique of slowly dragging a baited hook from a moving boat. Internet ‘trolls’ post inflammatory remarks (the metaphorical ‘bait’) to trigger a response from those they have abused (the metaphorical ‘fish’).
Trolls say they do it for the ‘LULZ’, or laughs, a computer variation of LOL, meaning Laugh Out Loud.
In other words, their sociopathic behaviour is as much about manipulation and control as causing offence and inducing despair.
It is an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, punishable by up to six months in prison, to send an ‘electronic message’ that is ‘grossly offensive’ or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’.
Last year, though 3,105 people were prosecuted, the statistics cover all forms of electronic communication, including phone calls. In reality, there have been only a handful of convictions for internet trolling.
Yet the list of those who have been subjected to sickening abuse at the hands of ‘trolls’ grows longer every week. According to the mores of this dark sub-culture, anyone is ‘fair game’.
The BBC called in the police over racist internet attacks on Ruth Brown, a contestant in its talent show The Voice, and former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon recently told how he and his family were subjected to a barrage of lewd and sinister comments from an online persecutor.
The scale of the problem, and the difficulty in identifying perpetrators, means ‘trolling’ is all but impossible to combat. Nevertheless, the small number of successful prosecutions do provide a revealing insight into individuals who usually remain hidden from public exposure.
Few could have guessed that Frank Zimmerman, from Barnwood, Gloucestershire, was a culprit. Neighbours say he is well-educated and speaks with a ‘posh’ accent. In a previous life, he was, apparently, a children’s author. Now aged 60, with long, white hair and a straggly beard, he was regarded as a harmless, reclusive eccentric. The worst that could be said of him was that, over the years, he had allowed the once pristine garden of his semi to become overgrown.
Yet a few weeks ago, he sent a chilling email to Tory MP Louise Mensch.
‘You now have a Sophie’s Choice,’ he wrote. ‘Which kid is to go? Who will you choose?’ The question was a reference to the 1982 film Sophie’s Choice, in which a mother, played by Meryl Streep, is forced to decide which of her two children will be sent to the gas chambers.
Mrs Mensch was also told her that her computer had been hacked and that images of her family would be posted online.
The email, which contained foul-mouthed insults, left her feeling ‘extremely scared’, she said. It was traced to Zimmerman’s computer through its IP address — a unique code assigned to every terminal.
Zimmerman was convicted in his absence last month after he failed to turn up in court. He was warned he could face possible imprisonment when he appeared before a judge two weeks ago. Sentencing was adjourned for reports.
Megan Moore who was killed after falling between a train and the platform was the victim of trolling
Indian student Anuj Bidve was gunned down as he walked with a group of friends in Salford - and he was the victim of trolling
The devastating legacy of ‘trolling’ can still be found on Facebook memorial pages for John Paul Massey, a four-year-old who was mauled to death by a pit bull terrier at his grandmother’s home in Liverpool more than two years ago.
Today, visitors to the site are greeted by a warning from the youngster’s mother. ‘All of John Paul’s pages are being monitored by police intelligence,’ she wrote. ‘Be warned, your computers will be traced and you will be imprisoned just like Colm Coss.’
Unemployed Coss, 38, from Manchester, was jailed for 18 weeks in 2010 for leaving obscene comments on the site. He also preyed on other sites, including one in memory of reality TV star Jade Goody. He said he found it ‘amusing’ and enjoyed the reaction, particularly from ‘more educated people’. Coss was arrested after sending photographs to neighbours describing himself as an ‘internet troll’. He lives in a ground-floor flat in Manchester’s Ardwick district.
Asked if he had any remorse for what he did, he replied: ‘This was two years ago. It’s done and dusted. It’s over. I don’t want to answer any questions whatsoever.’
Sean Duffy is another revered name among ‘trolls’. He persecuted the families of at least four dead youngsters. His stock in trade was defacing photographs of his victims with swastikas. When 15-year-old Natasha MacBryde took her own life by jumping in front of a train on Valentine’s Day 2011, Duffy put her face on a YouTube clip of Thomas the Tank Engine and renamed it ‘Tasha the Tank Engine’.
