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grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 09:50 AM
As you all know, I am pretty open about who I am and I am gullible (maybe you didn't know that)
Recently something happened that has me rethinking what I can post on this site and want you all to think before you post.
Of course, we know this site is not private. But, I honestly don't think we think about who is listening in to our conversations and maybe taking notes, but listen to my story and maybe you will rethink your postings.
A very lovely person called me on the telephone and was very upfront with me about the fact that she is a lurker and not a member of our forum. She remembered some information that I had posted before retirement and used it to google me and found my phone number. She lives about 80 miles from me and was very open about her introduction to me. She wants us to meet and I am going to have lunch with her. She really sounds like a fascinating person to know.
This got me to thinking though, that not all the lurkers will be lovely women that I would like to meet and that perhaps over a period of time, you could piece together a great deal of information about any one of us just from little things we mention on our posts. We have become quite intimate friends, you and I, and we want to share personal information. I think that is just human nature. I love my forum friends and think how wonderful it would be if when you are traveling you just dropped by. But, that's my gullibility talking. I think you are all just like me, and probably most of you are.
So, now that I've said my piece, I am going to scrub my user notes and if you want to contact me, use the PM device which most of us do. I don't know if info that is archived in our posts can be removed and at this point, I'm going to leave that alone. Just be aware, not afraid.

Suzette
March 18th, 2019, 09:56 AM
I have to say, this sounds a little sketchy to me. I would be careful meeting a stranger. She very well could be as innocent, lovely and friendly as the day is long, but you don't really know that and couldn't know that from a phone conversation. Doesn't it raise a red flag that she went to all that effort to find you? If she is as fascinating and lovely as she sounds, she would no doubt have many local friends and wouldn't need to hunt down strangers on the internet. Please, just be careful.

SuzanneOrleansOntario
March 18th, 2019, 10:19 AM
Terry,
This does raise concerns for sure, but I'm certain that she is a lovely person. Perhaps, she has read about your good work and want to meet you to assess you, and make a donation in kind or to the Shriners.

There are lots of bad, sick people in the world, but there are many good people, and I like to think that quilt groups would attract this type of individual. I would become a recluse if I believed the world is out to get me. Although I'm on FB, I don't post pictures of family there as much any more, or very rarely. I think it's wise not to post pics of your definite vacation plans if no one is staying at your house.

I respect your fear.

sew-what2015
March 18th, 2019, 10:36 AM
I have often thought about this very thing. You have to watch what you put out there. Even small tidbits can be used to build a profile of a person. Be conscious of what you type...re-read it and make adjustments to your post as you see fit. I use Terry's advice...be aware, but not afraid.

Caroline T.
March 18th, 2019, 10:46 AM
Terry, I'm glad you are meeting in a public place, and I hope a wonderful friendship results. I have had the pleasure of meeting face to face with several of the forum members and my life has been blessed with those experiences and the local friends I have made.

But your caution about privacy is a valid point. We do tend to share some information openly for all to see without thinking of who else may see it. Also just opening ourselves up, showing that we are warm friendly and generous people can be used against us.

So have lunch with this person if you feel comfortable doing so, but keep your radar on and trust your instincts.

EnumclawGramma
March 18th, 2019, 11:14 AM
I don't know about this site so much, but for sure Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are huge savers of private info. I'm cautious in that I don't post my address in my user notes. But, I'm sure savvy people can find you using your IP or whatever.

Good to be cautious, but for sure not to the point of recluse. I'm echoing what Caroline said. I've met some amazing women because of this forum and made some friendships I am blessed to have, not sure that would have happened w/out this.

jjkaiser
March 18th, 2019, 12:11 PM
Wow. I think it is strange that this woman doesn't belong to the forum but wants to meet you. That feels a little like stalking to me. Make sure when you meet her that your dh knows her name and the name of the place where you are meeting. My address is in my user notes but even if I deleted it, it is pretty easy to google it if someone wanted to find me. Maybe it was a mistake for me to use my real name here in the first place? Thank you for the warning though, and I hope you update us after your lunch.

