A Moment in My Life – Thursday, December 3, 2020
A couple of days ago, while I was doing my daily Bible reading in Bible.com, I got an alert for a new friend request from a guy named Mark Adrit. I was surprised and intrigued because I have only one friend on this platform I met when we participated in a group annual Bible reading plan. I am not on this platform for making friends, but I don’t oppose it. I never bother with making friends here. I come to this app for one reason only, and that’s to read.
When I received Mark’s friend request, I didn’t think anything of it. He had to be a fellow participant, right? He must be a good and decent person, and if he’s on a Bible devotional reading platform, he must be a Christian, right? Those were the questions that went through my mind as I considered accepting or rejecting his friend request. In a moment of trust, I accepted his friend request. Usually, from other platforms, nothing happens. My new friend and I coexist, and that’s that. However, this Mark guy immediately messaged me and started a conversation. Okay, no problem, I enjoy chatting with people and getting to know them.
He said he’s from Albania but resides in New York Long Island. In my attempt to be more open-minded to diversity and not be a writing snob, I noticed, but I chose to look past his choice of words, non-perfect punctuation, and non-standard sentence structure. In any event, it was odd that he would refer to me as a damsel. A damsel? Really? Who talks like that these days? In my lifetime, I have never heard that word used in real conversations. This guy called me a damsel not once but twice in the brief chat we had. It should have been a red flag, but I was still feeling generous. I let it go.
He sounded like someone who stepped out of Shakespearean times. He said, “It’s mine pleasure meeting you.” That was another red flag. Again, I told myself not to be so hard on people, and I dismissed it.
I was curious why we couldn’t continue chatting in this app where we were already chatting, but it was a bit antiquated, unlike text or messenger, so when he suggested that we move our chat to Hangouts, I wasn’t super surprised. I declined his offer because I didn’t want another app to keep track of, so I suggested Facebook messenger or text. At first, he refused Facebook saying that he isn’t on Facebook that much. When I told him that I didn’t want to start a Hangouts account, he asked for my Facebook user name and cell phone.
I decided to give him my Facebook link but declined to provide him with my cell. He was okay with that, but the next thing he said raised another red flag. He said, “I’ll let you know when I message you.” What? Why would you need to let me know when you message me? Wouldn’t I know when I receive your message? Whatever. Again, I tried to be open-minded that we all do things differently.
A day went by, and no message from him. I looked at his Facebook, and I was surprised that his profile photo is that of a Caucasian man, but 99% of his friends are Indian names. When I googled Adrit, it revealed that it is an Indian name, too. I may be completely wrong. If I am, I will offer a mea cupla, but I think this guy is a perp out to collect personal data to do his harm. I doubt he’ll message me because I don’t think he got what he wanted from me.
It’s so sad that people can’t use their talents for good. This is a very personal story, but I wanted to share this to bring awareness to the simple fact that it doesn’t matter which app or platform we are on; perps are lurking everywhere preying on innocent people. We need to be vigilant and take precautions to protect ourselves, and our data, at all times. Thanks to this Mark Adrit, if that is his real name, I am wiser now, and I’ll continue to be open-minded, but I will exercise due diligence to prevent falling prey to a perp again because now my eyes opened.
Epilogue: I stand corrected. After I wrote this column, he did message me again only to get more information from me. Here’s how it played out:
Mark AdritHello Jeannie I could not get through you on Facebook please send me your cell number so I can ring you from time to time.
Jeannie DavisHello, Mark Adrit, if that is your real name. I gave you my trust, and you threw it away. If I’m wrong about you, then mea culpa, but I think I have you correctly pegged that you are nothing but a two-bit con man trying to trick me into giving you my personal information. Shame on you! Keep in mind that there are consequences for every decision you make and everything you do. Have you heard the proverb, ‘what goes around comes around? I’m glad you couldn’t get through because you don’t really want to be my friend. You are right about one thing. Not everyone would hurt me, but you plan to do just that. I repeat—shame on you! It’s not too late to repent and save your soul. You can still turn your life around and use your talents to do good in this world, so you could sleep at night and look at yourself in the mirror in the mornings.