He had previously doctored a picture of another victim, who died in a car crash, adding the caption: ‘Used car sale, one useless owner.’ Cautioned in 2009, Duffy, who claimed he had Asperger’s syndrome, was jailed for 18 weeks last year. He is banned from Facebook and other social networking sites and has to inform police if he buys a mobile phone with internet access. Duffy, whose father is a writer, used to live just a few miles from his parents’ home in Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire, but has moved away.
As we know, though, not all ‘trolls’ are unemployed loners like Sean Duffy and Colm Coss, or, indeed, are male. Back in South Wales, we caught up with Darren Burton (aka ‘Nimrod Severn’) at the flat he shares with Kirsty Chapman and her children.
Miss Chapman was in, but did not come to the door. Burton admitted to being a ‘troll’ for the past two-and-a-half years, but said that he has stopped. His excuse for targeting memorial sites is one often trotted out by ‘trolls.’ ‘I think grief should be a private thing — I don’t understand why people who have lost someone need to tell everyone about it,’ he said. ‘And I don’t get why people who never knew the person who died feel they want a slice of the action by jumping on a bandwagon. They’re just “grief tourists”. It’s not really me saying those things anyway, it’s another person I become when I go online as Nimrod Severn or whatever name I assume.
‘The online world is not the real world.’ And people, he says, can ‘log off’ if they don’t like what they find.
He flatly denied that Miss Chapman was ‘Percy’. She had ‘trolled’, he admitted, but had never targeted memorial sites.
Last year, however, they were interviewed by a man who has spent the past two years monitoring the activities of ‘trolls’ for a book. The source wanted to include Burton and Chapman and they agreed to speak to him.
The conversation on Skype (that is, a conference call via computer) took place in December and lasted more than an hour. The Mail has a copy of the tape. On it, Burton refers to Miss Chapman as ‘Percy’. He speaks about his feelings for her and reveals how they met.
Interviewer: ‘She [referring to another female troll he spoke to] says Percy is really lovely an’ all.’
Burton: ‘Yeah, sure. I wouldn’t be with her if she wasn’t.’
Interviewer: ‘Did you find love through trolling?’
Miss Chapman also talks about ‘Percy’. At one point, she jokingly asks: ‘What did you think of Percy — did you find him handsome?’
Frank Zimmerman aimed abuse at MP Louise Mensch
There were also a string of admissions from Burton about some of the people he claims they have targeted, including Ayana Colbert, a black teenager from Georgia in the U.S. who killed herself in April 2010. Shortly after her death, a photograph of a black woman, resembling Ayana, hanging from the neck was posted on the internet and captioned: ‘Most Chimps Like to Swing About.’
The racist slur was attributed to Burton (aka ‘Nimrod’) at the time. When questioned about this by the interviewer, Burton says: ‘No, Kirsty’s done that as well.’
Confronted by the Mail, Burton did not deny such a conversation took place, but claimed he and Miss Chapman were ‘winding up’ the interviewer because they knew he had ‘outed trolls’ in the past. Or, as Burton also put it: ‘He [the interviewer} has “f***** everyone else up”, so they “f***** his head up”.’
What was Burton’s justification for his trolling? Ah yes, if the bereaved don’t like what they read on the internet, then they can just ‘log off’. Try telling that to the loved ones of Megan Moore, the 16-year-old who fell under a train. ‘A work colleague told me that Megan’s page had been targeted,’ says Megan’s mother Lorraine, an assistant manager at a pre-school. 'I wanted to look at the page to see what her friends were writing, but I knew that I would find it too traumatic, reading those horrible things. Still, to this day, I have not looked and cannot bring myself to do so. These trolls have to be stopped before they do the same to another family. I cannot understand what motivates them. They cannot ever have lost someone close to them or they would know what we are going through.’