Granny Fran
March 18th, 2019, 12:28 PM
Good advice. Make sure someone is guarding your home while you are away...just in case.

auntstuff
March 18th, 2019, 12:33 PM
While I don't believe "everyone's out to get me" I AM something of a recluse and pretty private about my life. But I HAVE seen the damage being too open has done to others, and originating from places just like this group. DO be careful.

grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 12:36 PM
You all are so very lovely in response and like I said, I can't turn my back on someone reaching out toward me and the possibility of a grand friendship. I have deleted much of my personal info from my profile and have considered changing my user name but am not to that point...yet...
I have (by this persons invitation) googled her and all the info that I was given is there. I am not on facebook (anymore) because it didn't feel like a safe space. Sometimes I miss the convenience of it but know that its not a good place for me. My children are all there and I have told them that I cannot keep up with them thruthis venue and that they should tell me by text or phone if there are things I would like to be included in knowing.
Life is moving fast for this old woman

Carlie Wolf
March 18th, 2019, 01:55 PM
I think a person needs to use the same caution they would use when meeting a person for a sale in the likes of say Craigslist. Over the years I've met with people I've come in contact with over the Internet. This goes back into the late 90's. My rule of thumb was pretty much first email contacts, then phone contacts and then they also had to have met someone in person from the Group I was active in. Even with that you can still make mistakes although it is less likely.

I think many of us have noticed that lying seems to be more common then years ago and frankly I'm quite shocked to see just how common place it is. It was not all that uncommon to finally realize that people also do seem to create "persona's" for their Internet experiences. Some people are very very good at that and you'd be surprised the lengths to which they will go to become who they want. This is not all that uncommon in places like Facebook. I've known several people who had their information taken to create a false FB page including the use of their photos. While you don't hear of it all that often now, stalking was also a more known concern.

Another trend I see for concern, although I'm sure it's always been the case, is that, yes, bad people do target those who they find are nice people. They don't think like you and me, they see "nice" people as easy targets and gullible. These people are very,very good liars, they are also excellent manipulators. I know because some, certain types, sat across the desk from me and it was my job. You just need to know this, you can always be friendly and still not put yourself in jeopardy.

I love this group, I was shocked at the number of really nice people who congregate here. I consider that a rare thing on the Internet. Even so, I'm very careful of the information I put in a forum. I still don't use my real name or any identifying information, it's too easy for the outside world to access forum information.

Sorry, I don't mean to scare anyone but really......

Terry, I really need to say this because I think you are a lovely person. If I didn't "know" you for a while now, based on your postings and I was just a browser, I'd think of you as a fairly wealthy person, with means, you have a charitable soul and speak in an unassuming way, you appear outgoing. As a "nice" person I could see me wanting you as a friend but also as a "bad" person I could easily see you as a target. Years ago I came to the conclusion that I had many friendly acquaintances in my life but I would consider myself to be most fortunate to call even 5 people over a life time as true friends. I'm up to 4 at this point :-) If she wanted to donate a quilt to your cause that easily could have been done without searching you on the net for more information. As far as I can see the only thing she can do is to gather more info about you then she has already seen out there. Obviously she has already alerted your alert buttons, why walk further down that path of woulda, coulda, shoulda. :-)

PamelaOry
March 18th, 2019, 02:59 PM
What comes to mind for me is, why didn’t she make a profile and send you a pm if she wanted to contact you?

SouthPStitches
March 18th, 2019, 03:02 PM
After reading your post this a.m., I've been thinking about it. I have met at least four ladies on two different quilting forums that I consider my closest and dearest of friends. Have also met three out of four of them face-to-face. You just know when a friendship clicks but you still have be cognitive of the warning signs. Why has this person just lurked and not bothered to join - doesn't want any accountability perhaps)? At the very least, could join, introduce and then determine how much they want to be involved. At that time, they could send you a personal message, but to troll you, get your phone number and call out of the blue - that just isn't the least bit appropriate and more than a bit creepy. Lousy tactics in general. The internet is the very thing that lets us meet folks that would never cross our paths otherwise but it can be a double edge sword. If you told the person you weren't feeling comfortable about the way this came about, they should understand completely. If they keep pushing and perhaps trying to coerce you, be concerned. Please, please be careful.

Caroline T.
March 18th, 2019, 03:10 PM
I have (by this persons invitation) googled her and all the info that I was given is there.

