Protecting the Family Jewels
“Guys, you know you better watch out. Some girls, some girls are only about that thing, that thing, that thing.”
These words appeared in Lauryn Hill’s 1998 R&B hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and helped launch the solo career of this former Fugees lead singer. The song is intended as a plea to young African-American men and women caught in “the struggle” and warns guys not to let “that thing” (between their legs) ruin their lives. Of course, they could also apply to the challenges men of all races face today, especially when it comes to the internet.
I am, of course, referring to the upswing in online sex scams. And yes, they affect men as much as they do women, maybe even more.
Let me paint you a picture.
Jim Williams was a 35-year-old man whose marriage was falling apart and heading for divorce. As such, he and his wife rarely communicated verbally, much less physically. And Jim was lonely.
He was also horny.
One night as Jim was cruising around his Facebook account, a friend request arrived from a beautiful young woman he had never met. Her name was Lynn and according to her profile, she and Jim shared several mutual friends. Although he normally wouldn’t accept a request from a stranger—especially a young woman—Jim trusted his friends and reluctantly added Lynn to his list. Within minutes, he received a message from her and the two began chatting on a regular basis.
At first, their exchanges were innocent: What’s your favorite film? How long have you worked in your current field? Where did you grow up? Eventually—and quickly—the two got closer and their questions became more personal: What do you look for in a woman? How much sex do you normally have in a week? What’s your favorite position?
Every time Jim communicated with Lynn, she mentioned some kinky interest or sexual need that aroused the sleeping giant in his pants. He knew that he wasn’t a cheater and hadn’t done anything wrong, but deep down he still felt a little guilty.
Fortunately, the feeling quickly passed.
The next day, Jim got a message from Lynn asking if he would meet her on Skype that night. She even provided her number and told him to call anytime, day or night, even collect if necessary. A week passed before Jim finally summoned the strength to do so, but eventually curiosity took hold and he couldn’t resist. Jim told himself that a little video chatting never hurt anyone. And since he would be single in a few months anyway, this could be a fun warm-up before he finally dove back into the dating pool.
So Jim logged into his Skype account, dialed Lynn’s number, took a deep breath and waited. Lynn answered quickly and a moment later, the two laid eyes on each other for the first time, alive and in person.
And they were both pleased.
Some great conversations followed, but so did some flirting. This quickly turned in to sex talk and within a few days, things started to get pretty graphic. Each time Jim logged in and contacted Lynn, she was wearing an outfit more revealing than the last. The more skin she showed, the more Jim’s pants rose to the occasion. And though he still felt a little guilty at times, he figured “What the hell?” So he kept on talking dirty and even encouraged Lynn to reveal more of herself, which she soon did.
The next time they Skyped, she was completely naked and extremely compliant. Whatever Jim asked her to do—regardless of how demented it might be—she did without question. There were oils, lotions, toys and even a few vegetables depending on their mood. In a short time, Jim had seen so much of Lynn that if asked to pick her out of a lineup, he could identify her from any angle or using any square inch of her body.
He had a flexible webcam to thank for that.
Then came the inevitable request from Jim’s new and naked friend: “I showed you mine, so show me yours.”
Jim was hesitant at first. After all, by law he was still a married man. Sure, he suspected his wife of cheating on him in the past—maybe with several different men—but he couldn’t prove anything and certainly didn’t want revenge. This would just be an entertaining way to get his rocks off, not all that different from whacking off to a porn site or live sex show, both of which cost money. This was free and since he didn’t know Lynn—and she didn’t even know his last name—Jim knew he was safe.
So he dropped his pants, allowed Lynn to seduce him through his computer screen, played to the camera and ended his “show” with a finale so explosive it nearly shorted out his keyboard.
Seconds later, the call disconnected and Lynn’s screen went dark. Assuming it was nothing more than a bad connection, Jim spent a few minutes straightening up, pulled himself together and called Lynn to thank her for the “favor.”
There was no answer.
She was probably washing up, too, he thought to himself. So he made himself a drink, fed his dog, did a few other mundane chores and tried to call her again.
Still there was no answer, but Jim did receive an email. And he just knew that it had to be Lynn.
The message came from some anonymous source at an address Jim had never seen before. It was completely devoid of text except for the title of its only attachment, a video file labeled simply “Jim Williams.”
His heart sank, but he reluctantly scanned the file and opened it. And there he was in all his glory: recorded by Lynn while he “rubbed one out” in front of her.
Then the phone rang. Jim didn’t recognize the number on his caller ID, but answered it since it had to be Lynn this time.
On the other end was a man with a high-pitched voice who sounded Asian to Jim, but he wasn’t interested in accents. He was interested in what the man just told him: that unless he paid him $10,000, his video would be sent to all of his Facebook friends and family members.
One of whom was his wife.
Jim’s story is a tragic one because, for most of us, coming up with $10K quickly and then trusting some stranger to delete your naughty video—the same stranger who made the video and is now extorting money from you—would be extremely difficult. And with no real laws governing the internet, you couldn’t count on the authorities to help. Short of being tight with a skilled computer hacker—maybe one that owes you a favor—you would be screwed.
Just like poor Jim Williams.
Online sex scamming is a growing problem all over the world, and it’s only going to get worse. In 2012, fifty such cases were reported in Singapore alone, and even that was eleven more than the year before. And we’re talking about Singapore, a small island nation. Imagine how widespread this problem is in the United States or even Europe!
Incidentally, police in Singapore just busted a ring of scam artists who do precisely what I described in the cautionary tale of Jim Williams. And Graham Cluley of the web security firm Sophos points out that in cases like Jim’s, there is another danger.
“You can imagine how a man, believing he is being seduced online by a sexy woman, might be all too eager to click on a link she suggests or run a malicious program on his computer,” Cluley posted to his blog. “Before he knows it, his computer could be under the control of a hacker.”
And if that happens, a video of your wiener won’t be your biggest problem; identity theft will.
So the next time you get a friend request from a sexy young woman you don’t know, gentlemen, please think twice about accepting it. The same goes for exposing yourself to strangers online. It may seem fun and dangerous and erotic and thrilling—especially if you engage in true “cyber sex” (which doesn’t mean putting something in your computer’s USB port that’s more flesh drive than flash drive)—but the consequences could be devastating. Either keep your face and all distinguishing features, objects or furnishings hidden, or don’t do it at all.
You just never know who’s liable to see it.
Posted on February 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged advice, creative, crime, current-events, Doo Wop, Facebook, humor, men, news, perspectives, scam, sex, United States, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.