As a mother of three young children, Kirsty Chapman, if she is Percy, should know that better than anyone.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
by Josh Wolford
Than never to have loved at all
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1849
Do you think Lord Tennyson was also talking about loving and losing in the realm of online dating? Based on figures from a recent study by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), we highly doubt it.
According to their new study, the 2011 Internet Crime Report, online “romance scams” cost the lovelorn of the internet over $50 million.
The IC3′s report deals with all kinds of fraud across the interwebs, as they pull from the hundreds of thousands of individual complaints they receive each year. In 2011 alone, IC3 received 314,246 complaints totaling a total loss by victims of $485 million+. That’s around $1,500 in losses reported per complaint. Out of those 314,000+ complaints, 5,600 were of the “romance scam” variety.
What qualifies as a “romance scam” you might ask? Basically, any monetary manipulation using any available internet channel to deceive people with promises of false love. Man, that’s cold.
Victims believe they are “dating” someone decent and honest. However, the online contact is often a criminal with a well-rehearsed script that scammers use repeatedly and successfully. Scammers search chat rooms, dating sites, and social networking sites looking for victims. Although the principal group of victims is over 40 years old, divorced or widowed, disabled and often elderly, all demographics are at risk
Per the IC3′s breakdown, the complaints were made on a visible gender bias. Nearly 4,000 of the 5,600 complaints were from women. The hardest hit group was women between the ages of 40 and 59, who filed 2,656 of the complaints. All in all (men and women), the exact number the IC3 put on the damages was $50,399,563. That’s a lot of fraudulent internet wining, dining, and screwing over.
The Internet Crime Report talks about other common schemes like Auto-action fraud, work-from-home scams, and FBI impersonation email scams – but romance scams stick out. That’s because the average reported loss per victim was higher – $8,900 or $138,000 a day. Love hurts.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
(U.S.A.) Grand Forks police say a North Dakota woman has been bilked out of at least $20,000 in a romance scam.
Detective Mike Flannery tells KNOX radio that the 72-year-old woman thought she was wiring money to a male friend overseas. The con man told her he needed the cash to come to the U.S.
After receiving the money, he requested another $50,000 to help his ailing mother in Nigeria before relocating to North Dakota.
Flannery says there's a chance the woman's bank will be able to stop the second transaction to limit the woman's loss to $20,000.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center estimates romance scams netted some $50 million in 2011.
WHAT IS A PLAYER?
There are many different (and overlapping) types, but if any of these sound familiar to you, "red flag" them.
The Guilt Trip Player - If you don't fall for his MO which he has worked so hard on, then he will throw a temper tantrum. You will probably receive an e-mail from a supposed friend/relative informing you he committed suicide, implying it was over you of course. Then this friend/relative will keep contact with you for weeks to come with details of the funeral and how devastated the family is etc. Or you will be told he was in some terrible accident and is dying (and you are supposed to feel very guilty about how you treated him. (Shame on you! LOL)
Married - The most common type of Player is without doubt the "married" one, but who never tells you he is married. "red flags" to look for - won't give you his home phone number only his mobile, won't give you his address, or can only chat to you during the day ("red flag") is talking to you from work rather than from home.
Married, but - 'wife neglects me, no sex life left' , etc. "red flag" in most cases the only type of relationship you will have will be a "dead end" one full of lies.
Mr. Blowhard - definitely a "red flag" - all he wants is an audience to listen to and believe his bogus stories of danger and bravery, or he has a promising career, brilliant future etc., but all snatched away from him due to an accident or serious injury. He needs your sympathy, and when you get tired of listening, he'll just move on to find a new audience.
Hit & Run Player - another "red flag" usually the younger guys just practicing or fine tuning their chat up lines. You will probably receive love poems, links to the most romantic places on the net etc. Very easy to believe they really love only YOU.
Body Surfers - These guys are easy to spot. The broach the subject of sex early in the relationship. - They are only looking for sex … phone sex, cyber sex, pictures, videos or real sex.
