Brushy Creek Journal
Friday September 16, 2016
Partly Cloudy 92°F/33°C in Cedar Park, Texas 78613
Thundershowers 82°F/28°C in Roma, Lazio, Italia 00128
Deep down in my Facebook Profile there must be something that screams out Senior
white male, divorced, lives alone with companion animal.
Interested in meeting attractive young lady of diverse ethnicity. Well
traveled, interesting career background, independent means! Now as anyone who visits my profile page can
attest, that’s not what I wrote. I am NOT looking to get married again (Been
there, done that – TWICE!), or even thinking about embarking on a deep and meaningful relationship!. And
yet, occasionally, I will see a pretty face in my inbox with a request to be on
her Friends List on Facebook or
Twitter or Google Plus etc. The pretty face that I’m talking about in this blog
has appeared in my Friends inbox any
number of times, always under a different name.
|My New "Friend!"|
Deep down, I am hoping to grow my list of followers for my Blog (MikeBotula.blogspot.com) and my web site, and the other social media venues. I’m also working to encourage my Friends to buy my new book, LST 920: Charlie Botula’s Long, Slow Target! Published by Amazon Books, it’s being sold by Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Booktopia (In Australia). Like the radio and TV broadcaster that I used to be, now that I’m a writer, I’d like to build my new audience – people who love to read!
Facebook and the social media also enables me to stay in touch with my friends from my lifetime of wanderings. Being new to Texas, I am embarked, once again on restarting my life. Which means that I have started all over again finding a place to live followed by: a grocery store, a doctor and dentist, a gas station, some places to walk Lola, my poodle, and some new friends to hang out with. It takes time to put down roots. I know. I’ve done it a dozen times! Sometimes, I plan this. Other times, life happens. (Catch my drift?).
So then. Back to my personal observation that you do meet some very interesting people on Facebook. I’m also aware of the fact that there are some hustler types out there on social media trying to entice others with promises of wealth and passion beyond description. Most of these folks seem to be based in West Africa. (NOW, you’re catching on). And they are definitely not old high school chums who are trying to reconnect. I think that’s the case with the young lady who has sent me numerous Friend Requests, each time using a different name. I’ve gotten requests with the same face attached, albeit with different poses from this same woman calling herself variously: Better May, Anita Better May, Crystal Sureline, Hamdiya Mun, Suzzy Williams, Vonica Herry and, the list goes on.
My friends in law enforcement (and believe me, as the former News Secretary for the
|As "Crystal Sureline!"|
First of all, don’t reflexively accept the Friend Request! Check the person out first. I usually look at the list of mutual friends. Then I click on the sender’s Facebook page and check out their Friends list, the About section, and the Check-ins. If the wannabe friend was born in Texas, but now lives in Accra, Ghana, keep moving. If there is very little or no
information on the person’s page, I pass. I also don’t even bother
with requests where there is not even a profile picture. Some FB fans may
assume that they are protecting their privacy, but most likely there is is No There There! Kapisch? Frequently, the
evildoers will resort to hacking someone’s Facebook page, and steal the real
owner’s Profile picture. So when you get a message from your friend that asks, Have you heard the good news? Or have you gotten your federal grant yet? Call
your friend or private email them and let them know they’ve been hacked. And,
the first time they ask you for money so a doctor can treat them for Malaria,
or make a donation to their church, or they are trying to scrape the money
together for funeral expenses for their late mother in Mali, pull the plug!
They’ve got a “live one” and you are headed to the poor house.
|As "Sandi Tomsen!"|
Use your internet tools to help you check out your new friends. I am a serial Google-er! I also subscribed to a background check service called Been Verified! Nothing like it if you want to know if the guy who’s asked your youngest daughter out on a date has any drunk driving arrests. A lot of these resources are well known to old newsguys like me, but, even so, we occasionally wind up on the losing side of this game ourselves. But, I’ll save those stories for another blog.
Let’s get back to Better May, Anita Better May, Crystal Sureline, Hamdiya Mun, Suzzy Williams, Vonica Herry et al for just a moment, because I think I finally know who she is. And I owe my discovery to a combination of Google and my own dumb luck. A few days ago I got a Friend Request from a lady calling herself Sandi Tomsen. Ms. Tomsen looked familiar, so I dug a little further. Sure enough, Sandi Tomsen was also Better May, Anita Better May, Crystal Sureline, Hamdiya Mun, Suzzy Williams, and Vonica Herry! Oh Joy! My mystery beauty has crossed my path yet again. Before I responded, I copied her photo onto my Females on Facebook File to join another couple of dozens of JPEGs of the same lady striking different poses under different names. (Hmmmm! I wonder if the real people behind this little deal knew that their “Star” would wind up in a blog on internet scams?) Then…..and here’s the dumb luck part…. I right-clicked on the photo and clicked again on the Search for this image on Google option. Bingo! Up came yet another name! Same pretty girl, but now she was Aria Giovanni – an adult actress and model with her own web site and live chat room. Hmmm! The mystery continues. All I have to show for my research efforts is a string of phony names and a lot of pictures of the same pretty girl.
What I did learn from this experience is how to better protect oneself from people of ill-intentions on the internet. I’m still learning how to take advantage of search engines like Google. For instance, if your new Facebook friend sends you a love note or poem that
makes your heartstrings quiver, do this. Highlight and
copy the text. Then paste it into the search engine. It will work like that
anti-plagiarism software used by colleges and universities. Bang! Zoom! You’ll find out in a
heartbeat whether the Flirty-Gertie on
the other side is the original author or copying Lord Tennyson or Shakespeare.
And now I know the same thing works for photos. I tried it on one of my own
pictures, and it responded with the words Senior
Citizen. True enough, but a little short of the mark.
|Actress Aria Giovanni|
So, after all that, I’m no closer to a meaningful friendship with my wannabe Facebook Friend than I was when I first got a Friend Request from Better May/Anita Better
[Mike Botula is the author of the wannabe best-seller LST 920: Charlie Botula’s Long, Slow Target! (Amazon Books) MikeBo’s Blog is a wholly owned subsidiary of his web site www.mikebotula.com , and is linkedto Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus!]
© By Mike Botula 2016