Keep in mind, anyone can google information on a person, then pass that info off as their own.

I hate to say this, but as I reread this thread, my radar is pinging. I'm not by nature a distrusting person, but something doesn't seem right.

Do be careful if you decide to meet this person, and as Granny Fran suggested, make sure your home is occupied while you are at lunch, and if you can make lunch a threesome, invite a friend to join you also or have lunch at your old place where they know you well!

(hhmm, I wonder if this person is reading this thread?)

grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 03:13 PM
Well, Carlie, I am amazed that I came across as fairly wealthy...so far from it. I guess charity makes us all wealthy...right. We heat our house with wood, we do the chopping , and stacking and cutting. A luxury would be whole house heating. But, I'm not complaining. I've not been hungry since I left my parents home. I became smart enough to think ahead. But, yes, I cansee how people could prey on others and Yes, I will put up my hackles and be really alert. I intend to let this woman know that this is an uncomfortable place for me because of the method she used to contact me and therefore, will be taking the acquaintance slowly.

I too feel that finding a good friend is a difficult task. I have had three in my lifetime . We live across country from each other now so not much contact anymore. I know a lot of people but haven't had the friendship click happen now for a long time. Maybe I'm more picky than I used to be or maybe my definition of a friend is difficult for anyone to measure up to.

Carlie Wolf
March 18th, 2019, 03:21 PM
Wealthy is a relative term Terry LOL. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know you are not "wealthy" but I said that from the vantage point of someone who would be thinking does this person have something I can find beneficial. Having property, fairly large house etc are part of that when some people make determinations when trolling

KPH
March 18th, 2019, 03:48 PM
I've been thinking about this all morning. It's made me more aware and that's a good thing. Terry, you're such a good soul. I agree that if you meet this person, it be in public and someone should be at your house. It might be over kill, but better safe than sorry.

It made me think back to the day when we put flowers on the door for mourning, and the news paper put the address of the deceased in the paper and the naughty people would go rob the house while the family was at the funeral. There's so much badness out in the real world.

Take care, Terry! We don't want anything to happen to you!

Anitamae56
March 18th, 2019, 03:52 PM
I agree with Carly, and what someone else said "why not joined the forum ". This all doesn't sound right to me at all. Please be careful , and like someone else don't meet her alone take someone with you. I am in general a very trusting person sometimes to a fault, but this just doesn't sound good to me. Please have your guard up.

jjkaiser
March 18th, 2019, 04:43 PM
Terry I hope we all didn't scare you half to death! I just read all the new posts that came in, and I have to say we all sound like mothers guarding the baby chick!! I think its kind of sweet how protective we are.

chelea
March 18th, 2019, 05:30 PM
What comes to mind for me is, why didn’t she make a profile and send you a pm if she wanted to contact you?

exactly...a person could join the Forum, never post a single comment, and pm you...no need to Google you, find your contact number and call you.

bubba
March 18th, 2019, 05:40 PM
I understand exactly what you are saying. Having worked at 911 for ages, I am probably overly paranoid. Have I ever met people off facebook? Yes. Have I met people from here? Yes.

You can ask Dolores how nervous I was the first time I went to the retreat. I was being picked up at the airport by someone I only knew thru here, and yes, I was sure I would end up dead in a ditch somewhere!! When I landed, not only was my ride there, but Dolores (whom I had only spoken to on the phone) was there as well. Now I had two 'strangers' to deal with! Obviously, it worked out well because I am still among the living!

This last year, Dolores and I went on a road trip together that lasted ten days and then I was at her house for a week afterwards. MM asked before I left if we would fight or get tired of each other, and I told him I didn't think so. That entire time, we had only one argument and it had to do with my missing luggage and the stress from that. I think it lasted all of five minutes, we both cried, then were fine. If it hadn't been for the luggage problem, we would not have argued at all.

But yes.....meet in a public place and make sure others know you are doing that and give those people all the information (name/phone/etc) about the person that you can.

Oh, and have fun!