The Globe Trotter - Single/married players who travel for a living. They usually have a laptop as well as access to computer at home/work. They are looking to find women who live "on their appointed rounds" (easy to find doing an advanced search of profiles). Some of these guys go so far as to "say" they have big jobs like working for a millionaire or celebrity, they are in the FBI or CIA, etc. They then IM or e-mail you saying they are intrigued by your profile etc., and how much in common you seem to have. After they have you chatting a few times amazingly they will happen to be in your area next week and could they come and see you. Once hooked they can add you to their visiting list (saves spending lonely nights in an hotel!!).
Mr. Big - They usually own their own business (they use that as "bait" which we are meant to translate as "I'm a good catch". Or they may let it slip early in the relationship that they own their own business, or they claim to be a lawyer, a doctor or other highly-paid professional. Now think about it. The same as us women, men want to be loved for themselves, NOT their assets so this man needs a "red flag" too. Can you really believe that a real Professional man would have the time to hang around in chat rooms.
The Sympathy Dog - He gives you a long sob story and then everyday there is a new crisis in his life. All he wants from you are daily "pity parties" - just don't fall for it.
Then we get onto the more serious Players, the real Con men who can cause you enormous emotional distress, harassment and stalking:
The Control Freak - He will also have a sob story and use your sympathy to manipulate you to get his own way. Stories you might hear - has a bad heart condition, or needs a kidney transplant, has cancer but it's in remission. These supposed afflictions are for the purpose of "control" .. whenever you step out of line, the following reaction will occur: you added to his depression and he's feeling suicidal, he starts getting chest pains, he has to go on dialysis, the cancer comes out of remission. Using your feelings of guilt, he will quickly have you back under his thumb again.
The Freeloaders - This type of player is looking for financial support. He will woo you and then suggest something like "I love you too much to take you away from your family and friends, but I am prepared to move nearer to you." "Could I stay with you for a bit to check out the housing situation/job situation etc.". Big "red flag" comes to stay with you, has no money, alcoholic, drug addict says he'll change if you will just stick by him, help him out for a bit financially. Once in your home - you will have a real job to get him out again.
The Cyberpaths (Online Sociopaths) - These are the worse of the bunch... This type always looks for the easy to bait, vulnerable women, widows, newly divorced, women recovering from a recent heartbreak etc. They lurk, using different screen names, in the widows, classmates.com, divorced, Al-Anon or mature chat rooms (40's, 50's 60's) They start out romancing you like a player does, but it's for an ulterior motive; they become obsessive and then they become the online harasser, the stalker... or worse.
Also a Cyberpath, the Emotional Hitchhiker - They generally look for their "sheep" in rooms that involve emotional support -- widows & widowers, divorced, disabled, abused etc. (really sensitive & vulnerable people). They will start out as being this great and wonderful guy who has also been widowed or divorced and is in a lot of emotional pain. They will use two different screen names (pretending to be two different people) - one who is a man falling in love with you: the other, a man who just wants your friendship. After they have you madly in love with them, then they will fake their own death. You will receive an e-mail from a family member or friend informing you he: died in a car accident, sudden heart attack etc. Then, using their other screen name, they will hear first hand of your reaction: hear all you grief and complete devastation, getting a complete "high" from your emotions. OR they may tell you they just found out they have cancer, terminal - of course and drag it out for six months or se, getting daily "highs" from your sympathies and your heartbreak. When the "highs" start to falter, then you will receive notice of their "very painful" death.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Our exposed cyberpath (and attention whore) Doug Beckstead appears on the Travel Channel show HIDDEN CITY in the Anchorage, Alaska episode.
Marcus and researcher Doug Beckstead visit the final resting place of Anchorage’s first police chief John J. Sturgus at this historic cemetery.
