This is an excellent blog I came across and highlights some of the dangers of strictly relying on technology to communicate. Please pass this on to your children and other relatives.
Today,everyone has a mobile phone. If you are like most, you LOVE TO TEXT! I will admit that I had not really enjoyed texting until this past year but found out convenient it is!
My teenager daughter texts all the time, to my frustration! Recently her phone stopped working and we had to get her a new phone. Unfortunately...the phone that we got her, an IPhone did not transfer the contacts saved on her SIM card. She took the phone to school and at lunch ask all of her friends to re-enter their information into her phone. (NOTE: She is a senior and he has gone to the same school for 13 years with the pretty much the same kids since kindergarten). So one by one they entered their information. Horray...now she was back up and running without much interruption.
A couple of days later, she was...as usual texting all morning...even caught her texting during church (I knew I should have taken that darn phone)! After church she continued texting all afternoon. Early evening she planned on going to the Rodeo with friends....they had made plans via text. One friend said that he was at a friends house and really wanted to go but had no ride. He offered to give her gas money if she would pick him up.
This also happens all the time within this friend group. She agreed, even though she knew that he lived about 25 minutes away in a neighborhood that alot of her classmates live. He told her his friends address and we mapquested it. She told me she was headed to pick him up and I questioned why she had agreed to go so far. Unfortunately, he did not tell her he was a bit further away and infact the address was over 35 minutes from our house.
With Directions in hand, she headed out telling us she would pick him up and head to the rodeo and be home around 11p.m. About an hour and half passed and she appeared at home hysterically crying....
WHATE HAPPENED NEXT TERRIFIED ME!!!! She went to the address he had supplied, when she pulled into the neighborhood, she realized it was a neighborhood under construction and several homes were vacant, including the one that she pulled up to. She stated it looked finished but she knew it was vacant because there were no window treatments (Must be the daughter of a realtor) and she could see there was no furniture in the home.
Once in the driveway she received a text from her friend and he said, "I gave you the wrong house, I am down the street at the last house on the right". She followed his directions and went to the house as directed. When she pulled into the driveway, she received a text "I'm out back...come back here".
Well, this is where my daughter had a Bit of Stupid.....she got out of the car and headed to the back of this vacant, secluded home....BUT!!!! She got irritated and decided she was not going back there afterall and got back in her car and texted him...."I'm here....quit playing around and get out here or I am leaving you!" He again requested she come to the back of the secluded house. She refused and told him again she would leave if he did not come out.
Irritated she left and headed home!
She was so mad when she left that she texted her friends to tell what he had done. To her surprise, he was with them....YES! He said that he had been with them all day and that HE HAD NOT BEEN TEXTING HER. They argued and finally they realized.....he had put in the wrong number in her phone. When he typed it in he was off by one digit.
SHE HAD BEEN TALKING TO A STRANGER ALL DAY! THE STRANGER HAD ASK HER VERY VAGUE QUESTIONS AND WHEN WE WENT BACK TO HER TEXT HISTORY...HE HAD FOUND OUT QUITE A BIT ABOUT HER INCLUDING HER ADDRESS....HE WAS SMOOTHE...HE HAD GOTTEN HER ALMOST TO THE BACK OF THE VACANT HOME!
We called the Police and they gave me this valuable advise:
NEVER AGREE TO MEET ANYONE VIA A TEXT MESSAGE UNTIL YOU CONFIRM THAT THE PERSON YOU ARE TEXTING IS ACTUALLY THE PERSON YOU PLAN TO MEET. ANYONE CAN GET AHOLD OF SOMEONE ELSES PHONE...FOR EXAMPLE...SOMEONE GETS MY HUSBANDS PHONE AND TEXTS ME....I THINK I AM TALKING TO HIM WHEN INFACT IT IS NOT HIM.
Folks, this is dangerous stuff.. The person who lured my daughter did not know her, was obviously watching her as he knew exactly when she pulled up at each home. I shutter to think what may have happened. I am so thankful that she told me later, she had a bad feeling about going to the back of the house and that is why she got back in her car.
OUR NEW RULE: VOICE CONFIRMATION THAT YOU ARE TALKING TO WHO YOU ARE TEXTING!
Be safe and remember, texting has dangers especially in our business.
Sarah Moore, Broker/REALTOR
RE/MAX SIGNATURE PROPERTIES ~ 7752 Gateway Lane, Suite 200 ~ Concord, NC ~ 28027