Sometimes I get these dumb e-mails that tell me I've won a million dollars or pounds or something. I delete those without thinking.
Sometimes I get e-mails that have a sob story (many time with Christian nuances) asking me to help them by sending money. Sorry. I delete those too.
Last night I got an e-mail from a friend. Someone I've met through the Internet but have personal connections to. Someone I feel close to but have never met face to face (but Leiya has!) Someone who would not send me an e-mail like the one sent.
"Sorry I didn't let you know but I am in Wales and have been robbed at gunpoint and lost everything... I will like you to assist us by sending $1800... I promise we will pay you back as soon as I return... Reply asap."
And the e-mail was "signed" with my friend's name.
First off, my friend wouldn't come to me (except for prayers) if she were in trouble. She has closer family and friends nearby. Second she isn't the type of person to ask for money either. Third, the e-mail was filled with grammatical mistakes. My friend is an amateur journalist. So I knew right away that something was off.
But off or not... I don't really have money to send even to family members let alone friends so I wondered how and if I should find out if my friend was in trouble. Even if she was, I'm not going to be able to help.
I checked the e-mail address against past e-mails that we've exchanged and yes, it was the same. Well, then I'm not sending my friend an e-mail asking if this was really her or telling her that something was fishy. I don't even have a telephone number to call. I finally figured out that Leiya could get through to her on Facebook and there was a message there that some jerk has been phishing from her Yahoo account. (New word for me. I didn't know such things existed.) So my friend is fine. I asked Leiya to let her know on Facebook that I wouldn't have any way to contact her until she changed her e-mail address... Obviously I'm not using her current address.
I somehow feel soiled. For awhile I was thinking that maybe it was MY account that had been usurped... But even finding out that all this strangeness isn't coming from me, I feel bad for my friend and for the blogging and e-mail world in general. Most of you are my friends but not that I've met or chatted with on the phone or have anyway of confirming your identity or vice versa. Still, we trust each other right?
Well, I'm saying clearly here. While I might ask you to send me a quilt block or supply me with a pattern that's as far as I'd go in requesting aid...
The only good thing is that I have a better appreciation for Facebook which I've never understood up until now...