535 East 9th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501
Check your local listings for the TRAVEL CHANNEL
For our expose on Beckstead CLICK HERE
More on Beckstead CLICK HERE
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Other Abusive Relationships
by Madeleine Landau Tobias, Janja Lalich, Michael Langone
From Library Journal:
"Tobias and Lalich spent a combined total of 24 years in "restrictive groups" (i.e., cults), and both are currently involved in providing post-cult counseling and therapy. Their first collaboration, this book succeeds as an ambitious, comprehensive explanation of the cult experience and works well on several levels. Its stated focal intent is to encourage and assist those former cultists struggling to readjust to the "real world." Powered by the authors' experience, compassion, and intellect, it capably provides such support. In addition, however, Tobias and Lalich's systematic analysis of the shared characteristics of cults and cult leaders, along with extensive first-person accounts by former cultists, will educate those readers with a purely intellectual interest in the allure, power, and structure of cults."
**Good for targets of cyberpaths**
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Maheu and Subotnik (2001) explain that the Internet provides an escape in the form of cybersex and so-called "virtual infidelity" to millions of people who do not know how to improve their difficult or unsatisfying relationships or whose religious beliefs do not permit divorce.
"They may find themselves financially, geographically or emotionally stuck. Whatever their reasons, they seem to be hungering for easy access to companionship and sex"The Internet has made it fast and easy to find and connect with others, and it's the ideal medium for secretive relationships. For those who seek it, infidelity is just a few clicks away.
"Cyber-infidelity occurs when a partner in a committed relationship uses the computer or the Internet to violate promises, vows or agreements concerning his or her sexual exclusivity" (Maheu and Subotnik, 2001, p. 10).Glass highlights the following three key characteristics of a relationship that crosses the line from harmless platonic friendship to deeper emotional attachment and infidelty:
"Beware of the lure of the Internet" where "affairs develop quickly" and inhibitions are instantly lowered and infidelity seems "innocent."
"1) greater emotional intimacy than in the marital relationship,
2) secrecy and deception from the spouse, and
3) sexual chemistry."
Extramarital involvements based on a deep emotional bond can be as painful for the betrayed spouse as a sexual infidelity. However, experts generally agree that affairs that include both extramarital infidelity and a meaningful emotional bond are the most disruptive.
Friday, May 18, 2012
This is undoubtedly one case where there ought to be a law. Society must catch up to the malevolence all too prevalent on the Internet. Some should be deemed criminal.
The case in point: Drew and Joyce Kesse have been living a parent’s worst nightmare for the past four years — the unsolved abduction of their 24-year-old daughter, Jennifer, in Orlando. The Bradenton couple’s efforts to secure information about their daughter’s disappearance includes an Internet site stocked with images, appearances on national television and other publicity.
Their determined and admirable efforts have generated a great deal of sympathy, encouragement and leads, especially in postings on the Web at www.jennifer kesse.com.
Compounding their anguish, though, are the miscreants and parasites who exhibit twisted behavior and threatening comments via the Internet — all beyond the pale. “Weird crap,” Drew Kesse told Herald reporter Beth Burger for an in-depth article Sunday on the fourth anniversary of Jennifer’s kidnapping.
One lowlife attempted to extort millions, maintaining he held her for ransom. Another even claimed to have killed her along with more than a dozen others in a YouTube video.
But the veiled threats from one person — posted across some 100 pages on the family’s Web site — are deeply disturbing.
Plus, someone left threatening phone messages, one stating: “You’re gonna pay.” With some detective work by a Webmaster and prosecutors, the Kesses discovered the source of the phone calls matched the residence of the threatening poster’s computer.
Unfortunately, the Kesses have discovered that as abhorrent as all this is, criminal it is not.
The Manatee County Circuit Court declined to grant the family an injunction in the case, ruling the perpetrator’s identity had not been proven and the threat was not credible enough by legal standards.
Florida lacks a law against menacing threats delivered via electronic media. The state’s cyber stalking law requires threats be credible, which means the comments must be explicit about personal harm or death and the perpetrator must have the means to execute the threat.
Apparently, the Kesses’ tormentor has not quite crossed that line. In addition, proving who’s working the keyboard beyond a reasonable doubt is difficult without witness cooperation or a confession.
Come March when the regular session of the state Legislature convenes, lawmakers will be met by a bill that makes online written communication with threats of bodily harm or death a second-degree felony. That would cover e-mail, social networking sites like Facebook and postings on sites such as www.jenniferkesse.com.
