No one has missed that fact checking is the vogue nowadays. When the war on terror has been replaced by the war on media, we are all becoming hyper aware of any information coming our way. It’s a dangerous territory the US POTUS is treading, given that his own statements are fact checked with ever more fervour.
But of course fact checking is nothing new. Since we were children we have been told of the danger to believe in the written word – whether from mainstream media or other sources. Yet we often fall into the trap. How many people didn’t encounter for the Nigeria scams (I recall a couple of people who asked me of my opinion on this “get-rich” scheme). Bernie Madoff pulled off another one eclipsing in both sophistication as well as scale. Well it happens all the time….the victims falling like trees in the wind based on primal human needs and urges: love, power, money, sex.
So when I was preparing for my bedtime routine, responding to some emails, one in particular drew my attention. It was from someone who had requested to be connected with me on LinkedIn. I normally don’t respond to unsolicited requests but I made an exception here. The profile seemed at first glance legit, with a lengthy CV, endorsements, common connections etc.
Now this is where it turns interesting. The email read as follows:
What a cute smile you have on here ( on a nice profile ) you look beautiful in such a way that intrigues everyone that views your profile. I was actually browsing through the list of my connections when I came across yours, pulsed and couldn’t resist to say hi having seen such unique beauty.
I sincerely apologize for writing such personal message to you as I understand that this Professional Networking site prohibits it but just like I said, I couldn’t resist to say hi and thats why i decided writting you direct to your personal email to help respect the Linkedin terms and conditions.. You are realy so beautiful and caught my heart at first sight.
Please do you mind staying in touch??
I would love to know more about you.
Please are you married?
Hope to hear from you soon.
Something seemed out of kilter. I don’t smile on my linkedin picture (which is why I chose this picture btw). Nor did the signature holder refer to my blog, so if there ever was an interest he would have surely gone the extra mile to google me. Which is what I did. Instantly a link came up with the same text from a woman receiving the exact same email over a year ago. My curiousity was piqued, and I did a further search on this Mr Harald’s linkedIn page, noticing his CV looked on closer look, strange. A rather long text on his latest work was a copy of his earlier work. I took a segment of this and performed another search. It rendered another LinkedIn profile which had already been disbanded.
Why am I writing this? Because in our busy lives, we often forget to check the facts…sometimes with dire consequences. And the next time someone will receive a similar email, then my blog will come up with a warning…after all it is rather well indexed by now 🙂