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Kinsa

UPDATED AGAIN: UPDATED: What would you think if you read this on your 15yo son's phone?

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:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

Additionally, it's not like she posted her son's name, address, and a recent photo. :glare:

 

I'm glad she posted about this. I would guess that she was alarmed when she saw the texts, but was wondering if she was being paranoid. Why shouldn't she be able to post here and bounce some ideas off her fellow forum members before she decided how to proceed and how to speak with her ds about it?

 

Her ds didn't text the "girl" anything embarrassing, humiliating, or dirty, so I don't understand the uproar over his privacy. Absolutely no identifying details were posted.

 

I think the boy's safety trumps a very minor infringement of his privacy in this case. His mom was concerned and she wanted to see what others thought about it. I see nothing wrong with that.

 

 

I would consider this in no way a right to privacy thing that her son has. She didn't post anything her son said and like many others I wouldn't know about the catfishing thing. I would have no idea it was a common thing.

 

Think of it this way, Kinsa could have said:

 

My son is getting these really strange texts from a girl that lives in Montana. She said her mom bought her a plane ticket but then wouldn't let her come when her grades were poor and then her sister texted saying the girl was in the hospital.

 

That wouldn't have given us the same information that the text of the orginal texts did and it would have been a lot harder to figure out. I have a feeling most of us would have read that and thought. Silly 15 year old with silly teenage problems.

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I agree with those who think this is a scam and a dangerous situation. However, I would tread lightly with your son. You don't know how deep he is in with this. If you come out guns a blazing he could go on the defense and fire back with something like, "Mom, I love her. You don't understand. She loves me and we ARE going to be together." Then you have to worry about him fleeing to the "girl." But you do have to nip this in the bud. Good luck. I don't envy you right now. :(

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I'm glad you posted particularly since it turns out some parents aren't aware of these scams. This is a whole new scary area of fraud and bullying. Here's another article where the FBI is warning about some of the blackmail that teens are going through.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/worried-about-sextortion-fbi-shares-cautionary-tale-1B8287395

 

It's disgusting, but teens really need to be wary about this.

 

 

Oh and I'd agree that your son is a victim here. I would focus more on education than any punishment at this point. If he wasn't warned that this could happen, it may have simply never occurred to him

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I would absolutely think this "girl" is not the person she claims to be. I would not necessarily think it's a pervert trying to lure my child. It's very, very easy, especially for children online, to give information that can lead the other person to find out a LOT about them. It is also simple to use google talk and get a phone (as in TEXT) number from a different area code, so this person may not even be where it seems.

 

I would be concerned that my child might not understand the dangers of this. I highly doubt there's anything illegal in what is going on (at least in the context of someone pretending to be someone else.)

 

My kids are pretty savvy with internet relationships. My dd has had a very close friend for over 4 years whom she met at an online gaming site. His mom was quite concerned in the beginning (and this is a good thing!), wanting to be sure my dd wasn't an adult pretending to be a child.

 

My dd is very good, and very patient, at checking people out. She finds it very easy to get personal info from people and can easily find their FB page, tumblr, home address, and more. One picture, one mention of a school, a friend--all can be used to help locate someone. Some kids have given her passwords for their gaming account. I have told her she needs to work for the CIA.

 

My kids use fake names online.

 

If any of this is news to anyone reading this thread whose kids have online access, you really need to ramp up your knowledge and your child's knowledge of internet dangers. Much of it may be harmless, but you wouldn't want to be the exception.

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Thank you for posting. Really. I have been made aware of yet more stuff I didn't know about. I don't think you violated any of her ds's privacy. At all.

 

I hope you are able to get to the bottom of this and protect your ds.

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I agree with the red flag people too. I have heard of the internet version of Munchausen, but never heard of catfishing until the football player's story came out.

 

Tread carefully. Your son has been taken in, and will likely feel foolish about it. Offer him support rather than dole out punishment.

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Who said ignore?

