Investigate before Adding a Facebook Friend

Do your own investigations before you accept invitations from just anyone on social media.

Consider: A person you do not know in your personal daily life, wants to be your friend in a virtual computer world; wants to talk online a little, and then wants to meet in person? Yes, sure, there will be people who innocently like to add as many friends as they can just for the perceived popularity aspect. There will also be timid people who can voice their expressions far greater in writing than through speech and enjoy the online relationships without the face to face stress of it all. Even knowing those things, is it worth adding a completely unknown person on Facebook or other social media?

There have been many cases where criminal charges ensued against stalkers and pedophiles for murder, rape, child sex offenses, kidnap, assault, and the like. You ask, from innocent little Facebook?….and you might even laugh it off, because the notion of Facebook being a conduit for criminal activities is doubtful. Let’s just look at one random situation in the news regarding Facebook. In September 2009, Ashleigh Hall was apparently ‘groomed’ by a man named Peter Chapman aka Peter Cartwright after posing as a handsome teenager in front of the seventeen- year old trainee nurse on Facebook. He set up a trap by enticing her with a series of messages that provoked Ashley to come over to meet him. What followed were an initial few moments of confusion as Ashley met Chapman and asked him why he did not look like his photos, to which he replied that he was Peter’s father. He drove Ashley to a remote area called Thorpe Larches, in County Durham. Chapman, 35, got her out and forced her to perform sexual acts before gagging her with a duct tape and tying her up, after which she suffocated. Her body was dumped in a ditch and he drove off. After the police investigation, Chapman was taken and sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison for kidnap, rape and murder. All initiated by a seemingly unsuspicious online encounter.
This was just one of many cases that Facebook has (almost one every 40 minutes, according to The Daily Mail UK). This is an extremely easy medium that ill minded human beings can access and use to commit crimes. Their anonymous and powerful tool is called social media. There are more incidents of groomings and killings everyday (approx. 12,300 incidents are linked to Facebook so far). Even the most secure form of social media is vulnerable to be used for attacks from criminals.

If you or your children are unsure of certain online interactions, conversations, activities, etc, you can always hire a private investigator to check things out for you before going too far. A very large percentage of the online claims people make are untrue. Sometimes people are not who they say they are at all. They seek relationships but provide completely fake information. An investigator can confirm or deny those claims and it could save someone’s life.