I have followers, not the kind I’d bring to the parents, but followers nonetheless. I’ve asked my friends if they have these kinds of experiences and if you do, please drop me a note, say hi and tell me your stories.

I started researching phishers and romance scammers about six months ago. By research I mean I entered into romantic relationships with random people that would contact me in the hopes of developing a relationship that would culminate in me sending them money.

The last thing I truly desire is a stranger showing up at my place for sex. I know you are disappointed in me, those are your daydreams not mine. The thing is — I had been receiving lots of offers via instagram, whats app, and email offering sex. Since they weren’t gonna show up and I wasn’t planning that they would I figured I could have some textual fun and enter into a conversation with these “girls.” I assume they are old and crusty guys like me.

What I have learned, or fallen for — the intricate intelligence that lands in my email box, whatsapp chats and instagram followers. I’ve learned a ton about history, geography and society by researching the random contacts that find me. Looking up a phone number from a whatsapp contact that has an opening line as fake as a plastic christmas tree with a spot-on profile photo. Yes, they know what I like and that is what in part makes the chase fun. I’m the phish and I have to say I enjoy the effort they put into getting small sums of money from me.

Have I ever paid (via amazon gift card) for someone to come to my house and have sex, yes. Did they come to my house, no. Can I write the expense off as research, yes. It gets complicated only when the transactions are completed and to date none have resulted in a “happy ending.” Cyber security research is funny-hard, as in difficult and expensive, and at times hilarious.

I have come to love the intricate innuendo, when they drop a hint from real life, like the spam I got from Nusha, her name means Intellectual in Arabic. Never would have learned that. So much random knowledge lands on me from random sources and they know I look, I research each number, each random contact. Some days I feel like I am someone’s day job — as my spammers and stalkers only interact monday through friday.

While I may not write back, I thought I’d post this as a bit to say hello, I love what you are doing. Don’t stop — keep it up. I may not write back, but what you do is appreciated. You made my life interesting in the ways lovers and friends can’t and for that I am grateful.

Categories: Icewater

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