 

Respect issue aside, I think one has a better chance of effectively discussing a potentially embarrassing and painful issue with a 15 yo if the likelihood of his finding out his private messages were posted online without his permission or knowledge is zero.

 

 

 

I can see your point, but I don't believe the messages are ones written by OP's son. OP is asking for input on how the messages sound to other parents. Only by including the messages can the hive get a real feel for the messages.

 

 

And yes, these messages sound odd and I would think something was amiss if I read them on my son's phone. The "tearing up a ticket" in particular makes it sound like an older person, sadly enough.

Of course, it could still be a real teen girl, but even if it is, it has crossed into bizarre land.

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Karen, I am glad that you asked for advice and perspective. Being a parent of a teen is so difficult, isn't it. I'm there in the trenches with you. I do know that once you've asked for that advice and perspective that it is difficult to come back and respond to a thread. At least that is how I've found it to be because I've always been a bit scared that people would then judge what actually happened and how I handled it. Plus, the aftermath is where it gets a bit more personal with my child's response, and all that. So I just want to say that I understand if you don't come back and give us all the details of your talk. But I would like to know that you and your son are ok in general terms. And I'm praying for you because all this stuff doesn't happen or get resolved overnight.

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Just wondering if Karen has had a chance to speak with her ds about this yet, and hoping that everything went well!

 

I updated the OP. Thank you, everyone.

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I am terrified of the teenage years! It seems like its a lot easier now for the Big Bad World to come find my little island than even when I was growing up.

 

Where can I go to learn more about internet privacy and teaching it to my kids? My son is allowed to go to a small handful of sites right now (no chat sites) but I'd like to start things off right.

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Thank you, everyone, for being so supportive in this. I always thought this was the kind of thing that happened to "other people's children", kwim? I still can't believe I'm wrestling with this, but it is what it is. We'll get to the bottom of this soon.

 

You know, I'm old. I remember things I did that my parents would have had no clue about because it just didn't happen in their day. Unfortunately this is one of those things as well. Scams and pranks have been going on for decades, but this "catfishing" thing is all new to me and I stay on top of new technology and try to keep a eye and ear to the goings on in life.

 

I imagine there will be quite a few conversations in hive households this week. I know I'm going to have one with ds.

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I updated the OP. Thank you, everyone.

 

Thank you for giving us an update. I'm glad the confrontation with your son went well and that he was receptive to your concerns.

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I have been worried for you and praying for you since I read this yesterday. Glad your son was so receptive and will continue praying that you all get to the bottom of this.

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Thank you for the update!

 

I hope this works out smoothly for your family. Sounds like you all handled it very well. I've definitely come away from this thread wiser.

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Thank you for the update. I'm glad to hear it went well, and I actually hope she's a real person even if they end up not having contact anymore. I have a 15 yo son, and can imagine what it would be like if this happened to him.

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Sounds like you handled it beautifully. I hope you and your DH are able to get to the bottom of this so you can put the whole thing to rest.

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Thanks for posting the update, Karen!

 

I think you and your dh are handling the situation beautifully, and I'm sure you're also very proud of the way your ds reacted to your concerns. He sounds like a great kid! :thumbup:

 

I hope it turns out that this is a real girl with a big imagination and not a predator situation, and I'm glad your dh is going to take steps to find out what's really happening here. :grouphug:

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Where can I go to learn more about internet privacy and teaching it to my kids? My son is allowed to go to a small handful of sites right now (no chat sites) but I'd like to start things off right.

 

Here is a site about teaching children Internet safety:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-internet.aspx

 

This one specifically deals with online predators:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/predators.aspx

 

BrainPop Junior also has a video clip on Internet safety. When my son was four he picked that video to watch and I said "ok", figuring it wouldn't mean anything to him since he doesn't even know what the Internet is. But a few hours later when dh came home and asked what he learned that day my son proudly said "never give personal information to strangers". I realized you really can't start too soon!

 

Oh, and thank you Kinsa for the update! For a teen, "80% sure" probably means he realizes this girl and her story aren't legit. It sounds like your discussion went really well and will probably ensure he is more cautious online in the future.