LLLinda
March 18th, 2019, 05:53 PM
JJ doesn't want to scare you Terri but I do. Have you ever noticed that people say the nicest things criminals such as oh we thought he was so sweet and wouldn't hurt a fly. Then they find out he is a serial killer. Scam artists are truly artists in telling lies and getting you to trust them. Phone scammers will give you callback numbers but to a partner in the scam, Online scammers have phony accounts. At the very least could you ask at your police station if this might be a common thing happening now?

grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 06:08 PM
Oh my...all the thoughts and I am so loved by all of you. I am certain that my new friend is reading this and I hope that it comes up in conversation. I'm thinking that it might be something we can laugh about and iron out. Regarding asking the sheriff...no...there are two counties between us. She lives a long way from me. Regarding someone being at my house, DH is always home when I'm not and vice versa. Our gate is locked if we go away and our neighbor on ourdrive is the nosy neighbor that doesn't let anyone he doesn't know come up the driveway which is a half mile long. Not to dwell, but I rarely meet anyone I don't like and it has happened to me 4 times in my life that when I meet someone that seems wrong, I back away. On three occasions I thought I was being silly and tried to get to know the person. Of course they were conning me and I learned to trust those instincts.
My DD married one of those 4 people and I still don't trust him. He or perhaps they have tried to scam the other brothers and sisters and I have warned them off. Maybe not a nice thing for a mother to do but protect the innocent is my theory.
We will meet and I will tell you all about this. I'd love this to be an acquaintance that will make both of us filled with joy and interests that we can share. If it doesn't feel good, it is over.
I just hope we can all take away something from this discussion that will make us all better people and realize that we do have to be vigilant in protecting ourselves.

MRoy
March 18th, 2019, 07:08 PM
I hope it works out good for you Terry, but please proceed with caution.

. Have you ever noticed that people say the nicest things criminals such as oh we thought he was so sweet and wouldn't hurt a fly. Then they find out he is a serial killer.
What Linda brought up here actually happened to us several years ago. We had a farm worker who was smart and quiet and seemed like a good fellow. Later we learned he was the infamous Railroad Killer...yes, a serial killer. You just never know.

JCY
March 18th, 2019, 07:17 PM
Privacy issues is the main reason I've never posted my full name & address in my user notes. I am not on facebook or any other social media except this one. I'm careful about what I post, not using any of my family's first names, although most people now know my first name. Only a few know my full name & address.

Terry, I hope your meeting goes well. I know you live a long ways from town & social opportunities. I hope this meeting will be ok. I'm feeling ambivalent about it. Let us know how it goes.

TMP
March 18th, 2019, 08:56 PM
Terry, I feel the same as you do. I posted my real name and address in my user notes when my husband passed away and people ask me to post it. I just deleted it. The lady is probably just someone who has read about your good work for the Shriner's and has seen all the beautiful quilts you have made and thinks you would make a wonderful friend. I think the way things have changed and people now find friends because they share the same interest in nice, but myself I don't know that I could go through with the meeting. Have you considered having your husband or someone else go with you? Just be careful, please.

I also find it really creepy that she hasn't made a profile and spent the time to find your phone number using the information here.

grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 09:03 PM
DH hates going into town. Traffic. And, MIL (who is my usual companion ) is recovering from her pacemaker implant. I think a restaurant is a pretty safe place at lunch time. Its a small parking lot on a busy road. I cannot be unkind and back out on this lunch date. That would hurt my feelings if I were her. God will ride with me. Glad you deleted your addresses too. I even went so far as to delete my state and town.
Terry, I feel the same as you do. I posted my real name and address in my user notes when my husband passed away and people ask me to post it. I just deleted it. The lady is probably just someone who has read about your good work for the Shriner's and has seen all the beautiful quilts you have made and thinks you would make a wonderful friend. I think the way things have changed and people now find friends because they share the same interest in nice, but myself I don't know that I could go through with the meeting. Have you considered having your husband or someone else go with you? Just be careful, please.