In Burger’s report, Bradenton criminal defense attorney Mark Lipinski advocated the legislation include menacing communication as well — which would then cover the Kesses’ case.
Nobody should have to endure that kind of endless and senseless harassment. Florida law needs to catch up to technology and provide protections from these kinds of online threats, which should be considered terrorism of a sort.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Police spokesman Sam Clemens says 20-year-old Jose Sanchez allegedly tied up the 18-year-old woman with a belt and electrical wire and then beat her for about 20 minutes before she persuaded him to take her to a hospital.
A judge set bond for Sanchez at $10,000 on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and interference with emergency communications.
A home telephone listing for Sanchez was disconnected on Wednesday.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
By Declan Harvey
The government's top legal adviser has issued a new warning over abusive tweets and Facebook posts.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve said users should be aware of how easy it can be to break the law. But he said the government didn't need to introduce new laws because existing ones already make it illegal to "grossly offend" or "cause distress".
It comes after 21-year old Liam Stacey was jailed for mocking footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter.
Dominic Grieve said: "If somebody goes down to the pub with printed sheets of paper and hands it out, that's no different than if somebody goes and does a tweet. The idea that you have immunity because you're an anonymous tweeter is a big mistake. If necessary we will take action. I don't want to take action but if I think it is necessary to prevent crime, such as racially aggravated harassment, then I won't hesitate to do it."
He says they are leading the way internationally when tackling it.
"The warning is this," he said. "We fight for people's rights in order to make free comment. But with that comes a responsibility to act within the law".
Mr Hyde also said they could quite easily trace owners of online accounts even if they had been closed.
Sarah, 21, is a student at Pontypridd in south Wales and thinks schools should teach children about the risks. She said: "You don't really know much about what you can and can't say, so you don't know what's a case you can report and what's not. So until you know that, you're not going to report anyone."
In a statement Facebook said: "Facebook is a safe and positive platform for people to share things with the people who matter to them. On the rare occasions when people come across content or behaviour which makes them uncomfortable, there are reporting tools on almost every page of the site.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Dear Martyr Man,
You will always be the victim, in every situation where someone tries to get close to you. You cannot relate to women as equals. You look for a strong-willed woman, latch on to her, but envy her strength and ability to express herself openly, so you attack her in vicious little ways. Ways so subtle that you can easily and convincingly deny any wrongdoing and make HER look like the crazy one for even suspecting that you are a passive-aggressive game player.
You played similar games with women before, and this was a chief motivator for their anger and "abuse" towards you. If they struck you physically, that was not right, but when you paint yourself as a martyr, you *always* fail to mention the emotional and psychological abuse you were inflicting on THEM.That's right, Martyr. You are an abuser. You. Poor little cringing, eternally victimized you.
"But abusers scream, yell and hit, and I never do that!" you protest. "I'm not that way at all. I don't have the anger gene. I am completely incapable of anger." What you are incapable of is the truth. But I am capable of the truth and here it is.
You ARE capable of anger. In fact, you are a very angry person, as your father before you must have also been - he is clearly the one upon whom you have modeled your behavior. Like him, you were too intimidated by other people to express your anger openly, so you nursed your rage in secret and struck out instead in subtle little ways. If you were asked to do something, you made sure you "forgot" repeatedly or did a poor job. You no doubt carry this behavior on in your work and it is the reason most of the other employees don't like you. People tend not to like someone who does not do his share of the work and is sullen and resistant to new ideas. They are probably tired of your constant subterfuge and backstabbing. No doubt you also play the divide-and-conquer game, playing people off against one another.
You haven't said much about your mother, but I'll make a few educated guesses. She was a strong-willed woman who dominated you and your father, and you both resented it, but neither of you ever told her so directly. Neither of you had the courage to assert yourselves openly. So you both "got even" with her by lying, false promises, "forgetting" or otherwise sabotaging things she asked you to do, and/or withholding your attention and love.