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Are paper tickets issued anymore? We always use the electronic ticket when we fly.

 

ETA: Obviously I hadn't read through all the responses because this has already been mentioned.

they are available - you have to pay extra. i guess some older people who are not computer savvy like them. I like being able to check in with a credit card . . . . online. . .. before I leave my house.. . . .

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Thanks for the update. I think more of us than we realize will be dealing with this type of stuff. Things are so different these day (man that statement makes me feel old). Everything is so new and public. It's a whole new world where we need to step back and set bounderies.

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I would be very concerned.

 

It sounds like someone is trying to lure your son.

 

I mean seriously, first she can't come to visit, and then she's in the hospital having surgery???

 

Ummm.... NO.

 

Someone is trying to worry your ds so much that he feels the need to sneak off to be with this "girl."

 

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but red flags are flying all over the place here.

 

This sounds VERY much like the Catfish movie. The games this 40 year old woman played with this young man were unbelievable. She told him she had cancer, that she was the mother of the daughter with whom the young man was communicating (which was the 40 year old woman). When he got in town, she told him the daughter lived at a location that was actually vacant. She told him another daughter had an art studio, which was also not true. The pictures she posted were not any of them. The pictures of the young woman were of a married woman in Canada with two kids.

 

You ought to watch this movie with your kids. Lots of sickos out there.

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Thank you for the update and for posting in the first place. I've learned A LOT from this thread.

 

 

Ditto this. I'm so glad you posted. I had no idea these things were so prevalent. I hope you will update again if you learn more. Understanding what's going on with your son might help many of us keep our children safer. So, thank you again.

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Where can I go to learn more about internet privacy and teaching it to my kids? My son is allowed to go to a small handful of sites right now (no chat sites) but I'd like to start things off right.

 

I don't know where to go. But I can only suggest KNOWING where your kids are online. KNOW what they are doing, what games they are playing, and exactly HOW interactive those games are, KNOW who is texting them. Allow internet access ONLY in family areas.

 

At some point, you have to let go and give them more space, independence, and responsibility. Certainly, all online friendships aren't bad or dangerous.

 

To tell a kid to not give personal info is like telling them not to talk to strangers. We talk to strangers all day long; that's not the dangerous part. When they are online, they don't think they are giving personal information. It's the pieces they give that can be put together to give the bigger picture to someone watching. Unusual names, locations, weather info, photos--usually harmless, but if someone wants to find out more, they can.

 

Looking back, I think this famous internet story made a large impression on my youngest.

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they are available - you have to pay extra. i guess some older people who are not computer savvy like them. I like being able to check in with a credit card . . . . online. . .. before I leave my house.. . . .

 

 

Not exactly . . . I am an older person who is above-average with "computer savvy." I prefer a paper ticket, that's all.

 

Think book vs. Kindle. Both work, but one is preferable to the other.

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This reminds me of how DH was recently backing up our photos from the phones and he came across a pic of a sexy man in a kilt.....I had a whole lot of explaining to do about the hive and my attempts at a "Hey Girl" photo shop gone awry. :leaving:

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Thank you for updating, Karen. I dread the teen years we are embarking on. I am particularly thankful you shared what you did. I know it helped you get advice from the hive, but it also opened my eyes to a lot.

 

:grouphug:

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I updated the OP. Thank you, everyone.

 

 

I'm glad things went well with your son. I am also very grateful you posted about this. I, too, thought I was aware of internet dangers, but I learned an awful lot from this thread.

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Thanks for updating and kudos to you for a good talk with your son. You are a good mom!

 

I will just echo others who have mentioned the documentary Catfish. Show it to him - my teens were audibly shocked, and became much more social-network-aware once they saw it.

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DH and I talked about this morning, and he is going to go to work tomorrow and look up her parents in the "global" (you military people know what I'm talking about). If they are in the global (meaning, she's a real person), then he's going to send them an email asking if they were aware that she was coming to see our son, and asking how the surgery went. We'll see if/how they respond.