TMP
March 18th, 2019, 09:27 PM
This I am sure has no connection to any of this and I haven't said anything to anyone here about it and maybe I shouldn't. On Valentines day flowers were left at my front door. This is the note that was left with them. I thought at first they were from my son or daughter. I sat and cried, then I wondered if you are my friend why can't you say who you are. My daughter found it creepy and my son said someone is doing a good deed. Reading your post made me think of this. 158212

KarenC
March 18th, 2019, 09:56 PM
This I am sure has no connection to any of this and I haven't said anything to anyone here about it and maybe I shouldn't. On Valentines day flowers were left at my front door. This is the note that was left with them. I thought at first they were from my son or daughter. I sat and cried, then I wondered if you are my friend why can't you say who you are. My daughter found it creepy and my son said someone is doing a good deed. Reading your post made me think of this. 158212

That note is creepy! I probably would have called ProFlowers and tried to find out who sent them, although they probably wouldn't disclose that.

grammaterry
March 18th, 2019, 10:19 PM
but who is DUB.
That note is creepy! I probably would have called ProFlowers and tried to find out who sent them, although they probably wouldn't disclose that.

TMP
March 18th, 2019, 10:32 PM
My deceased husband nickname was Dub. My daughter did call and they said it was a matter of the sender's privacy and would not tell her.

This all just make me think that I have too much personal information about myself on the internet.

Kgrammiecaz
March 18th, 2019, 10:35 PM
I thought when just lurking and not a member you could not see profiles and notes of members

Caroline T.
March 19th, 2019, 12:04 AM
I thought when just lurking and not a member you could not see profiles and notes of members
Good point.

chelea
March 19th, 2019, 02:29 AM
While we're talking about privacy, it's good to periodically go through Facebook settings (if you're on FB) to make sure privacy permissions are up to date. Facebook is notorious for making changes. I have mine set to share with friends only, not friends of friends. You'd be surprised what people make public on FB.

quiltsRfun
March 19th, 2019, 02:43 AM
I thought when just lurking and not a member you could not see profiles and notes of members
Maybe they’re a member who isn’t active, just reading posts but not participating. Would that be a lurker?

GuitarGramma
March 19th, 2019, 02:57 AM
Terry, I hate to sound like a broken record, but I, too, am really worried about this meeting. Please take all precautions! Make sure you call or text DH or DD before you leave the restaurant. Set up beforehand that you will call them five minutes after you leave the restaurant, too. Then, before leaving the restaurant, set up your phone so that you can just hit the call button—it's not good to try to dial while driving. Do not sit in your car doing these things, that's the time women are most vulnerable. Also, make sure that Location Services are turned ON in your cell phone.

In case the lovely lady who called you is reading this, please, Lovely Lady, join the forum and tell us all that we're being silly. Post a few pictures of your quilts. Make yourself real to us. You don't ever have to post again, but you would make a lot of us who care about Terry feel a whole lot better. I'm sorry if this insults you, but the way you approached Terry has set off alarm bells for many of us.

MHG Winnower
March 19th, 2019, 06:59 AM
Good advice. Make sure someone is guarding your home while you are away...just in case.

This is an important comment. It's a sad world when we have to be so concerned about every phone call, every person who just wants to be a nice person, etc. However, it's true that we need to remember that there are some "not so nice folks" out there. I used to be in research, and I can tell you, I can find out more info on one person that you can imagine. Maybe not all of it is valid, but if I were a perpetrator, it's enough to do damage. Take care all of you. I am not a paranoid person, just extremely careful and when something doesn't sound or feel right, it usually isn't!

grammaterry
March 19th, 2019, 10:32 AM
Well, Ithink that is true. That's why the google search. And of course, I made some real boo boos in public posting that would make it really easy to have gotten my name and address. That's why I posted here to put everyone on alert.
I thought when just lurking and not a member you could not see profiles and notes of members

grammaterry
March 19th, 2019, 10:37 AM
I want everyone to realize that I was not creeped out about her calling me. We had a nice visit and I was honored that she wanted to be friendly. It was only after I got off the phone and started rerunning it in my mind that I thought it a little creepy to look so hard for me. Then, the more I thought about it and analyzed my thoughts I questioned my own judgement. I am really honored that you are all worried about me. Its still a few days a way for our meeting and after the meeting, I have several meetings, appointments and stops to make that I am expected to be. For sure, I will let you all know about our lovely new friend and perhaps I can convince her that she would enjoy our company eachmorning

Patty J
March 19th, 2019, 05:24 PM
Terry, take care and stay safe. If it feels icky leave immediately. We all care.