Your mother was a model for how you view women today. As I have previously said, you go after women with strong, assertive personalities, because they fit your mother's model and because you admire them for the qualities that you yourself lack. However, you also hate them because they are strong and you are weak. Because you cannot assert yourself openly, you play psychological games designed to break them down, subvert their will, and subtly - invisibly - assert YOUR control.
That's right, Martyr Man. You want control. You are not able to control yourself and so you are controlled by others - but you resent it. So you get a feeling of control by manipulating situations with a deft, invisible hand. You "forget" that a woman asked you to do something. You "forget" NOT to do something she finds hurtful or disrespectful.
You remember to do the things YOU enjoy and want to do, and your friends think you're a great guy - the kind of guy who would do anything for his friends! (Of course you would - your reputation depends on maintaining an appearance of kindness and willingness, and anyone who doesn't know you WELL would say what a nice guy you are - you would do anything to maintain that image).... If she does something you REALLY don't like, such as attempt to leave you, you hint around at suicide and disappear, leaving her to agonize for days over your fate. Really, you're off hanging out with your buddies and drinking and having fun, but she doesn't need to know that, does she?
No doubt she has noticed the fact that after your initial, highly romantic and complimentary approach, you do a complete about-face once she's "hooked" - like Jerkily and Hyde. Once she's in a relationship with you, the kind and gentle and loving courtship behavior ceases, and the passive-aggressive battle begins. First, you begin by slowly and subtly creating distance between you - by spending less time with her every day (always her fault, because of something SHE did...) withholding your attention and affection, making sure she gets the message that your friends, your other interests, EVERYTHING else are more important to you than the person you called the love of your life. When she challenges you about this behavior, you deny it, and make her out to be irrational and crazy for even suspecting it. After all, the success of a passive-aggressive campaign depends on secrecy and camouflage.
You lie easily, leaving out little details like a wife you haven't yet legally severed ties to, and children that you almost never see. You haven't got a divorce, and you won't, because even though you hate your wife, you feel chained to her. You are dependent on her. It's a parasitic relationship.... I haven't the faintest doubt you have cheated on her many times and lied to her many times, and that was the real cause of the attack that so wounded you emotionally. You brought it on yourself, but you won't admit that part.
... Yet, you still cling to this desperate delusion that you are incapable of anger.
That's a lie, Mr. Martyr. One of many.
Lies undermine the trust that is vital to all relationships. But you don't care about that as long as you can feel in control. Even when control comes at the expense of love, and that is sad.
Nobody can get close to you, Martyr Man. You'll let them within a certain distance, but then you are frightened by intimacy and of your will being sublimated to another's because deep down inside you know you are not strong enough to assert your own will openly and directly.... You wither under direct confrontation, but when you are able to operate undetected, you are a cruel and effective bully.
Games You Play:
1. The forgetting game:
You are asked to do something you don't want to do. Instead of saying no, you either "forget" about it or sabotage it so badly that the results are useless. You enjoy the frustration this causes others - this is your sneaky way of asserting yourself and controlling the situation from behind the scenes.
2. The withholding game:
Once in a relationship with someone, you begin to selectively withhold your time and affection. The other person senses this pulling away and asks about it. You deny it. But you let them know, indirectly, that many other things are more important to you than they are - your friends, your work, your opera DVDs. You let them know this by leaving their company to pursue these interests without telling them you are doing so.
You enjoy the feeling of being in control, knowing you have falsely promised someone your attention later in the evening and knowing you have no intention of fulfilling that promise. You will "forget" to come back, and enjoy your evening alone knowing you are ruining someone else's. When the person confronts you about this treatment, you will act put out at the suggestion that your actions should live up to your words. You just can't remember to keep your promises!
(How many times did your Cyberpaths say "BRB" or "meet you online tonight" or even promise to meet you in person - AND NEVER COME BACK OR SHOW UP?)
.... You know full well that this the way you like your partner to feel - that way she will be more dependent on you, desperate for your attention, and under your control.
