The internet is a dangerous place, we could ask Brian Barrett of New York State. No wait, we can’t, he was murdered over an online relationship recently. The 22 year old college student and little league coach, was shot to death. A coworker was charged with the murder. Apparently Thomas Montgomery 47, was jealous of an online relationship, Barrett was having.
This would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Montgomery had told an woman online that he was an 18 year old Marine on the way to Iraq. The woman who is a middle aged woman in West Virginia, told him she was 18. This wench then started sending pictures of her daughter claiming they were of her.
Montgomery’s wife found out and let the woman know his real age. The woman still kept sending gifts and pictures. Somehow Barrett got involved online with the woman as well. Montgomery shot him 3 times with a .30 caliber rifle in the parking lot of their workplace. He laid there for 2 days before his body was discovered.
You never really know who you are talking to online. I don’t care how many pictures you get, they may not be of that person. People sit in these chat rooms and talk for months or maybe years. You think you know them, but you don’t. You know the persona they portray online.
I have a personal experience as a case in point. This happened to be when I was a novice to the internet back in the mid 1990’s. I was playing an online game called cashwars a lot. Basically people on teams would “fight” other teams or people, attacking their bases. I was part of a big team that had a leadership fight and split up.
I went with the original leaders who started a new team. Well the guy who led the ones who stayed in the original team was nuts. We were supposedly playing for money (I never got paid anything) so he played for keeps. I was lax with my passwords and personal information and he hacked my hotmail address.
He also got a player on his team to befriend me. She lives in the same state as me but about 2 hours away. Now she didn’t pretend any romance and I didn’t either we just chatted. I let slip that I bowled on a certain night. Without asking me or telling me, she shows up at the bowling alley. She goes around asking people till she found me.
Frankly she was weird as hell and it scared me a bit. Her reason for showing up was “To make up her mind” about me. Then she would decide whose team to be on. I explained to her that it was just a game on the internet, not real life. She couldn’t tell the difference. I went around armed for 6 months in case she was really crazy. She just was weird though and she never stalked me again. But she could have.
Everyone knows kids are in danger on the net. You need to stress to them not to give out any personal information. And check up on them. Now this is dishonest but we are talking about your kids’ safety. You can have programs installed on your computer that lets you know everything they type.
I recently heard a lady call into a radio show. She had been at work pretending to be a teen and chatting with her daughter, just to see what she said about stuff. The daughter was 13 or 14. The mom sitting at work gets a message from her daughter. Seems like her boyfriend was coming over and they were going to”do it” mom calls dad who gets there in time. Now this isn’t the same as a really dangerous person coming to her home, but it could have been, instead of some little teen age punk.
But to sum this up you really need to keep your personal information personal. You never know who if the Internet is a dangerous place until something happens to you. And if you do have the urge to meet someone you know from online, then do it in a public place. Meet them in a crowded place and make sure people notice you there with them. I recommend meeting at a mall. Go and buy something on your credit card. This way when they kill you, the cops can trace the card to where you used it last. Maybe then they can catch them.