 

If they the parents aren't in the global, then we are going to report it to the police as a predator situation.

 

 

 

While I can understand your desire to contact the girl's parents, I would caution against using an employer's access to personal information for unauthorized purposes. Doing so could have serious employment and legal consequences. I recommend pursuing the parents through the same channels anyone else would.

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The first thing I thought was so what if the tickets got ripped up? They email you the information. All you have to do is reprint them at home. Also, you can print them out at the airport.

 

Glad you had a good talk with you ds. The whole situation sounded fishy to me as well.

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The discussion went very well. He was (surprisingly) receptive to what I was saying, although I think he was embarrassed and ashamed. His cheeks and ears went red. I was able to remain calm and factual with him, not pass judgment, and be supportive.

 

DH and I talked about this morning, and he is going to go to work tomorrow and look up her parents in the "global" (you military people know what I'm talking about). If they are in the global (meaning, she's a real person), then he's going to send them an email asking if they were aware that she was coming to see our son, and asking how the surgery went. We'll see if/how they respond.

 

If they the parents aren't in the global, then we are going to report it to the police as a predator situation.

 

Thank you, everyone, for being so supportive in this. I always thought this was the kind of thing that happened to "other people's children", kwim? I still can't believe I'm wrestling with this, but it is what it is. We'll get to the bottom of this soon.

 

Awesome! I'm so happy that things went as well as they did. You rock! And, poor kid...I feel for him. Either way, it's a stinky situation.

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I just read your update and I am confused.

 

How do you know that the "dad" isn't the person who has been posing as the "girl" all along? :confused:

 

The "girl's" story was so far fetched, and her texts seemed so oddly phrased for a teenager, that I would still be highly suspicious.

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I just read your update and I am confused.

 

How do you know that the "dad" isn't the person who has been posing as the "girl" all along? :confused:

 

The "girl's" story was so far fetched, and her texts seemed so oddly phrased for a teenager, that I would still be highly suspicious.

 

 

 

I'm sorry to say, that is what I thought after reading the update, too.

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I just read your update and I am confused.

 

How do you know that the "dad" isn't the person who has been posing as the "girl" all along? :confused:

 

The "girl's" story was so far fetched, and her texts seemed so oddly phrased for a teenager, that I would still be highly suspicious.

 

 

The same thought concerned me.

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I'm sorry to say, that is what I thought after reading the update, too.

 

The same thought concerned me.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who is still suspicious.

 

I want to be completely wrong, but I'm worried that there may still be a lot more to this story.

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I just read your update and I am confused.

 

How do you know that the "dad" isn't the person who has been posing as the "girl" all along? :confused:

 

The "girl's" story was so far fetched, and her texts seemed so oddly phrased for a teenager, that I would still be highly suspicious.

 

 

 

I agree with this.

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I just read your update and I am confused.

 

How do you know that the "dad" isn't the person who has been posing as the "girl" all along? :confused:

 

The "girl's" story was so far fetched, and her texts seemed so oddly phrased for a teenager, that I would still be highly suspicious.

 

Confused also.

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words cannot adequately describe my suspicions. there are too many inconsistencies. how do you know this man has a dd? (iow: he could be the one posting.) does he have a profile stating his family members? how do you even know this is the right name, and not just some hijacked account? (even ip addresses can be faked by people who know what they're doing.)

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I don't mean to be creepy, but maybe the dad (the guy) is the "girl". I'd still contact the police. That's just me, though.

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Why are you so afraid of speaking to the police?

 

Your "resolution" is even more frightening than your first post. If you are afraid that reporting the incident would embarrass your son, think about the humiliation and danger that could result from this man continuing to stalk him. He knows your former address, why would you think that your current one is a secret?

 

Report it. Not doing so is negligent.

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I don't mean to be creepy, but maybe the dad (the guy) is the "girl". I'd still contact the police. That's just me, though.

 

 

I agree. I would keep looking into this.

 

Kelly

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