3. The lying game:
Lies roll smoothly off your tongue whenever you are confronted about your behavior and/or something you failed to mention about your past, such as being currently married and the father of two children (now that is a big thing to "forget", even if you alienated them so badly that they don't want to spend any time with you any more). Lying by omission is lying, pure and simple. But you didn't lie on purpose, you claim. No, you just forgot, or your emotional pain was so great that you just couldn't bear to tell the truth!
4. The deflecting game:
Partner becoming suspicious of your lies? No matter, just deflect the attention! Change the subject, wander off, or start ruthlessly (and falsely) putting yourself down so that she won't have the heart to be "mean" enough to pursue the matter any further. If she persists, then you play:
5. The martyr game:
This is your favorite game of all. This game allows you to escape responsibility for anything and everything by invoking your status as the most misunderstood, mistreated, helpless and victimized martyr who ever walked the earth. Nobody understands you or your pain! Don't they see that being a victim completely justifies the way you turn around and become a victimizer at will? Nobody could ever suspect poor little abused, tormented you of torpedoing relationships. (Did yours say their partner, spouse, employer or others "didn't understand them the way" you did? )
Nobody could expect such an innocent little lamb of deliberately causing emotional and psychological damage to others. Why, look at the way he cries and curls up into a helpless little ball when confronted (and when the lying and deflecting games don't work)! He could never harm ANYONE.
... The Martyr has no pity or compassion for anyone else, since he saves it all for himself.
6. The superior game:
Unlike all the other people on Earth, you're incapable of anger. You're a regular Gandhi, full of kindness and respect for all, and it's such a tragedy that other people feel the need to get angry at you. You'd never push someone's buttons until they responded in anger and then deny any wrongdoing, setting them up to look like the emotional, crazy one. You'd never get satisfaction out of a nasty little game like that, because you're too superior.
You're also superior to the rest of the world culturally - nobody is as sensitive and artistic as you, and nobody appreciates your kind of music, or appreciates it at such a lofty level. You especially love to pull this routine after you've seriously pissed somebody off. You respond with calm politeness - calm of course, since you have got the angry/upset reaction you were aiming for - and double-whammy the person by showing them how YOU never get angry because you are too superior a person to be capable of anger. (Check out how one of our Cyberpaths DENIED they 'hate' the person who told the truth about them only to go after them online, relentlessly? Did yours do this to you?)
...No wonder you're so angry at being unmasked publicly. Your games depend on your victim not knowing what's going on.
You are not interested in confronting your problems or getting any help for them. You'd rather just float through life like a spineless jellyfish, stinging anyone who ventures too near. Your behavior patterns are firmly entrenched and you are too old to change.
You like to drive women away - like to get them so fed up that they leave. That feeds your sickness in a number of ways:
* it takes the burden of decision-making off of YOU;
* it enables you to play the martyr over being left by this cruel, horrible woman;
* it gets you sympathy from your next prospect.
You like hurting other people and you have no intention of changing.
And don't bother with the "I'm a wonderful sensitive human being who would never cause anyone harm; you've misunderstood me".
Oh no. I have not. I have understood you at last.
I understand now how you messed with my mind and made me even fear for my own sanity, how you exploited me emotionally, how you hurt me to the point where I actually felt suicidal.
..... It's called PROJECTION. It's what YOU would do in such a situation, so you project your own screwed up motives onto others.
For someone who is "so wounded, so sensitive, so compassionate, so victimized, so gentle" - your letters bristle with anger, threats, and nastiness. I thought you were incapable of such things, Gandhi.
And you sure are lacking in any compassion at all for the women you've tormented - you have none for your wife and you have none for me. And no doubt you'll have none for your next victim.
You chose your life, and you choose to be this way. You choose it every day. You could change, and learn to be a person of truth, strength and integrity, but you choose not to. It's easier to sit in your sh*t and cry about how you are victimized while you are busy victimizing others.
This is the life you've chosen. You have chosen to be unhappy, and to inflict unhappiness on others.
(Does this sound like your cyberpath/abuser? - Fighter)