It was timely that I stumbled upon this post. A couple of weeks ago, an old classmate of mine chatted with me on Facebook. He said he had been “trapped in London”, and needed money to get home because he and his family had been “robbed at gunpoint”. Needless to say, this didn’t seem right at the time, although I was more than willing in the chat to offer local help (i.e., have friends in England contact him) and local aid (not money). There was a number of problems with the chat :
- This guy and I hadn’t talked in years. There were many other people this guy would have contacted before me.
- Robbed at gunpoint? In London? I don’t think so.
The person then changed his Facebook status to say he needed help urgently (to which his closer friends immediately replied “how can we help?”, etc.). I promptly commented on his status to say I thought the account may have been compromised (“Would the real first name lastname please stand up?”). I was promptly un-“friended” to remove the comment. I chatted with another classmate, who said he’d gotten the same chat from the same individual. I then tracked down the real guy, and indeed, he was desperately trying to get Facebook to shut down the account.