Thursday, June 10, 2010

A cautionary tale...

by Brittany Geragotelis

So, my intern came into the office today and told me a story that gave me the chills. She's staying in dorms this summer while doing her internship here at the magazine, but is fed up with the lack of air conditioning and has been searching for a sublet for the rest of her time in NYC.

She found a great-looking apartment on Craig's List a few days ago that was on 58th between 1st and 2nd and it was within her price range. So she contacted the person who listed it and set up a time to go and take a look. Being a young woman in NYC, she talked to her mom about going, and her mom told her not to look at it by herself (very good advice, BTW). So, my intern tried to get one of her male friends who works near the apartment to go with her, but he happened to have food poisoning and couldn't meet her. My intern called her mom once more and asked her whether she thought it would be a really bad idea if she went by herself after all. Her mom said, "Well, why don't you give me his name and we'll google him and see if anything sketchy comes up." So, she gave her mom his name.

photo credit: NBC/Dateline
Not only was the man a sex offender, but he'd been featured numerous times on NBC Dateline's "To Catch a Predator!" Totally freaked out by her near-miss with danger, my intern e-mailed the guy and said she couldn't come by to see the place. So, here's a cautionary tale for all those girls out there meeting up with strangers they've met online. We use Google to check up on potential dates and to cyber-stalk crushes, so why do we forget that we can also use this tool to keep ourselves out of dangerous situations?

Be safe out there everyone—and Google the hell out of people!



Anonymous said...

Scary!! Very scary! Luckily her mom advised her well and she didn't become a victim of the sicko! Could
ve ended up like the poor girl who went with Joran Van der Sloot!

Brittany said...

Who's Joran Van der Sloot?

Anonymous said...

The guy who murdered the girl last week and who murdered Natalie Hallowell

Anonymous said...

Meeting someone in real life that you have met on line can be scary, because most of the time, they aren't forth coming with something about themselves. I actually met my boyfriend on line almost 2 years ago, exchanged messages for months before I agreed to meet him and then brought friends with me on our first 5 dates until I was sure he was who he claimed to be. Your intern's mom was very smart to google the creep. She should probably put a note up on craigslist just to warn any other young girl that might read the creepers ad